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123: Ilene Marcus: I had to cross a picket line

//123: Ilene Marcus: I had to cross a picket line

123: Ilene Marcus: I had to cross a picket line

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Ilene Marcus Show Notes

Ilene Marcus was a manager in a large bureaucracy that had a cost of living dispute with its labor union. The workers went on strike and Ilene needed to go to work. As she planned to cross the picket line, she worried about the confrontation and what would happen. But as she walked towards the picket line, she knew exactly what she needed to do. Listen to what Ilene did to get over the hump.

Ilene was born and raised in Farmingdale, Long Island – original suburbia, no farms on the side of the tracks she grew up on. She was the 2nd of 4 daughters, her father was a civil engineer, and her mother was a teacher.

Ilene had 3 sisters, but she was always in charge…(bless their hearts).  She’s had quite a history and if someone else told her their background, she would say ‘Wow you’re a walking miracle!”

But Ilene herself has been through some tough things. She’s been a rare cancer survivor, had an early joint replacement, was a 9-11 evacuee, survived abuse, betrayal, and has been a single mom with economic hardship. All have brought her here today.

Social Worker policy wonk, she turned manager of one of the largest bureaucracies in the country.  Unique skill set, quantitative and compassionate.  Experience in government, non-profit, healthcare, start-up and product driven small businesses.

She’s proud that she reformed NYC Welfare System. She built a cadre of much better authentic managers who build their team and the business by having the hard conversations and taking the next step.

Ilene is always in the camp of the underdog, she wanted her career, her life, her purpose to be about not just helping one person, but helping many.  She followed the proverbial path, of helping people learn to fish to eat for a lifetime instead of just feeding them fish.

Currently, Ilene is the owner of Aligned Workplace.  She specializes in Organizational Dynamics consulting to build efficiency, nimbleness and team work.

She’s a city girl with a country heart. She splits time between NYC and Berkshires, looking for that perfect combo of mountains, town and cows – She’s now thinking Seattle or Hilo Hawaii!

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @talkism and get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet 

“As the leader, you have to separate yourself from the pack.” -Ilene Marcus Click to Tweet

“Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don’t say it meanly.” -Ilene Marcus Click to Tweet 

“Avoiding, in an annoying situation is perilous to you and your organization.” -Ilene Marcus Click to Tweet 

“Someone at work is going to annoy you, how can you be ready and not react?” -Ilene Marcus Click to Tweet 

“Setting expectations and setting boundaries is extremely important.” -Ilene Marcus Click to Tweet 

“People actually enjoy hearing no sometimes.” -Ilene Marcus Click to Tweet 

“Pride of ownership is very important to success.” -Ilene Marcus Click to Tweet 

“How do you help your employees make that idea their idea, not your idea?” -Ilene Marcus Click to Tweet 

“If employees feel they’re part of the solution, they’re going to be a lot more bought in.” -Ilene Marcus Click to Tweet 

“Leadership is a righteous perk, once you get management right.” -Ilene Marcus Click to Tweet 

“Good managers are leaders and good leaders are managers.” -Ilene Marcus Click to Tweet 

“What makes you a leader is working with a team, having a vision, and having them own that vision.” -Ilene Marcus Click to Tweet 

“Everything is about the integration between my vision and how to put the pedal to the metal.” -Ilene Marcus Click to Tweet 

“I have an economic contract with my employees, and that’s the basis of our relationship.” -Ilene Marcus Click to Tweet 

“I need the job done, it’s not just about being friends.” -Ilene Marcus Click to Tweet 

“Make sure you come with your joy and who you are to everything you do.” -Ilene Marcus Click to Tweet 

“Most of us have careers that have blended our work and our lives.” -Ilene Marcus Click to Tweet 

“If you don’t bring the joy, what are you doing?” -Ilene Marcus Click to Tweet 

“If you’re not loving who you are and how you do it, do something else.” -Ilene Marcus Click to Tweet 

“Set the goals, watch the steps and bring your team along.” -Ilene Marcus Click to Tweet 

“If you don’t believe in your ideas, no one is going to.” -Ilene Marcus Click to Tweet 

“There’s always options, it’s our job to find them and make them work.” -Ilene Marcus Click to Tweet 

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Hump to Get Over

Ilene Marcus was a manager in a large bureaucracy that had a cost of living dispute with its labor union. The workers went on strike and Ilene needed to go to work. As she planned to cross the picket line, she worried about the confrontation and what would happen. But as she walked towards the picket line, she knew exactly what she needed to do. Listen to what Ilene did to get over the hump.

Advice for others

Someone at work is going to annoy you, prepare for it and do not over-react.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

I need to be more magician and less mule. I seem to focus on the operation and I want to focus on the magic.

Best Leadership Advice Received

Ten thousand people or ten people: set the goals, watch the steps and bring your team along.

Secret to Success

I’m a forest and a trees person. I can the break room, trenches but I can also see the 10,000-foot view of how it fits in.

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

Boundaries. Let’s stay in our lanes, let’s be clear about our roles, let’s move forward.

Recommended Reading

Managing Annoying People: 7 Proven Tactics To Maximize Team Performance

The Carrot Seed (Rise and Shine)

Contacting Ilene

Website: http://alignedworkplace.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ilenemarcus/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/talkism

Resources and Show Mentions

54 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Competencies List: Emotional Intelligence has proven to be the right kind of intelligence to have if you want to move onward and upward faster. Get your free list today.


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By | 2017-05-31T01:21:46+00:00 May 31st, 2017|Podcasts|1 Comment

About the Author:

Author Image
Your Fast Leader Show host is Jim Rembach. Jim is a panel expert with the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) and spent many years in contact center operations and leverages this to help others. He is a certified Emotional Intelligence (EQ) practitioner, Certified Employee Retention Specialist, Certified Better Place to Work Expert, and frequently quoted industry expert.
  • ilene Marcus

    Its hard to own up to your role in annoyance in the workplace. Thanks, Jim for bringing that out in the interview. Anyone have a story to share about a time they realized they had better step up to the plate, before that the it was too late? Go set boundaries and tell us about it! ilene