© 2020 by Employ Humanity LLC. All content copyright protected.

Name: Chad Tisonik          

Business Title: President – Advisory Services

Company: HNI Risk Services

Favorite Musician: Depends on mood and activity…Eagles to Kanye

Favorite Vacation: Same spot in Naples FL… beach, golf, beverages, repeat – Boring right?

Favorite Restaurant: Eddie Martini’s

BILL MARKLEIN: What is in the DNA of a servant leader?

CHAD TISONIK: It’s in your gut, you feel weird without Constant DRIVE to elevate your people through honesty, trust, inspiration, accountability, respect and well-being (including their families). The servant leader must also have the courage to help people rise. Occasionally some may not see the value and become bad actors. Taking action with negative actors is difficult but the positive impact that it has on the overall culture is immense. Remember: your “A” players are watching you!


BILL MARKLEIN: What has been the most important factor(s) in your leadership development journey?


  1. Constant focus on being more present and listening VS waiting to respond. (still a work in progress)

  2. Rise early, get some exercise, read or write a blog or listen to a podcast every day.

  3. Keep a journal of the good and bad “highlights” and then rewind my day before bed each night. End every day with a positive notion! Life is good!

"The high EI leader's performance seemed higher,
turnover was lower, and employees smiled more."


BILL MARKLEIN: How does Emotional Intelligence, the awareness and management of your own emotions and the emotions of others, play a role in your leadership?

CHAD TISONIK: Earlier in my journey, I wore my negative emotions on BOTH sleeves (A trait I learned from MY first leader). One of my coaches told me that I’d never be a successful leader unless I changed. It wasn’t an easy journey, but I was up for the challenge.In dealing with 100’s of leaders, I observed and secretly noted those that were outwardly negative and those that had high EI. One thing stood out. One leadership type caused their people to perform well, but out of fear. The high EI leader’s performance seemed higher, turnover was lower, and employees smiled more. As the fight for talent increases, this fact may be one of the most important workplace culture components of leadership in our lifetime.


BILL MARKLEIN: Who has made the most positive impact on your life and what is this individual’s attributes?

CHAD TISONIK: My parents…My mom was a part time receptionist and my dad, a police officer. Sometimes we had more month than money, but it never felt that way. The attributes of togetherness, kindness, patriotism, love and appreciation for one another were the core values. Oh, don’t forget things like: urgency, learning, quality in your work, saving and smart spending didn’t hurt either!  I’d never trade those lessons for anything!

More on leadership...

Never underestimate the power of:

- a handwritten note

- a thank you

- a story

- a question

- time together as a “work family”

- roundtables with other leaders

- roundtables with those you lead

- roundtables with your clients

- getting your hands dirty