Dudley Slater might be compared to Sam, the genial owner of the bar in the television sitcom, “Cheers.” But while Sam is fiction, Mr. Slater is founder of Integra Telecom, one of the nation’s largest fiber telecommunications companies.

He says when companies are more like “Cheers” — in that they become places “where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came” – then worker disengagement drops.

The Portland, Oregon-based entrepreneur says there’s a better way, one that he calls “fusion leadership.”

“The core and the most significant thing leaders can do is to connect people to the cause, the mission of the organization,” he says.

“How do you do that? What are the behaviors that attract people to the mission and how are those different from the behaviors that drive people away from the organization,” he says. “At the core of that, I think it comes down to the leader.”

And that that is the heart of the problem… (access podcast)