Friday, February 25, 2011

Leadership - Recognition

"I had the privilege the past couple of days to participate in a US Navy briefing in San Diego in connection to a global safe water initiative I'm involved in. We explored seemingly unnatural collaboration opportunities involving: national defense and international humanitarian aid, government and non-government organizations (NGOs), and for-profit and nonprofit companies. It was visionary, invigorating, and happening.

Amidst all of that high lev
el discussion, there was a pause each day for two brief ceremonies... 

The first was the playing of the national anthem each morning complete with military brass ensemble. Military and civilian participants stood together in a few moments of reflection to remember our heritage, our privilege, our responsibility, our opportunity, and our gift of freedom. It was incredibly poignant as the news of Libya's revolution continued to stream across my cell phone.

The second was the Admiral's formal recognition each day of an individual that had contributed to the success of the Navy's humanitarian mission by simply performing his / her assigned and assumed role / duties dependably with integrity and excellence. We stood together in recognition and respect of the person's contribution and applauded the presentation of a simple service ribbon. 

I was struck by two things.

First, the value of being continually reminded together of our shared purpose and priorities; but how seldom we do that in businesses and practices.

Second, how seldom we pause together in a meaningful way to simply recognize, respect, and celebrate the reliable contributions of individual team members who do what needs doing.

What opportunities we miss to build loyalty, character, and teamwork!

What an opportunity we miss to model effective leadership by our example!

Who in your life deserves recognition? Who in your life needs recognition? 

As a leader, who will you recognize this week?

All the Best!


(c) copyright 2011
Performance Builders
Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Leadership - Stories

Stories change our world.

Consider recent stories about the people of Tunisia and Egypt who seek freedom, justice and better life. 

Good leaders tend to be story collectors and frequent story tellers. 

Stories retell lessons learned. They forecast danger. They focus energy. They imagine a better future. They inspire. 

Statistics and Stories are fundamentally different. 

Statistics are heartless, easily manipulated, poorly understood, commonly ignored, and predictably forgotten. 

Stories have heart,  establish authenticity,  elicit empathy and emotion, and beg to be retold over and over again. Good stories begin with a situation (once upon a time...), establish tension (good vs. bad), then resolve it (The End). 

Great stories elicit a response.

Stories are powerful in motivating and marketing. Stories change opinions, decisions, and outcomes.

What are the stories you are listening to? What are the stories you are telling?  Which of your stories are being remembered and told over and over again. Which of your stories are changing people's lives for the better.

Leaders who are not telling stories are not leading to their potential!

All the Best!


(c) Copyright 2011
Performance Builders
Thursday, February 3, 2011

Leadership - Fit 2

Adrea, thank you for your comments. You bring up an important leadership point that originated with Jim Collins (Good to Great). 

His metaphor of "getting the right people on the bus" is often used within organizations in a context that the company has established a vision and destination and now it time to see who's committed (on the bus) and who is not (off the bus). 

But that's not how the metaphor was intended. 

The actual intent was that companies recruit and retain people (the "who" not the "what") that are  talented and embracing of change; realizing that given rapidly developing markets, economies, and technologies, companies can never really know their destination. 

The best any company has is aspirations and a direction that may require ongoing course corrections by an energized team. 

Today, companies are dealing with a journey through constant change, not a destination despite change. With capable and accommodating people, roles, priorities, products, and processes can change with the times. 

Going back to the young women who needs to change "Her" environment'...

She needs to engage an organization that is building a team with a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset. Getting on the right bus with the right people is much more gratifying (and usually rewarding) than throwing people off the bus. Its also worth noting that with fixed mindset companies, its too often the change-agent that ends up under the bus.  

All the Best! 


(c) Copyright 2011
Performance Builders