Lead People…Manage Things


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Lead People…Manage Things Master the Five Key Facets of High Performance Leadership Brian Ward Affinity Publishing Edmonton. Alberta Canada .

mechanical. Team Dimensions Profile® are registered trademarks of Inscape Publishing. or transmitted in any form or by any means.affinitymc. is an Inscape Publishing Authorized Distributor. recording.Training-Store.FacetLeadership. scanning.com | www.com Copyright © 2009 by Affinity Consulting All rights reserved. stored in a retrieval system. Personal Listening Profile®. Coping and Stress Profile®.com | www. DiSC®. photocopying. iv . Affinity Consulting and Training Inc. or otherwise. 215 Blackburn Drive East. Edmonton AB T6W 1B9 Canada www. a division of Affinity Consulting #105. The Customer Loyalty Grid™ and the 4M Model of Change™ are trademarks of Affinity Consulting. electronic. No part of this publication may be reproduced. Time Mastery Profile™ is a trademark of Inscape Publishing. First Print Edition August 2009 ISBN 978-0-557-14720-5 FACET Leadership™.AFFINITY PUBLISHING Published in Canada and the United States of America by Affinity Publishing. without the prior permission of the publisher. The FACET Leadership Model™.

You know who you are. .This book is dedicated to the many leaders in this world who are striving each and every day to make a real difference in the lives of others.

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..................................... 43 LEADING CHANGE ............................................Contents PREFACE ............................................................................................ 44 THE COURAGE TO FACE REALITY ......................................................................................59 SLOW DOWN AND LISTEN ................................................................................................ 55 A FINAL NOTE ON COURAGE ............................................................................ 65 LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMERS ............................................................................................................................................. 58 CHAPTER 4: EMPATHY ..... 13 ONE BIG IDEA THAT ENDURES .................................................. 59 HOW TO HAVE QUALITY CONVERSATIONS ................................. 31 HELP OTHERS BECOME LEADERS TOO ................................................................29 SHOWING THE REAL YOU....................................................................................................................................... PHASE THINGS OUT .................................................... 70 WALK A WHILE IN THEIR SHOES ............ 42 CHAPTER 3: THE POWER TO LEAD…THE COURAGE TO WIN ................................... 73 SUMMARY OF KEY QUESTIONS............................................................... 32 MUTUAL TRUST AT NISSAN ...................................................................................................................................................................... 60 GIVE PEOPLE SPACE AND TIME TO THINK ...................................................................................................................................................................... 54 SUMMARY OF KEY QUESTIONS......................................... 24 A FINAL NOTE ON FOCUS.....................BETTER VALUE........5 CHAPTER 1: THE POWER OF FOCUS........ 67 WHEN YOU LEAD…DO OTHERS FOLLOW?.................................................................................................................. 13 WHAT MOTIVATES PEOPLE TO FOLLOW A LEADER?........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 77 CHAPTER 5: TIMING .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 18 TIPS FOR CREATING A CLEAR FOCUS............................................. 27 CHAPTER 2: AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP ..................................................... 52 TIPS FOR DEVELOPING COURAGE ................. 29 THE LEADER’S INNER JOURNEY...................... FASTER .... 31 HOW CAN YOU ACHIEVE GREATER SELF-KNOWLEDGE?.... 51 THE COURAGE TO SHUT THINGS DOWN....................................................................1 INTRODUCTION .......................................... 48 THE COURAGE TO CHANGE ALL SYSTEMS THAT DON’T SUPPORT THE FOCUS ............................... 36 SUMMARY OF KEY QUESTIONS.............43 AN ODD THING ABOUT ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE ...........................................................................................................................78 ... 48 THE COURAGE TO ALLOW CREATIVITY TO BLOSSOM ............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 38 A FINAL NOTE ON AUTHENTICITY .................................................. 71 TIPS FOR ACTIVE LISTENING ...........MAKING CONVERSATION A CORE COMPETENCY ................. 20 SELF-ASSESSMENT: DO YOU HAVE AN INSPIRING FOCUS? . 63 WHEN TEAMS DON’T LISTEN ............................................................................................................................................ 75 A FINAL NOTE ON EMPATHY .......................... 34 TIPS FOR DISCOVERING YOUR TRUE SELF .....................................................................................

...ASSESSMENT INSTRUMENTS ...................................... 93 FOCUS ......87 A FINAL NOTE ON TIMING ................................................................93 AUTHENTICITY .....................................................................................................................94 COURAGE ...............104 SELF..............................................................................................................82 TIPS FOR GETTING TIMING RIGHT............................AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME ..............................................................84 SUMMARY OF KEY QUESTIONS .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................100 REFERENCES ON CHAPTER 3: COURAGE ........................................................................................................ 105 ABOUT THE AUTHOR ............................................................ 91 USER’S GUIDE TO THE FIVE KEY FACETS......................................................................................97 RESOURCES AND SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY ...80 THE ROLE OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT IN A TIME-BASED STRATEGY ...............................................................................................................96 TIMING...............................................................................................................................................................................................102 REFERENCES ON CHAPTER 4: EMPATHY.......................................103 REFERENCES ON CHAPTER 5: TIMING ................................................................................................................................................................................... 99 REFERENCES ON CHAPTER 1: FOCUS .......................................90 CONCLUSION........................................95 EMPATHY..................................................................................................................................................................... 106 viii .........................99 REFERENCES ON CHAPTER 2: AUTHENTICITY......78 IT’S OKAY TO BE IMPATIENT ........................................


you promise to change the world for the better.. I’m not out to change the world’. but not a leader. If your reaction to this statement is ‘I’m only managing an organization. if you have not yet made that decision. You have become a great leader.PREFACE When you become a leader. If you feel that you are not sure whether you are truly committed to becoming a great leader. Managers control things. through people. That’s it. It has its fill of managers. you take on a great responsibility. I would like you to take a look at two scenarios: SCENARIO 1: What if you were to make a total commitment to becoming a great leader? Project yourself ahead 3 to 5 years from now. or department. The world needs great leaders. or project. then I respectfully suggest that you learn to be a good manager. Leaders cause positive change to happen.. Visualize what positive impact you are having on the world around you… • How has the world benefited from your actions? .

The difference between the two scenarios is so stark. and easier to see ourselves in the second. so dramatic. Visualize how things will be… • Have things changed much. the second scenario is totally unacceptable. as we all do. The second scenario is one that you probably want to have no part of. that sometimes we find it difficult to see ourselves in the first one.• • • • • • • • • • What does that feel like? What type of people are you associating with? Who are you collaborating with? Who else is totally committed to the same cause as you? What positive actions are you and these people taking? How are other people responding to your successes? How worthwhile and meaningful has your life become? What does that feel like? How are you growing and developing? How does all this differ from today? SCENARIO 2 What if you were to be less than fully committed to becoming a great leader? Project yourself ahead 3 to 5 years from now. 2 . or not at all? • Who are you associating with…perhaps others who are also less than fully committed? • What positive impact have you had on the world around you? Less than you desired? • • • How do you feel about that? How worthwhile and meaningful has your life become? How does all this differ from today? I have no doubt that the first scenario is one that you desire. You are in a leadership position. But for many of us.

This book is designed to do just that for you. to become great leaders. as they say. It will assist you on your journey by asking critical questions in five key areas. I have seen many leaders get caught up in fads. I have written this book to inspire. Every leader who achieved worthwhile outcomes did so with help. and feel at a loss about what to do. and to improve dramatically in other areas that will benefit your focus. your strengths and weaknesses and how others perceive your authenticity COURAGE: your level of courage and persistence. to start doing some new things that will support it. both personally and organizationally . That led me to crystallize my thoughts and experiences into 5 key questions for leaders. and I also have had the pleasure of being associated with leaders who knew the distinction between WHAT they were attempting to achieve and HOW they achieved it. your ability and willingness to identify and stop doing those things that don’t support your focus. So they reach out to ‘techniques’ to solve their dilemma. like you. your beliefs and values. which this book is designed around. inform and challenge you to become a great leader…the rest. and you won’t go astray. By answering these questions you will be led to discover insights and above all take action concerning five key facets of your leadership… FOCUS: Developing your leadership focus. That is why I have written this book. My focus is to enable others. understanding its true significance to the world around you and how truly committed you are to achieving it AUTHENTICITY: Discovering how much you know about yourself as an authentic leader.Many leaders however get caught somewhere between the two scenarios. Keep these questions foremost in your mind. is up to you.

use this book. you will find that there will be no turning back. and to empower others who share your focus TIMING: your sense of timing in getting things done when they need to be done. only if you truly have the desire to become a great leader… 4 . and to enable others to do the same I call this the FACET Leadership Model™. to develop an atmosphere of collegiality and inclusiveness. Your ability to get off the treadmill and concentrate on what matters most. Proceed only if you are serious.EMPATHY: your ability to listen to and work through other people. A word of caution however…once you start asking these five key questions. to garner support for your focus. The world needs great leaders…if you want to become one.

INTRODUCTION How to Lead People and Manage Things When writing this book. To complicate matters. “What’s the difference between leadership and management?” She went on to explain that she had been working as a manager for almost ten years. but not an easy one to answer. and had not yet discovered an answer that was satisfactory. But I hesitated before I recommended texts on leadership. In my reply to her I used the above quote. I asked myself why this was so? . Her question was simple. She asked me if I could recommend some texts to her that might lead her out of her dilemma. and the availability of English texts was limited. She asked. she was an English-speaking expatriate who worked for a government agency in the Czech Republic. I received an email from a manager in the Czech Republic who had read some of our published articles on leadership. which I have always felt captures a key distinguishing factor between the two related tasks of leading and managing. The reason for my hesitation was simple: texts written by consultants and academics differed dramatically from those written by leaders themselves. She had a question that had been causing her grief for some time.

to be true to themselves. and hoping to carve out a career as an educator. recognize and use their talents and abilities. it struck me that they never seemed to confuse leading and managing. She reminded me that the Guiding movement has always been strong on leadership fundamentals…they were also pretty darn good at managing. use their resources wisely. At the time. How do they do this? Some clues might be obtained from the fact that the whole movement is based on a simple ‘Promise and a Law’. The Law in turn challenges them to be honest. Her answer came in a discussion I had with her when I told her I was writing this book. Now. trustworthy. Having three daughters who all were (and two still are) part of this marvelous movement. my second eldest daughter Gillian. Each member is asked to make a sincere promise to do their best. probably a grade school teacher. They simply went about doing both at the same time. live with courage and strength and share in the sisterhood of Guiding.The answer came from an unusual source. protect our common environment. which is what every good leader does. 6 . what corporation do you know of that has similar promises and laws that every member must subscribe to and live up to? Not many would be my guess. It challenges girls to reach their potential and empowers them to give leadership and service as responsible citizens of the world. she was in her second year in university studying early childhood development. led by women. with some Principles added. nor got themselves in a tangle over the differences between them. respect themselves and others. They describe it as a Movement for girls. their God (or faith) and to accept the guiding Law.

policies and processes. while some may not. The leadership qualities that go into making the Guiding Movement so successful have stood the test of time. They provide this 'outcomes focus' for their organization by emphasizing the mission. and in their totality are unique to that movement. Authenticity . Now this book is not about the Guiding movement – it is about what works in leadership development…and more specifically. creative and innovative and avoid becoming fossilized through the adoption of bureaucratic structures.This is what makes the topic of this book so important to the whole subject of leadership. values and strategic goals of their organization and at the same time building the capacity of their organizations to achieve them. vision. and don’t get too married to the methods used to achieve them. as both an internal and external consultant and coach. Some of these facets may work for you and your organization. to help you or them become a high performance leader. what will work for you. or those you mentor or coach. I have isolated five key facets of leadership that are consistent with my personal research on leadership and with what I have personally observed effective leaders do…I call it the FACET Leadership Model™: Focus Authenticity Courage Empathy Timing Focus Effective leaders stay focused on the outcomes they wish to create. This begs the question ‘what are the key facets of high performance leadership that have universal application?’ From my work with leaders. This capacity building emphasizes the need to be flexible.

. and it stems from leaders who know themselves. the public or other stakeholders. Integrity in turn helps to build and maintain trust. be it their own team. which is the currency a leader needs in order to obtain sustained 'buy-in' from key stakeholders. who know her better. and require great courage to overcome.Leaders who are truly authentic attract true and loyal followers.it means calling people on their bluff. what they are focused on. come thick or thin. W. Standing firm in the face of criticism is one hallmark of courageous leaders. even if it is a great focus. what will happen when others. Simply put.. unions. For example. a BIG idea. and what they are capable of delivering. Edwards Deming referred to this as ‘constancy of purpose’. shifting an organization from being introspective to becoming customer focused requires courage when people pay lip service to the new direction. customers. one of the questions I ask them early on is ‘are you willing to stake your reputation and career on this (focus)?’ If the leader hesitates. After all. Followers know they can rely on them. demanding that they too be focused and authentic. call her on her level of commitment to the focus? 8 . authentic leaders are viewed as always being themselves…and therefore followers know what to expect from them. if the leader hesitates with me in a private coaching session. On the other hand. When I am coaching leaders. Leaders are constantly being challenged by others. having the courage to admit when they are wrong is also a hallmark of courageous leaders. Authenticity builds leadership integrity. even leaders who are viewed as being highly driven and maybe even difficult to work for. Courage The challenges facing leaders today are immense. I know that the leader is not yet ready and I will advise against moving forward at that time. The great quality pioneer.

But great leaders don't get bogged down in overly complicated or never-ending dialogue. They know when to 'fish or cut bait'. but they will always resist BEING changed’.. That’s not to say that they always promise to act on every piece of input they receive. They will say something like ‘We need to discuss this. and many leaders don’t make it. and they communicate this at the outset. don’t fake it’. which brings us on to the fifth facet. They seek to understand before acting and by doing so they legitimize others’ input. to have a say in decision making.. reach a decision and commit to a course of action by [date]’. action taking and in shaping the changes that affect them personally. They know that the vast majority of followers mainly want to be heard. All of the other facets must be viewed as subservient to getting the timing of critical decisions and actions right. Making a firm commitment has a single rule: ‘If you can’t make it. By coaching others to do the same. This may be so. There is a saying regarding change ‘People may resist change for a variety of reasons.Followers need to know just how committed a leader is to a declared focus. but just remember that the opposite of . Some leaders like to think that creating a ‘sense of urgency’ is critical in order to overcome complacency. When leaders engage in focused dialogue. It’s one of the very first tests of leadership. Empathy Effective leaders know how to listen empathically. leaders create a culture of inclusiveness. they promote consensus building. and when not to. This applies throughout your organization. Timing The single most critical facet is in knowing when to make critical decisions and take appropriate actions in support of your focus. and as a consequence people feel less like change is being forced upon them.

Great leaders move with appropriate speed. they engage in timely follow-through to ensure actions that are committed to happen in a well-coordinated and timely way. which is no way to run a business... despite what the theorists have to say on the matter. 10 . and how to get their team to prioritize. and sometimes there is a need to act fast. As well.’ The truth is that timing is vitally important…sometimes there is a need to hold off on critical decisions or actions. As one leader I know put it ‘we went from sleepy hollow to an organization that had teams for everything. By creating a sense of urgency. Get the timing wrong on critical decisions and everything else is nullified.complacency is chaos. They don't believe that everything must be done immediately. all engaged in an orgy of misdirected problem solving and ‘innovations’ that had little or no focused impact. Knowing the difference is absolutely critical to successfully executing your focus.they know how to prioritize. you may end up with bunches of people running around looking busy and acting out their own misdirected and misaligned versions of your strategy.

upon closer observation other facets become observable. start by asking yourself the following key questions: How focused am I? How much of my time do I spend communicating and inspiring people about our mission. do I always keep that commitment? How high is my ‘integrity quotient?’ How courageous am I? Do I have the courage to stand my ground when my focus and values are challenged? Do I stand firm. regardless of your position in your organization. that do not support the focus? Am I viewed as authentic? Do people see and hear the real me? Do I wear a mask at work. Any person can aspire to being a great leader by working on these facets. and remove it when I leave each evening? When I commit to something. or achieving false consensus? . Just as one would look at the facets of a diamond.Take the FACET Leadership Model Self-Test These facets of high performance leadership are not exhaustive. values or strategic goals? How much focus do I create in my organization? How married am I/my organization to methods that have outlived their usefulness. At the end of each chapter in this book is a set of questions pertaining to the facet covered in the chapter. and only change my position when I know that I am wrong? How well do I communicate what’s not negotiable (the focus) and what is (how to achieve the focus)? How empathetic am I? Do I show too much/too little empathy? Do I create enough opportunities for open and candid dialogue? Do I ever find myself getting bogged down in consensus building. vision. If you are in a leadership role. and will provide greater insight into how you can improve as a leader. Asking yourself these questions will allow you to reflect on your leadership style.

. 12 . but only if you are prepared to make the effort. including customers? Do I make and execute decisions in a timely fashion? Do I know when to 'fish or cut bait?' Do I demand well-coordinated and timely execution of strategy from others? Do I follow-up regularly? Asking these questions in a candid way will open up many possibilities for you and your organization.Is there a feeling of inclusiveness amongst the members of my immediate team. my organization. keep in mind that your diligent attendance to these five facets is what will distinguish you as a great leader in the true sense of the word…it will present to you many opportunities to develop and share your leadership skills. and with other stakeholders..if you have the courage to do it. As you make your way through this book.

Fred Smith of Fed-Ex. Jack Welch of GE. Stick to one thing until you get there” . Rosa Parks. Kennedy. They all had BIG ideas. Sam Walton. describing it clearly and unambiguously. On the other hand. Mahatma Gandhi. history has provided us with examples of leaders who have pursued a BIG idea and have had no problem in recruiting dedicated people to their cause. but in the final analysis it is their BIG ideas that they are remembered most for. Nelson Mandela. . It might be argued that many of these had a personal charisma.CHAPTER 1: THE POWER OF FOCUS “Be like a postage stamp. Think of President John F. but we all know that this type of ‘pop idol’ followership simply does not endure. and assessing your readiness to move forward with it.Mary Carty Focus of this chapter: Developing the ability to be focused on creating an outcome that matters and will endure. One BIG idea that endures A leader without a clear focus to offer can have no true followers…what would they follow? They might follow the person because he or she is ‘charismatic’. Walt Disney.

and followers find such meaning in them that they simply wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but behind the leader and be part of something BIG. 14 . What do I mean by a BIG idea? The following are some noteworthy examples: John F. Kennedy Gandhi Nelson Mandela Rosa Parks A man on the moon by the end of the decade Peaceful opposition An end to apartheid “No” (her simple refusal to give up her seat on a bus to a white man) Be #1 or #2 in each of our business sectors Make people happy Everyday low prices Jack Welch (GE) Walt Disney Sam Walton (Wal-Mart) Fred Smith (Fed-Ex) Overnight parcel delivery BIG ideas? You bet! Crystal clear? That too! These are what I call ‘The Great Attractors’ – ideas or stances that are so compelling that the leader becomes obsessed with achieving them.While they all had crises to overcome from time to time. they did not believe that overcoming a crisis was enough of a legacy to leave behind. or that it was necessarily the mark of a good leader.

i. Attract big thinkers and big doers. BIG people.e. Play with it for a while. and they also knew that they were not involved in a popularity contest. i. mission. but for now just work with the criteria above. or strategy) into a shorter statement. Don’t worry if it may seem to others to be unachievable. ones that are larger than life are attracted to BIG ideas and then they make them happen. Attract to your ideas only those who want to share in the challenge and the adventure. The leaders mentioned above had their detractors. the statement must contain no less than FIVE words and no more than NINE. core philosophy. but it should hold up well against the following criteria: • • • • • Does it describe what you want to create? Can you be crystal clear about it? Are you truly committed to it? Is it a significant departure from ‘business as usual’? Will it be inspiring for you and others? You will have the opportunity to conduct a more in-depth self-assessment of your focus at the end of this chapter.How clear and compelling are your ideas? Here’s a short exercise: Try to distil your focus (it could be your vision. fine-tune it until you come up with something that is a ‘great attractor’. Now.e. . Use the “Rule of 7. how does your focus stack up against the leaders’ focus listed earlier? It does not have to be as grand as theirs. values. plus or minus 2”.

One BIG Crisis does not make a leader So now you’re at a point where you have developed a clear and inspiring focus that you are truly committed to.You too will have your detractors. His popularity however rose dramatically when he was able to focus his county’s attention on his one BIG idea: “We will have a man on the moon before the end of this decade”. whether it is politics. sports or business have led in this fashion: they have had at least one BIG idea to pursue plus one BIG crisis to manage. But the world does not owe you anything. and more than his share of BIG crises to deal with. and they pursued the former as tenaciously as they fought to overcome the latter. But Welch never bought in to that complacency. retired Chair and CEO of GE. If you do you will lose focus and then very quickly lose followers. 16 . Kennedy entered office he had a thin margin of support over Richard Nixon. Most leaders who have gone into the annals of history. rose to prominence because he had more than one BIG idea. In the early 1980’s when he took the helm at GE. His first BIG idea was to focus his managers’ attention on being the #1 or #2 in their respective business sectors. even though he wasn’t around to see it come through. He had different ideas…BIG ideas. and sometimes it has a strange way of reminding you of that. His followership also grew when he had to deal with his one BIG crisis. In a business context. When President John F. and he had the courage and energy to pursue them. the Cuban missile threat. Jack Welch. the mood inside the company was one of complacency. Don’t let them mess with your BIG idea.

he further reinforced his authenticity and courage before he established his focus. having joined GE in 1960. bureaucracy and a bloated organizational hierarchy. included a major move towards globalization. His one BIG crisis was to overcome complacency. successful. . After all. GE was an established. If anyone thought that there wasn’t a crisis. took on a whole new importance. not everyone shared his view that this was a crisis. By dealing squarely with a crisis.And he and his team have never let go of that idea. If they could not be #1 or #2. they were soon relieved of that illusion. Since then his other BIG ideas. a substantial increase in high tech services and of course the now famous bottom line approach to Six Sigma Quality. then they were forced to make tough decisions. He was a twenty-year ‘veteran’.5 billion profits in 1980 to $110 billion revenues and close to $10 billion in profits in 1999. all successfully pursued. ‘mature’ company. Initially. being #1 or #2 in their respective sector.000 to 229. which they did. GE grew from $25 billion in sales and $1. He nevertheless showed relentless determination and courage in removing layers of bureaucracy and overcoming complacency. During the 1980’s. For those that remained. he reduced the workforce from 404.000…he became known as ‘Neutron Jack’. the BIG idea. And he wasn’t an outside manager parachuted in to ‘do a turnaround’.

What do I mean by direction of motivation? A person drawn to your big idea can be said to have a ‘towards’ motivation. If you can have BOTH motivations working at once. but most of us have a particular preference or bias for one direction over the other. a BIG crisis.g.. while those with a bias for an ‘away from’ motivation tend to be good problem solvers. while some people are motivated to take action only when there is a ‘real and present danger’. only to falter afterwards because they did not have or could not execute a BIG idea. Bill Gates (love him or hate him!) But think also of those leaders who were successful when a BIG crisis loomed. then FOCUS your message accordingly. Winston Churchill. We all are motivated in these two directions depending on the circumstances.That’s what a clear focus did for them. What motivates people to follow a leader? Some people are drawn to lofty visions. and Jimmy Carter. a BIG idea. People with a bias for a ‘towards’ motivation tend to be the dreamers and innovators. then you have a powerful driver of actions. 18 . How can you get both types on your side? Don’t just identify what motivates them.g. George Bush Snr. e. e. whereas a person motivated by a big crisis can be said to have an ‘away from’ motivation. There are many other examples of successful leaders who had BIG ideas AND had to manage through BIG crises. but also identify their direction of motivation.

and what will NOT achieving this focus do to us?) must be believable and credible. the consequences are best spoken about as if they were already happening. using the present tense. In both cases. or even downsizing and layoffs. For example. which deals with this in much more detail. For now. then you need to go back to the drawing board and come up with a new or revised focus. In the next chapter we will deal with the subject of Authenticity. Those with a ‘towards motivation’ will be motivated by what achieving that goal will do for them. your big idea. If you have difficulty believing what these consequences are. perhaps even increasing their own market worth as well as that of the organization. keep in mind that your commitment to your FOCUS needs to be born out of a strong belief in the consequences that you will be articulating. is for your organization to be an acknowledged centre of excellence in your industry. The consequences (what will achieving this focus do for us. Those with an ‘away from’ motivation will be motivated by a message that clearly articulates what will happen if the FOCUS is NOT achieved…perhaps it will mean a reduction in their market worth. in order for motivation to occur. Let’s say that your chosen focus.You need both types on your side. . being a contributing member of a center of excellence will bring personal and professional recognition.

This has to be absolutely central to the success of your organization. discuss them. and barriers. timelines. establish an emotional connection with them. at the time each focus was established. there was no discussion on means.Tips for creating a clear focus Let’s get even clearer about ‘focus’. but only after your initial focus is achieved and imbedded in the culture of your organization. a company many times their size. 20 . These ‘details’ would be left open in order to attract others to join in. They adopted the phrase “Circle C”. When that happens. they will develop the ability over time to have multiple focal points. It lays the foundation for even greater achievements into the future. and always allowing as much room for creativity and innovation as possible. And that result endures…it’s not a once off goal. people will be able to tune in to other things to focus on in addition to the initial focus. resources. An Enduring End Result In all of the examples given. No doubts about where they set their sights! GE adopted a focus of being #1 or #2 in each business sector that they were in. the C standing for Caterpillar. the focus was on the desired end result. overarching focus. Komatsu adopted a central theme when they decided to take on Caterpillar. A clear focus is: A Central Theme First of all. In time. But start with a single. Also. a focus is your central theme. you may move your focus to something else. and they were relentless about pursuing it. In other words.

a central theme. He knew that if he didn’t he would fail. A Call to Action Leaders who have such an overarching goal. and failure on such a grand scale was not on his leadership agenda. while they stayed loyal to the focus. the ‘what’. Much Higher Standard ‘It can’t be done!’ comes the rebuttal as the leader announces her new focus. They had an iron will and a relentless FOCUS on the end result. measurable. refocused it and gave it a ‘workout’ to get it fit to do battle. But they succeeded. to others. He took the slimmed down organization. A New. continuous improvement powerhouse. This cuts right across the textbook advice often given in business schools around adopting goals that are ‘SMART’ (specific.and it was the foundation for GE becoming a team based. Neither was there any reference to the advisability or do-ability of the focus. He called it the GE Workout™ . They start by taking action themselves. achievable. the ‘how’. Jack Welch of GE took action in the 1980’s when he had to scale down his organization and remove layers of bureaucracy. realistic. In many cases the leaders were viewed as ‘out to lunch’. He didn’t stop there either. out of touch with ‘reality’.Leaving this amount of space for people is one of the key ingredients that make each focus a ‘great attractor’. even out of step with ‘what the market wants’. time-lined) – the focus of our leaders above was on ‘specific and measurable’…they left the details. also focus people on taking action. .

‘we’re going to do it – so lead.. no one else has ever attempted it. This stop-start-improve approach is unsettling for many people. coach them. If you don’t. 22 . follow or get out of the way!’ New. IMPROVE something that we are currently doing. But don’t stop there. reward them and recognize them. much higher standards call for dramatic change. we don’t have the capacity. train them. START doing something new (that we may not have a clue about…yet).‘Why not?’ the leader replies. Change calls for actions on a number of fronts: STOP doing something we have always done. the market won’t take to it. we already have a focus: survival!’ ‘But…’ said the leader. Promote them. we’re bleeding red ink. and you will have to rely on the detractors and fence sitters.. they will up and leave. Use these champions as examples of the new higher standard. but need to do dramatically better. the unions will go on a rampage. for these are your champions of change – the ones who will work long hours and dedicate themselves to making it happen.except those who are attracted to BIG ideas. ‘Because. encourage them.

. but don’t overdo it. Some will leave the organization because the challenge will be just too much for them. You will fail. And some you will just have to fire. but it will take a while and there are no guarantees. Some of the detractors and fence sitters may come over and become champions. To answer some of these questions you will have to send out some ‘trial balloons’.And then your attempts at change will feel like trying to bowl uphill in the snow. Do that first. with a highest possible score of 85. to test out your focus with others. There are 17 questions in total. But don’t just use the score to make your decision…move forward only when YOU feel ready. and means that you are probably ready to move forward with conviction. or it’s not what they originally signed up for. On the following pages we have included a self-assessment questionnaire that will enable you to test your focus. Modify the questionnaire to suit your needs. Anywhere between 68 and 85 is regarded as high.

even allowing others to plant seeds of doubt in the minds of followers. consequences that will occur if the FOCUS is NOT achieved). Use the present tense: 24 . But it’s not easy.e. It’s really quite simple. In that crowd. you will stand out from the crowd.e. plus or minus 2): My FOCUS (Use the present tense): Describe the ‘towards’ motivators (i. many leaders allow themselves to be distracted. Use the present tense: Describe the ‘away from’ motivators (i. describe your focus (remember the Rule of 7. you should have a good feel for what your ‘focus’ is all about. To help you with that. Don’t let this happen to you. consequences that will occur as the FOCUS is achieved). That’s what makes focused leadership so powerful – not all leaders achieve it. here are some self-test questions that you can use in addition to the main criteria used earlier: First. When you do.Self-Assessment: Do you have an inspiring FOCUS? By now.

I am willing to STAKE my career and reputation on it 10. My FOCUS is central to the success of my organization 4. rate your focus using the following five-point scale: 1 = Strongly Disagree 2 = Disagree 3 = Neither Agree nor Disagree 4 = Agree 5 = Strongly Agree Question 1. My FOCUS includes a call to action 16. I can describe the CONSEQUENCES of achieving it 17. My FOCUS will endure & form a foundation for greater things to follow 14. My FOCUS gets me out of bed in the morning 6. My FOCUS sets a new. My FOCUS excites me 5. These other key players have the ENERGY to see it through 12. My FOCUS gets a negative reaction from some people 13. I can describe the CONSEQUENCES of NOT achieving it Total Score: Score . My FOCUS sometimes keeps me awake at night 7. My FOCUS sometimes scares me 8. My FOCUS is specific and measurable 3. My FOCUS is clear and unambiguous 2. much higher standard 15. My FOCUS excites other key players 11. I have the ENERGY to see it through 9.Rate Your FOCUS Now.

which pure science has great difficulty in dealing with.Total the score you have awarded to your FOCUS. Some points may still need some work. Ask other key players to ‘take the test’ and discuss the results with you. • Keep in mind that a high score does not mean that your FOCUS is flawless. and which bears your hallmark. which no doubt would be different than yours. • • • • • • If someone else were in your leadership position. always remember that it is your focus. Use dialogue to refine your focus…but always. Make it matter. Refine the above questions. Make a decision…are you ready to move forward with it? This is not a ‘scientific’ process. they would come up with their own focus. Review your notes as well as your score! Revise your FOCUS if necessary and adjust your rating. 26 . Think of your focus as your leadership legacy…something BIG and exciting that you successfully lead people towards. People tend to respond to a focus emotionally. a score between 51 and 68 means that your FOCUS could do with some refining. A score below 51 means that your FOCUS requires major rework. even add your own. a score above 68 means that you are probably ready to move forward.

A final note on FOCUS One of the determining factors that separate high performance leadership from all other calibre of leadership is the ability of the leader to focus attention. ‘How far can we take this…how big can we grow it…and how fast can we get there?’” Will people question your focus? Sure they will. not just on dealing effectively with BIG crises. their own and others. This brings us on to the next chapter… . but on creating and executing BIG ideas that will move their organizations. or as Jack Welch so aptly put it: “With leadership the question at the beginning and at the end of the day is. their communities. their industries (and even the entire world) forward. The latter is what eventually stirs people to action.

28 .

This is when you must draw upon your greatest asset – yourself. So what is authenticity? . No ‘mirror. it will show through with others and you run the risk of being perceived as inauthentic.CHAPTER 2: AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP “Be yourself. your integrity is now on the line. to talk about your feelings in a given situation. even a fake. Congratulations! With the rollout of your focus. including those times when even your staunchest backers will seem to doubt your sanity. No ego trips. In your darkest moments you will sometimes admit to yourself that you must be crazy. To do that you must know yourself – intimately. If you cannot be open and candid with yourself. There is no turning back. you still feel strongly enough about it to move forward. to encourage others to take the same risk and reveal their authentic selves. to avoid wearing a mask. Everyone else is already taken” – James Joyce Focus of this chapter: To develop the ability to be yourself at all times. Know your strengths and your limitations. Even though it may not exactly meet all the criteria covered earlier. to avoid manipulative behavior and so build trust with those around you. Showing the real you So. mirror on the wall’ here. you have developed a powerful and inspiring focus.

I will demand the same of everyone else that I work with…I will set the example” • • • • • • • This is a tall order for most of us. I will do the same with other committed team players” “I recognize that when I trip up and fall. to trust in you.It’s about understanding enough about yourself to be able to step forward with confidence and say things like: • “I know what I’m good at and what I’m not so good at. really good at what I neither have the time for or the ability to do myself” “I will build a truly diversified team who can get the job done. I will not wear a mask” “I will deal with issues in a way that acknowledges how I truly feel about the situation. who can achieve the focus” “When I mess up I will ‘fess up. I will forgive myself and move on. it’s because I am moving. I will not skirt an issue in order to curry favor or look good” “I will avoid engaging in manipulative behaviors and face reality. I will build on my strengths and shore up my weaknesses” “I will surround myself with people who are good. But in order for people to follow you it is absolutely critical for them to see you as you are. 30 . to believe in you. and that without movement there can be no progress” “I will be myself at all times.

We tend to pay less outward attention to our weaknesses and more to our strengths. confident and powerful. His story is one of remarkable courage and personal change. to ultimately a discovery of his real self and his true focus. and the attention of other adults in our lives who hold tremendous power over us.which reflects Jaworski’s own journey. . On the inside however they may have serious feelings of weakness and insecurity. author and leader Joseph Jaworski describes his personal journey from being a highly successful. We learn this very early in life as we compete for our parents’ attention. with the purpose of developing collaborative leadership to deal with urban and regional problems in the United States. Some people even grow up with ‘imposter’ personalities…they continually try to show an image to the outside world of someone who is always in control.The leader’s inner journey Recommended Reading In his bestselling book Synchronicity – The Inner Path of Leadership. and therefore we try to become one. During his journey he encountered many facets of himself that were not very attractive…he faced many monsters and overcame them. through a period of inner reflection. at home and at work. . We do this in school. but above all it’s a story of someone in a search to discover his authentic self. How can you achieve greater self-knowledge? One of the greatest capacities we possess as humans is our ability to deceive ourselves. We form the perception that powerful people admire and support other powerful people. doubt and confusion. The very first proposition is stated as: ‘The trouble with American leaders is their lack of self-knowledge’. We learn that to show signs of weakness in the presence of people with power might not be a very smart move. from time to time. in extracurricular activities. a non-governmental agency he founded. The Forum has based its work on eight propositions concerning leadership. or at least form an image of ourselves as powerful. who created a curriculum for The American Leadership Forum. in our hobbies. reminds us of our human weaknesses. But inside many of us is a nagging voice that. something he was not trained for in his twenty years as an attorney. which is creating leaders at all levels in the community. on the sports field. He also managed somehow to attract to his BIG idea some of the greatest experts on leadership. top notch attorney.

If you want to get the most authentic effort from people. discovers some things about himself. warts and all. The only problem is that the newly empowered people are minted in the image and likeness of their leader. with the express aim of creating ‘empowered leaders at every level in our organization’. who end up continually looking over their shoulders and wondering ‘how the boss might do it’…no authorship. He struggles with the question that his people do not feel a sense of authorship for their work. So I’ll park my ego. just failed attempts at plagiarism. and through a series of meetings with her.There are many self-help tools available for discovering our true selves. when asked by a group of his followers for his input on a proposed process improvement replied: ‘My ideas on this are all flawed. even though he felt he was technically good at delegation and follow-up. Allow them to be their authentic selves. not a fake you. you need to lead by example by being authentic yourself. but my need for control is encouraging me to interfere nonetheless. they launch into an empowerment program. To do this. You guys have this cornered…I trust your wisdom and judgment and I won’t second-guess you’. Many leaders unwittingly disempower people. This came from a leader who had a reputation for interfering and secondguessing. Help others become leaders too Recommended Reading In their book “Leading with Soul”. insecurities and all. 32 . The result is an imperfect attempt at cloning other people as leaders. without interference from you. let them truly be the authors and designers. released their creativity and produced a process improvement that was nothing short of astounding. authors Bolman and Deal describe the journey of Steve. The result was astonishing. Being authentic means letting go One leader I worked with. and they make an excellent starting point for leaders who understand the value of selfdiscovery. Not knowing their authentic self. a beleaguered executive and his quest for passion and purpose in work and in life. The team working on the process improvement stopped looking over their collective shoulders. Steve consults with his mentor. and zip my lip.

comply or just plain ignore you. and the whole basis for trust is authenticity.they will revolt. The event was a watershed for the leader and the group. Set goals for that. We feel responsible. Try to ‘manage’ a person and you will achieve one of three outcomes . and the group had recognized it. Being authentic has a synergistic effect The renowned quality guru Joseph M. If you want to manage a person. Where people are concerned. In fact the leader would openly discuss his attempts at self-discovery and authenticity during weekly management meetings. and you will be left wondering why people ‘resist change’. it is the relationship between you and them. how much authorship are you going to allow your team in putting the pieces in place to achieve it? When we truly author something we take ownership.In truth. try ‘managing’ yourself. We feel proud of our effort and accomplishment. Nothing else will work. Control what YOU do in the relationship. Our minds are engaged. what has authenticity got to do with it? The bottom line on this is that people generally seek to develop relationships with other people whom they feel they can trust. When this happens there is less need for such things as ‘accountability contracts’. Development simply happens naturally when you let go. Mediocre performance will be the result. You wouldn’t want to develop a relationship with someone you thought of as being a fake. The group was not about to let their newfound authorship slip out of their grasp! When you establish your focus. When you see how difficult that is. imagine the outcome when you try to control and improve someone else. So if switching the emphasis from managing people to managing relationships is key. ‘360 feedback’ or other instruments of control that masquerade as exercises in human resource development. Lead people…manage things. one that they talked about for some time after. when the truth of the matter is that people don’t resist change so much as they resist being changed. this leader had been going through a personal transformation for some time. our hearts are aroused and our spirit is revived. Juran defined management as the practice of controlling and improving things. our hands are kept busy. if there is anything to manage. would you? . Focus on that. The sad fact of the matter is that many leaders have made the mistake of trying to apply that to people. Improve the relationship.

aimed at a revival of the Japanese firm. born in Brazil. By January 2002. raised in Lebanon and a French citizen. This was good news for him.Think of this as a reinforcing loop (see Fig 1). But Ghosn had different plans. came to Nissan in 1999 to head up a turnaround. and many observers doubted if an outsider could do much to rescue the troubled automaker. but that’s okay because there’s a lot of forgiveness in this relationship”). specifically a three-year plan announced in October 1999. More authenticity leads to a higher degree of mutual trust. which empowers relationships and fuels the desire to take risks and inspires people to be the author of something BIG. 34 . which in turn reinforces authenticity. because he promised to resign if the goals were not achieved. he already exceeded the three-year goals outlined in the plan. He is the star of “Big Comic Superior”. At that time Nissan was deep in debt. a serious biweekly Japanese comic book that began telling his life story in the latter half of 2001. Mutual Trust at Nissan Carlos Ghosn (rhymes with phone) is a comic book hero in Japan. Ghosn. (“I might fail. This produces more personal and organizational successes.

even if it is difficult. including spending on new product development representing five percent of sales. including the closure of five plants. he never lost sight of the need to involve people. and this is very important. This is extremely important.000 jobs to stay afloat. Not bad for a comic book hero.” And his plan was not without pain. . if they trust you. if your people are fired up about the plan. up from 3. But he didn’t just deal with the crisis…the other part of his plan was to reinvigorate Nissan’s product lineup. you can do anything. as he tells it in his own words: “Our industry. but at the end a lot of sorrow” Despite having to achieve a turnaround. A big crisis followed by a big idea. Anytime any car manufacturer has deviated from this. You’re going to be successful. is about products.His focus was clear. He had to cut more than 21. He knew enough about his own limitations to know that the turnaround needed a solid team effort and to achieve that goal required a very high degree of mutual trust. at the beginning there was some hype.5 percent. no doubt about it. This is the most important element. He credits the success of the Nissan Revival Plan to one element: “From the beginning. If you have this. if they believe it is going to be successful. I was convinced that the main key to success is you establish trust with your employees and try to make sure they are motivated for what they are doing.

considerate and kind…just as they would be with your best and most trusted friend. You are a complex human being. child or parent. imperfections and for being human. sweetheart. If you expect to live for another ten. you erode the trust that needs to exist with your inner self. The only way that you could get to know them better was to spend more time with them. When you beat up on yourself. Be your own best friend. apart from yourself. how can you expect others to trust you? When you do trust yourself. 36 . especially things about yourself that you may have put on the back burner or have given the least amount of attention to in the past. Explore all aspects of yourself. without interruptions. think what you could achieve in that timeframe! Time is a resource…use your time spent alone to plan what you will do with the rest of your time. Each person who gives you feedback has a unique perspective about you…but it is just that…unique. Ask yourself searching questions. Show yourself the same kindness and consideration you would show to others in getting to know them.Tips for discovering your true self In discovering your true self. Find solitude. Would you trust someone who keeps beating you up emotionally every time you have a conversation? No. Do this for yourself as well. escape to a place where you can be alone. thirty. Seek feedback from those who know you. your conversations will become much more candid. Remember the last time when you wanted to get to know someone better? Maybe it was your spouse. Face the future…let go of the past. and the best way of letting go of the past is to grab hold of the future and start living it now! Learn how to trust yourself. Avoid glib questions such as “If I had only six months to live…” when in reality this is not the case. Ask for candid feedback. stop berating yourself for past wrongs. twenty. In your discussions with yourself. You can’t change the past. If you can’t trust yourself. but be kind and considerate to yourself in the process. forty years. honest. which no other human being. but do not let it define you. of course not! So don’t do it to yourself. consider the following tips as you embark on your journey: Spend more time with yourself. will ever fully know.

Control is an illusion. Treat self-discovery as a lifelong journey We are constantly changing. Plan to have at least a once a year getaway where you can be by yourself for considerable periods of time. Find a coach or mentor. DiSC.Add the feedback to the information about yourself that you gather from other sources. A coach or mentor can help you develop and answer the important questions that matter only to you. Keep in mind that you are unique. Don’t limit yourself to these tips…neither are they ‘steps’ to be worked on in sequence. Professional coaches have a Human Resources and/or professional coaching accreditation. your vision. By letting go of the need to control and manipulate. to reflect on who you are. Use but avoid too much reliance on standardized tests and assessments (e. coupled with experience to make a difference. While these are definitely helpful. Find one you feel you can trust. Let go of the disabling belief that you need to control people and what they do. If your focus is truly inspiring and leads people to a higher purpose in life.. People will always find ways to circumvent or overcome the artificial controls we put in place that box them in and suffocate their spirit. then you cannot help but succeed. and other personality type assessments). It has been said that the role of a leader is to find out what people really want. but don’t delay. and try not to ‘label’ yourself or your personality. what you have. MBTI. and then to help them obtain it. add what you feel will work for you. your purpose. and understand how the world sees you. they have been developed with broad application in mind. . not necessarily one you are ‘cosy’ with. Let go It’s easier than you think. to gracefully articulate it. someone who is not heavily involved in your life and who is not related to you. and need to continuously update our ‘body of knowledge’ about ourselves. what you’ve achieved and where you’re headed. you release a great energy.and it begins with being honest with yourself. seek out other resources.. Adapt them to your purpose.g. This requires great honesty and transparency from you. This energy will attract to you those people who share in your focus.

Here’s an example… BW: What is your vision for (organization) Manager: To be the best quality. I ask them to articulate their vision or purpose. I ask the same question again “…and what will having THAT do for you?” I keep asking it until I hit a nerve. lowest cost producer in our industry BW: What will having that do for you? Manager: Maximize market share and profitability BW: …and what will having THAT do for you? Manager: Provide security for our employees and an above average return for our investors BW: …and what will having THAT do for you? Manager: (getting a little bit peeved): I guess that’s it BW: Is that all? Manager: (smiling) They’re not bad outcomes! BW: Is that how you want to be remembered when you’ve passed out of this life? Manager: (looking puzzled) I thought that your questions were focused on the business outcomes? BW: Maybe we need to change the FOCUS? Manager: (still looking puzzled) What do you mean? 38 . I ask “What will having that do for you?” When they give me an answer. When they do. that serves a higher purpose? Does it serve your higher purpose in life? When I coach managers.Summary of Key Questions Now take another look at your FOCUS that you worked on in the first chapter. Is this really you? Does it articulate what you believe people want.

So if your BIG idea does not contribute to building a ‘better clock’. Recommended Reading In their bestselling book. and outlive their founders (that was their BIG idea). In fact. Will some people take advantage of that? Probably. Manager: I think I’m beginning to get your drift… Then follows a longer discussion on the meaning of personal vision or purpose. Built to Last. the ‘clock builders’ personal visions were to build great companies that would survive and thrive. I could go to work for one of your competitors. or as a customer buy from them. Forget what you learned about business being ‘objective’. i. ROI. as you exhibit more and more of your true self. is far too big a price to pay in order to avoid the hurt of being betrayed by some. the manager will come to the conclusion that vision or purpose is highly individualized. . whereas the ‘time tellers’ were mostly interested in what they could extract from their companies in terms of profits. how long will it last after you are gone? Does your BIG idea have your hallmark stamped on it. they will be boilerplate followers. followers may at first think that you have gone too far. They describe one set as ‘clock builders’ and the other as ‘time tellers’. a company built on lasting values. otherwise we risk being inauthentic…having our real selves and our business selves as two separate entities. that you have exposed too many vulnerabilities. that serves a higher purpose. being secretive and manipulative.BW: What is YOUR vision or purpose? What you told me is almost a boilerplate reply that 95% of managers give me. At a certain point. and we had therefore better make it personal. ‘fact based’ and ‘impersonal’. In other words. authors James Collins and Jerry Porras make a real distinction between the two types of organizations that were the subject of their extensive investigations into what makes companies last. Being authentic does not mean being perfect. If you attract people to a boilerplate vision. The truth is that we spend half (or more) of our waking hours in business situations. etc. I wouldn’t be at all impressed.e. have a positive impact on the world. does it express the unique and authentic you? Will it outlive you? Only you can judge this. But the alternative. and follow the same vision. highly personal. Hardly unique…hardly compelling. being whiter than the driven snow. If I were one of your employees or customers.

and they from you. that matter most to you: • As you examine your focus. Learn to talk sincerely about your feelings in given situations.Being authentic. Consider discovery of your weaknesses as an opportunity to strengthen your team…find people to join your team who have these as strengths. Authenticity reveals itself in a renewed commitment to the achievement of something worthwhile. expect some profound discoveries and changes on their part. the world at large?) Don’t be afraid to explore. Don’t let your personal dragons stop you. This groundswell will eventually overwhelm any attempts to exploit your very human vulnerabilities. there are no ‘standard’ questions to offer you here. As you reveal your strengths and weaknesses to your followers. feel it and hear it…and so your own commitment will be reinforced and gain strength. but it still didn’t stop them. the industries you work in. This tells people more about the authentic you than any amount of advocating or proselytizing could ever do. their maps showed areas which read ‘There be dragons”. Understand that people will initially expect more of you in terms of personal change than they will of themselves. Use it to create an ever-widening groundswell of support for your focus. and then as people get on board. This is natural as there will be a time lag between your self-discovery and that of many others. the communities you serve. Unlike the questions that we asked at the end of the previous chapter on focus. The questions that you need to ask yourself concerning your authenticity are personal and unique to you. What I can offer is a guide to finding the questions that you need to explore yourself. • • • • • • • 40 . unlocks energies and creates synergies that would otherwise have been wasted on other pursuits. Keep your word. Make use of this energy. Be careful therefore about what you commit to and be specific about it. When the ancient mariners took off on their voyages. People around you will see it. ask them to follow you on your journey towards self-discovery. or the vulnerabilities of those around you. You will literally gain strength from those around you. your followers. Expect some initial resistance. as discussed earlier. think about its higher purpose (what will achieving your focus do for you.

. correct it and move on. More harm is done to leaders’ reputations when they hide a wrong than there is when they admit to it. don’t dwell on it. When you do admit a wrong.• Admit when you are wrong.

the being a force of nature instead of a feverish.being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. Writer and playwright George Bernard Shaw put it rather bluntly when he said: "This is the true joy in life -. 42 . which is the subject of our next chapter. a ton of courage. So if all you have to lose is a mask. why not do it? We become truly authentic when we develop a deep understanding of who we are as unique human beings.A final note on AUTHENTICITY Being authentic requires that we drop all masks and reveal our true selves. Showing the real you requires. you guessed it. This understanding brings joy into our lives and into the lives of others. the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap. and what worthwhile purpose we’re pursuing. selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy" Nothing but the real you deserves success.

To avoid playing this blame game. What about that failed expensive computer system introduced last year. it demonstrates a distinct lack of self-awareness or selfknowledge on their part – and it scuttles more plans and great ideas along the way than most leaders will care to admit to. which can wreck an organization. no liking for it merely for its own sake” – Robert Moses Focus of this chapter: The courage to persistently challenge the status quo.CHAPTER 3: THE POWER TO LEAD…THE COURAGE TO WIN “Have no fear of change as such. When people point the finger at others and spend time discussing how others are resisting change. not just incremental improvements. Sometimes this is so cleverly disguised even I get drawn in…and I’ve been at this for over twenty-five years. that if only those folks in marketing REALLY understood? And what about that product or program launch that fizzled out – if only those folks in operations put their back behind it. the answer for you as a leader is to lead by personal example. it never ceases to amaze me how much they seem to know about the changes that the other person or persons in their lives need to embrace. An odd thing about organizational change When I talk with people about change. and on the other hand. to take calculated risks and to strive for breakthroughs. Giving people enough time to deal with their losses before moving on to achieve the focus. . things WOULD have been different.

You need to be able to manage your stress. It also means keeping options open for as long as possible to allow for changing circumstances. And this is where it can get stressful. As you grapple with this challenge. People who run these programs have invested long hours. They probably even have ‘new’ plans on the drawing board to improve or revitalize them. In a previous chapter. as a leader. services and processes do we need to discontinue or phase out because they no longer support the focus? The greatest challenge here will be disturbing the status quo. Emphasize the need to honor past accomplishments. They may even be passionate about them.An odd thing about organizational change…it really is personal. much sweat and a great deal of themselves in making them work. programs. It means. and it will demand a great deal of courage. you need to ask the following key questions. 44 . it’s now time to work collaboratively with others to ‘make it happen’. but other people in the organization are also affected in a more subtle ‘it could be me next time’ way. especially on your part. that you are going to be challenged to ‘nail things down’ (“What we need around here is more accountability…”) and at the same time. This is where leading by example will be your best ally. Expect the strongest resistance here. Leading change With your focus already communicated and hopefully understood. give people sufficient time to mourn the losses they are experiencing. to close the book on the past and then move on. and new opportunities. In attempting to achieve your focus. you must demand the same of the people who report to you. we talked about the STOP – START – IMPROVE approach to leading change. Keep in mind that it’s not just the people who are directly affected by these changes that you need to be concerned about. to find the answers: STOP: Which existing lines of business. This means figuring out the myriad details that must fit together into a coherent plan of action…in fact many plans. products. ‘uproot things’ (“Why can’t our people be more innovative risk takers?”) Achieving a delicate balance between these two distinctly different orientations is challenging.

Celebrate the successes…and personally lead these celebrations. IMPROVE: Which existing lines of business. this disturbs the status quo. Emphasize the need for innovation. . in order to achieve the focus? Expect a lot of jockeying for favor here between those things that people want to discontinue versus improve. products. Watch out for competitiveness between this and the other two approaches.START: Which new lines of business. Expect a lot of interest and competition for positions on project teams here. start. So what do you. lead by personal example. or have not practiced enough follow up? Maybe you have been slow to innovate? This is where you can make your personal journey visible to all. and expect some failures. as stated earlier. What personal behaviors are you trying to stop. as a leader. not just more of the same incremental improvements that perhaps have already been taking place…it means a new higher standard. Some folks will want to escape to the more ‘glamorous’ project teams who are starting out on a brand new journey. or improve? Maybe in the past you have been too autocratic in certain situations? Maybe you have been too easily influenced. do in these types of situations? First. What are you personally doing in the STOP – START – IMPROVE trilogy? This can and should relate. to your voyage of self-discovery discussed in the previous chapter. This means that you must show others how you are coping with the changes that you must personally undertake in order to achieve the focus. programs. services and processes do we need to introduce in order to achieve the focus? What new competencies will we need to introduce in order to make these new initiatives work? What existing competencies will we need to transfer into these new initiatives? This is the ‘glamorous’ side of change. at least in part. or have not held people accountable. To improve means a substantial improvement over a short period of time. services and processes do we need to dramatically improve. products. programs. while still others will want to escape the possibility of becoming a victim of a discontinued function. Again. Sometimes the distinction is fuzzy…a fine line between what works and what doesn’t.

for it will be seen as coming from you. Type 2: Did I Hear You Right? Some opposition will occur as a result of misunderstandings about what the focus stands for. for the community. they can lose confidence very quickly. Try to think of opposition as falling into three different categories. Punch drunk veterans of previous waves of change even have a term for fads: ‘BOHICA’ or “Bend Over Here It Comes Again”. Third. When people see a leader blink in the face of opposition. These consequences represent what I call ‘an inescapable logic’. What will achieving the focus do for the organization. or types: Type 1: The Test Much of the opposition you experience will be a test to see if you are really serious about your focus. to get them to truly understand the consequences that await them. dictated mostly by your external environment. and believe they can distinguish between real change and a fad. we are talking here about natural consequences. admit openly that you do not have all the answers…nor does anyone else…right now. but demand that they bring suggestions for solving the problem as well. not even for a moment. When opposition arises. respect the right of the person or group to bring concerns to the surface. Most people have been through change before. In today’s business world. 46 . don’t back off from your focus. in fact encourage it. to borrow a sporting phrase. for all stakeholders? What will NOT achieving it mean for all these people? Be explicit. concentrate the dialogue on the many ways by which the focus can be achieved. succinct as it is travels throughout the organization. not rewards and punishments that might disappear if you or someone else happens to have a change of heart. and not the external world. Fourth. use the ‘towards’ AND ‘away from’ directions of motivation discussed in an earlier chapter to get peoples’ attention. This is critical. deleted from. Bear in mind. Keep people looking forward and moving forward. While keeping people looking forward in the direction of the focus. expect for it to be added to. Do not use these natural consequences as a threat. and to create an environment where people are self motivated. for the people who run it. and keep the consequences at the forefront. you are ‘only as good as your last game’. not contrived ones. As your message.Second. it’s customers and suppliers.

modified, over emphasized, under emphasized, and generally taken apart and put back together many times. Use personal dialogue to clear up these misunderstandings. Give people space to air their views and to seek clarification. Be available. Treat these first two types of ‘opposition’ as a blessing, as a way to talk openly and candidly about previous experiences with change, and for discovering how people want change to be handled this time around. But maintain your focus. Type 3: I Didn’t Sign Up for This! In a few cases, opposition will be real and permanent, based on a fundamental clash of beliefs and values. This occurs mostly where there is a fundamental shift in the mission of an organization, or where the organization is attempting to go through a transformation. This is where very often a parting of the ways needs to happen. Sad as this is, it is better for the person(s), and for the organization, that this parting happens as quickly and as humanely as possible. Fifth, maintain and support the organizational values, especially in the face of stiff opposition to change. If one of your stated values is respect for people, then show it openly, even if a person or group is not showing respect towards you. Does this mean that you roll over for some people to trample on you? On the contrary, you face the opposition on two fronts – one, you deal with the manner in which that opposition was demonstrated; and two, you deal with the substance of the opposition. For example, if the opposition involves open aggression, then deal with the aggression as a flagrant flaunting of the organizational value of respect for others. Be unflinching in that regard. Then, deal with the substance of the opposition…it may still have merit. But don’t allow a person or group to flaunt organizational values, no matter how much substance or merit their opposition or point of view has. These five actions are important, even critical. But you will find many other ways in which to advance towards your focus, all the time trying desperately hard not to be seen as secretive or manipulative. Holding firm to your focus, your values, your true self, you will be tested at every step along the way. There will be times when you will feel betrayed by some whom you’ve trusted implicitly, for such is the fickleness of human nature. On the other hand, you will be surprised by the lengths to which some people will go to fight on your behalf, and at times it will appear as though you have an army of supporters working for your focus. This is as it should be.

The courage to face reality
Courage. People know it when they see it. They also know what it is not. It is not brashness, bravado, or being ‘macho’. It is not being pig-headed or obstinate. It is not about ‘storming the hill’. It is about facing reality…and this is where many leaders fail. There are as many versions of ‘reality’ as there are people. When you announce your focus, people immediately contrast it with reality…their own version of it. Recommended Reading Peter Senge, in his bestselling book, “The Fifth Discipline” describes these versions of reality as ‘mental models’, which we use to explain how we believe the world works, or should work. Surfacing peoples’ mental models is essential to understanding how people perceive the gap that exists, in their view, between current and future realities…between what exists now and your future focus. If the gap appears too big, there will be resistance, or ‘tension’ as Senge describes it. Helping people deal with this tension in a creative way is the best way to ease the tension, the only other way being to let go of or relax your focus. Creativity therefore is the key to achieving the breakthroughs that you will need in order to advance towards your focus. And creativity takes courage, because it involves failure on a scale that most leaders and organizations find difficult if not impossible to stomach.

The courage to allow creativity to blossom
Our organizations and management systems are designed for control. Control is important, that goes without saying. Without control, we would not know where we are on our journey. We would most likely lose our way. But control what? As mentioned in a previous chapter, a key task of managing is to control and improve an organization’s mission critical processes, the ones that produce value for its stakeholders. These processes tend to be designed with control in mind. They represent the essential supply chain between what stakeholders want or need, and what the organization produces…the link between demand and supply. ‘Colouring outside the lines’, ‘thinking outside the box’ are terms that are frequently used to urge people to depart from this control oriented way of thinking in order to generate and embrace new innovative ideas. There is great danger here.

People will be afraid that not ‘doing it right the first time’, the mantra of the control oriented organization, will prevail…that they will be punished somehow for trying and failing on their first attempt. They might be right. If your organization has compensation, rewards, recognition and yes, even disciplinary systems that were designed with control and incremental improvement in mind, guess what? That’s exactly what you will get...control and very, very slow incremental improvements. With your new focus, there likely will be a major chasm between current reality and the future, and it’s extremely dangerous to leap a chasm in two or more bounds, which is what your organizational systems are probably designed to do. So something has to give… Enter ‘bottom line innovation’. Although you may not see yourself as a great innovator, it does not mean that you cannot sponsor great innovations. The key sponsorship role for you to play is to establish strong linkages between the innovative ‘skunk works’ part of your organization (those responsible for the innovative breakthrough designs) and the production minded, control oriented part (those responsible for getting the product out the door or for serving clients.) The skunk works generate the new ideas, test them out, prove their worth and then hand them over to the production side, who then control and incrementally improve the daily processes that bring the new ideas to the marketplace, reliably and predictably. This does not mean that both sides work in isolation, with a wall dividing them. On the contrary, people pass between these organizations on a regular basis, both formally and informally. Constructive dialogue, cross-functional teamwork, and concurrent design are all ways that organizations are now fulfilling this need to marry innovation with quality minded production and service delivery. You will be spending a good deal of your time in both environments, leading by example, showing how it is possible to embrace the new, while holding on to what’s best about the old, praising new product and service innovations AND flawless delivery in the same way and to the same degree. The SOP Factor In the production and service delivery part of organizations the acronym S.O.P. stands for ‘Standard Operating Procedure’, emphasizing the need for quality, reliability and predictability; while in the skunk works part it stands for ‘Seat Of the Pants’, emphasizing the need for experimentation and risk taking. The leadership style you need to apply will differ depending on which part of the organization you are interacting with. The feedback and reinforcement for

but also to get the world to wake up to the realities of dwindling supplies of fossil fuels and their effect on the environment. and all the indications are that he won. working on shoestring budgets and with a focus that was unrelenting. S. Their focus and persistence paid off. His courage meant that he was able to not alone innovate. Investment dollars began to flow.com Heroes of the Environment” in 1999. at Los Alamos Laboratories in New Mexico. Ballard was nominated as one of Time magazine’s “Time. In 1986. a Canadian geophysicist who had directed lab research for the U. along with his partners Keith Prater. So. they were able to unveil their work…and the world started at last to pay attention. Moving to North Vancouver in British Columbia in 1983 and working on a small contract for the Canadian military. but that did not deter them.one side will emphasize ‘out of bounds’ thinking and acting. Department of Energy. and by the mid to late 1990’s the major auto manufacturers began to sign on. Ballard Systems built fuel cell transit buses. He challenged the existing thinking. Gone were the days of beer and pizza and late nights testing designs on shoestring budgets. Ballard. and that the future of transportation was in electric powered vehicles based on this technology. 50 . an engineer had at last arrived. at a time when others thought he was crazy. a chemist and Paul Howard. S. while the other side will emphasize keeping things ‘within bounds’. in the mid seventies in the searing heat of Arizona. Ballard and a few associates set about their work. was adamant that his ideas on hydrogen fuel cell technology could produce a viable and cleaner alternative to fossil fuels. Their company went bankrupt at one point. representing a 35% stock acquisition. Geoffrey Ballard thought he could change the world. and worked long hours to find ways to improve its power and reduce its cost. they set about improving upon the fuel cell originally developed by GE and abandoned by them because of cost. allowing the cities of Chicago and Vancouver to carry passengers in environmentally efficient and friendly vehicles for a number of years now. Ballard. DaimlerChrysler and Ford got into the act with a billion dollar investment in Ballard Systems in 1997. Army and headed up an energy conservation program for the U.

which need to coexist alongside the . Innovative and flexible systems lead to innovative and flexible outcomes. such as hiring a non-HR type as a manager in charge of creating innovative HR solutions. with their emphasis on proving you achieved a goal. Tweaking such a recruitment process to meet the need for attracting high caliber candidates who are innovators will not work. and organizational development need to be aligned with both innovative and control oriented thinking. expecting these people to ‘conform’ to the many other standard HR systems will eventually frustrate them and drive them to leave the organization. standard wording in ads that attract standard types of applicants. and the people who manage them. the type that like to experiment a lot. The courage to challenge the existing systems. But he used his failures as ways to learn and improve. standard personnel profiles. This is simply not so. Yet the recruitment system is built around standard job descriptions. Like all other organizational systems. human resource development. Be unrelenting on this. In Geoffrey Ballard’s case there were more ‘failures’ than successes. Had he been a member of an established organization his ‘failures’ might have gotten him reprimanded and perhaps even fired long before they paid off. This may require bold strokes. even standard interview processes with standard sets of questions. Let’s say that you need to recruit people with really innovative minds. The same applies for all the other processes in your organization. Take recruitment as a prime example. and your organizational systems need to be flexible enough to accommodate both needs. Many leaders think that they can tweak existing systems and all will be well. The ‘performance management system’ would have gotten to him first. Human resource systems such as performance management. is essential to the success of the focus. Even if some bright people do manage to sneak in past all the controls. you will find that your HR systems are primarily designed to ensure control and small incremental improvements and will fall far short when it comes to supporting innovative breakthroughs. compensation. are simply not suited to an environment where failure is seen as an essential step to improving. but he nevertheless succeeded. recruitment. Balancing the need to prove with the desire to improve is a leadership challenge that you need to rise to.The courage to change all systems that don’t support the focus Traditional performance management systems. reward and recognition. and he refused to give up.

and then another one will rise in its place. and have some ownership in…one they can really identify with. ownership and identity. Leading such a transition is simple. Find a role for everyone in meeting both deadlines. But the feelings and emotions that accompany transitions can at times cloud peoples’ judgment. Don’t assume that the traditional HR thinking can shift enough to meet the future needs of the organization. and celebrate the introduction of the new. that eventually the rising sun will also in time set. and change them only when it is absolutely necessary. you need some imaginative solutions. Be specific about these dates. phase things out I believe that the vast majority of people come to work with the best of intentions. Because just as people are getting good at something. be recognized and rewarded properly for. perhaps some new blood. even be based on an ‘inescapable logic’. in favor of something that has not yet been created. And the last part. Leading people gracefully and fully through the transition from one cycle to the next is essential to the growth of the organization and the people within it. but it hurts like hell to let go of something you have nurtured to life and which is still producing good results. The leader’s ideas may have a lot of merit. The courage to shut things down. but not easy. There is something really compelling about sunsets and sunrises. Allow people to mourn the loss of the old. Send out the message that sunsets can be just as beautiful as sunrises. 52 . The steps involved in phasing something out or bringing something new to life can be articulated using good project management tools. If it does…great. even illness. and which if left unattended. a sunset for the old and a sunrise for the new. conflicts. is the one that will cause you the most grief. let alone tested out in the real world. cause friction. when they can identify what contribution they are making. along comes a leader with different ideas. if not. Maybe a Geoffrey Ballard or two. Use this not only as a metaphor. They want to do a great job. which you will still need. Emphasize that change is a natural phenomena that happens in life cycles. but also as a practical tool in creating change.standard HR solutions. one that they can be proud of. The solution for you as leader is to set two deadlines. can leave deep wounds that may never fully heal.

For example, mergers and acquisitions that look good on paper can very often fail miserably, mainly because of a lack of understanding of what it takes to merge two very different organizational cultures. Perhaps both organizations experience losses and the people concerned feel that it is not ‘politically correct’ to talk about their deep feelings and sense of loss, especially with members of the ‘other organization’. They feel they must always be ‘up’ and sounding positive about the changes, when the real truth is that they have very mixed and confused emotions, and need to be able to sufficiently express them in order to move on and help the organization achieve its focus. Many leaders unwittingly promote this by themselves feeling that they must always show a positive side and appear ‘pumped’ when addressing the troops, rather than showing their authentic selves. They think that to do anything else would be ‘wimpy’, and certainly not courageous leadership! The opposite is actually true. Allow people to talk about their losses…this may feel counter-intuitive, but it is essential to the achievement of your focus. Encourage people to express themselves authentically. Remember, the sun has to set before it can rise again. This requires a delicate balance. You don’t want, nor can you afford to allow people to wallow and get stuck in mourning their losses. But you must allow enough time for people to grieve. How much is enough? You are going to have to determine this for yourself. But remember one thing - to watch a sunset, you have to be facing west. If you keep facing in that direction, even with the greatest will and determination, the best view and the most powerful technology, you still won’t experience a new sunrise. The trick to moving on is to change direction at the right time, to give people a new vista, a new focus. And you alone must lead that.

Tips for developing courage
The following tips will help you to develop the courage necessary to engage your organization in an effective STOP-START-IMPROVE strategy: • Believe absolutely and wholeheartedly in your focus. Those opposing you will think twice about attacking your aim, as they know that you will not back down. Engage in vigorous debate on the values underpinning your focus, whenever and as often as possible. This sharpens your intellect, reinforces your values and prepares you for the bigger battles ahead. Defend those who support the focus. You are not in this alone, and developing courage involves defending those who are weaker or in a weaker position than you. Take the necessary time to think things through. Being courageous does not mean ‘storming the hill’. On the contrary, sometimes it takes a lot of courage and nerves of steel to wait things out. Give yourself the time to make well thought out decisions. Call on others when you feel cornered. Don’t be afraid to marshal the forces if the going gets tough.


Summary of Key Questions
As a way to get you thinking about this on a deeper level, try answering these questions for yourself: What will it take to achieve our focus…what will we need to: STOP



How have we handled change in the past?

How should we handle change this time around? How will we handle competition and conflict between the two sides of our organization (the innovators and the controllers)? How can we show that BOTH are equally essential to our success? How will we celebrate our past successes (sunsets) and rejoice in our new directions (sunrises)? 56 .

How will we handle people who decide that they no longer want to be part of our organization? What overriding human values need to be uppermost in our minds if we decide to part company? What must I as a leader personally do in order to lead by example? What personal behaviors must I Stop/Start/Improve? .

authentic. It’s a matter of personal choice. you will need plenty of other people on your side. your life will be safe. Neither. Truly focused. courageous leaders show. expedient and thin. Mahatma Gandhi captured the true essence of courageous leadership when he said: "You must be the change you wish to see in the world. and you have the courage to change it. Edwards Deming said. through their personal example. which brings us on to the next chapter… 58 . expedient and thin’ lives. is survival. that leading is a decision they have made. and who always seemed to be struggling to understand why they were not recognized as a great leader. not something that was bestowed on them as a title because of past accomplishments or future potential. as W. Katherine Hathaway put it quite well when she said: “If you let your fear of consequence prevent you from following your deepest instinct.A final note on COURAGE Being committed to moving forward towards your focus is not mandatory.” I have known some people in leadership positions who have led such ‘safe." If you want the world to be a better place to live in.

After all. and to capitalize on that input. If their early attempts are ignored or spurned. ‘The Servant as Leader’ Focus of this chapter: The ability to understand others. (If you don’t believe this. their talent may wither away” – Robert K. To value diversity and to walk a mile in the other person’s shoes. Slow down and listen Listen up. the reality is that this outcome remains as elusive as ever. The latter. to value their input. profit. try waiting for a computer program or a web site to load. Most of us have difficulty in really listening. non-government have been caught in this ‘faster is better’ myth. because of difficulty in measuring it ‘objectively’. non-profit. where the promise of faster. In addition to cost.MAKING CONVERSATION A CORE COMPETENCY “Prophets grow in stature as people respond to their message.CHAPTER 4: EMPATHY .) Organizations of all types. speed is something tangible. government. something you can measure objectively. speed as a measure of corporate performance has in many instances won out over quality. Our span of attention has dwindled to ‘point & click’. Greenleaf. in many cases has been given lip service and the inevitable kiss-off. and measure your frustration if it takes longer than 10 seconds. Although we live in a technology driven world. to take the time to listen even in the midst of fast change and furious action. . easier and better quality communications is made daily.

but we sometimes get the two mixed up. we will focus our attention on how to slow things down sufficiently to make intelligent and focused discussions a core competency for you and your organization. uninterrupted time. instead of those interminable meetings that get nowhere and seem to take on a life of their own? How to have quality conversations When was the last time you had a really good conversation with someone? Hold on a minute…before you answer that. just a conversation about a topic for which you have a point of view. no background noise. some in an apparently envious way. How good are you at conversation? Imagine the following scenario. and then help them reach their goals. You notice that other groups at the party are looking in the direction of your group. to grow and develop. you’re making us all jealous!” Then suddenly it hits you. but any firm can do that. You are at a party. Not a heavy intellectual debate. get to know them. you have to provide a compensation package that is fair and competitive. when he said “How do you get people to take initiative. no preoccupation Open agenda . Why can’t all conversations be like this? Why can’t I have conversations like this ALL THE TIME at work. and are engaged in a conversation that is really stimulating. They may even be contemplating joining your fun group. an interest in. The art of conversation can become a major competitive advantage for you. which is altogether different from ‘speed. You also have to pay attention.Recommended Reading The importance of listening was emphasized by Bill Pollard. in his book “The Soul of the Firm”. find out what makes them tick. In this chapter.” This heavy accent on speed does not allow us to slow down long enough to catch what another person might be trying to tell us. to treat the company as if it were theirs? Obviously. You listen to your employees. Chairman of The ServiceMaster Company. here are some conditions that would need to be met in order for that conversation to be “good”… • • 60 No phone calls. Just then the host pops her head in and says “Stop having so much fun. and in so doing strengthen the relationships that exist between people and between ideas. In the next chapter we will cover the topic of ‘timing’.

non-judgmental disclosure of thoughts and feelings) Acknowledgement of equal status of participants during the conversation Problem orientated versus controlling Spontaneous. Bringing the art of conversation back into your work life might be the answer! So how do you do it? Conversational forms can range on a continuum from Conflict Avoidance to Open Conflict to Exploratory Dialogue to Agreement/Closure.g. rather than strategic Empathic versus neutral Active listening (e.e. If you were to ask leaders or members of a team where the barriers are within their work place. the simple art of conversation. Let’s put this into a real world context for a moment… . we may have lost. Are you surprised by your answer? It seems that in the rapid pace of our times and the nature of organizational life.• • • • • • Descriptive versus evaluative discussion (i. Any conversation can progress or regress on this continuum (see Fig 2). or misplaced. the response you would likely get would be related to the lack of processes within the organization to improve the quality and effectiveness of communication. avoidance of too much internal dialogue) Now answer that question.

to make a decision. while avoiding false consensus. towards a balance between advocating and inquiring (about the other person’s perspective). advocating or inquiring. Now what about the last discussion you had with a staff member? Where would you place that on the continuum? As individuals move from left to right along the continuum. the conversation becomes more attuned to a shared meaning of reality. you need to move away from the traditional form of discussion in which you may orient yourself around advocating (your own point of view). for the most part. In Agreement/Closure. To engage people in exploratory dialogue. or a ‘forced’ solution. to reach agreement or to identify priorities. There are a number of useful approaches or techniques that can be used to practice these conversational skills. while at the same time avoiding the tendency to shoe horn your thinking into their shoes! Both forms of conversation. Alignment improves as your group sees how their work fits into a larger whole. (mostly advocating) you and the team intend to come to some closure. You need to walk in the other person’s shoes. and determine if there is enough ground to reach a consensus. are useful. depending on the circumstances and the intent of the discussion. Exploratory dialogue (inquiring) is useful when you and your team want to explore. 62 . Moving into agreement/closure goes one step further… You need to judge when the timing is right (more on this in the next chapter). The discussion is more focused on tasks and the group’s thinking coming together (convergent thinking).Which form would have been demonstrated in the last federal election in your country? How about the conflict in Palestine? How about the Enron debacle and the refusal of some parties to testify? Do these situations sound more like Conflict Avoidance or Open Conflict than Exploratory Dialogue or Agreement/Closure? No doubt the former. to discover or to gain insight (divergent thinking). one of which we shall discuss in the next section. You then have a greater understanding of the reasoning and assumptions behind both points of view. It is used to improve the quality of collective thinking and interacting.

What if a meeting was organized in such a way that it gave people enough space to take charge. will do whatever it takes to make them work. consultants and experts wanted them to discuss. will become largely self-organizing. At the same time. (unless the leader has a need for ‘control’ that pushes him or her in the direction of being ‘always in charge’. This got him thinking. which kills spontaneity. lost time due to poorly run meetings is unaccounted for. when he discovered that. and it works. right?) That was the case until "Open Space" was developed. travel. downtime. this approach is based on the belief (and it turns out a true one at that). not what the meeting conveners. There are many tools for running effective meetings. there are no ground rules. The Four Principles These are: • • • Whoever is present are the right people Whatever happens is the only thing that could have Whenever it starts is the right time . facilitators. Thus was born ‘Open Space’. and form natural groups based on what they wanted to discuss. One Law and Two Engines. that people who voluntarily attend meetings. who has written two books on the subject. You could be forgiven for thinking that this would create a recipe for meeting madness (especially if you have ever attended a Toastmasters meeting!). Not so. Time is money. a breakthrough approach to meetings that actually works. It draws its power from the fact that all groups. The approach uses what's known as the Four Principles. In running an Open Space style of meeting. if they have a focus and only if they are allowed to be.Give people space and time to think Talk to most people and they would agree with you that more time is lost annually in poorly run meetings than in strikes. at conferences he attended. if left alone. This approach to meeting management (if it could be called that) was first pioneered by Owen. Simply stated. some of the best conversations were heard at the coffee breaks. Recommended Reading Author and consultant Harrison Owen felt compelled to write about his experiences in facilitating meetings. arrange their own agenda. yet most of them are so badly integrated into meeting processes. injuries. that they only result in worsening the situation. those who are "press-ganged" into attending will in many cases work to defeat the meeting purpose. illness or any other causes that you can care to think of. The only problem is.

and therefore take control themselves. I chose to use the above elements of Open Space. As a meeting facilitator. It inspires people to open up space for each other. fast. Why does an approach like this work? I feel the characteristics that are evident are as follows: Spontaneity Not having a preset agenda (the participants create one at the beginning) allows for an early exchange of information between the participants. and promotes a balance between advocacy and inquiry. they must use their two feet and go to some more productive place. economical. My role was to 'open' the space for them and then to keep it open. in order to give the delegates the opportunity to 'step up to the plate'.000. and a passion to make the findings work. Outcomes 64 . bounded by the Responsibility to search for and find solutions. and the spontaneous kick-start of open dialogue Control Participants do not feel ‘corralled’ by someone else’s agenda. during which the possibility of conflict was relatively high. take responsibility and make things work. it's over The One Law (or the Law of Two Feet) During the course of the meeting. and easily repeatable strategy for organizing meetings large and small. within the context of the topic Spirit of Inquiry Opening up enough space for people to talk about what interests them plays to peoples’ natural curiosity. The conference was a great success. This apparently unstructured approach to ‘managing’ meetings has been used globally with groups ranging in size from 5 to 1. They didn’t let me down. The Two Engines These are: Passion for the issue.• When it's over. Open Space is an effective. any person who finds him or herself in a situation where they are neither learning nor contributing. and to engage in dialogue that explores that space. The participants leave the meeting with a printed account (aka report) of the discussions. I was recently challenged (at short notice) to facilitate a meeting of 200+ delegates to a conference.

It is a reflection of the value that you as a leader place in people and what they can offer. After all. When teams don’t listen Active listening. grow and develop. The old type of ‘employment contract’ was attuned towards a different set of economic and societal circumstances. and at times leading eventually to open conflict. when teams are stuck. an asset is something you own. for a different era. whereas the new contract is fundamentally different. a tangible outcome at the end. But in many cases. experiment. Treat people as ‘assets’. That would be sympathy. a ‘thing’. gaining a better understanding of each other and achieving closure are essential ingredients for team success. to think.” And you can only do that through active listening. finding out what makes them tick. The result is false or forced consensus. This is a fundamental point in your development as a leader. drives people towards closure. The attitude that people have towards your organization is in large part a reflection of what they value in the purpose of the organization. you also need to be just as passionate about giving people the space and time to relate to you and others. and then helping them reach their goals. You need to build relationships through understanding people. the role they play and what they can expect in return. Although as a leader you need to be passionate about your focus. rather the relationship that you have with people is your greatest asset. resulting in more conflict avoidance. something you manage and can dispose of in whatever way you wish. What does this have to do with empathy. moving along in the right direction on the conversational continuum. It emphasizes the relationship that an organization has with people as its greatest asset. This interest in people is not altruistic. the subject of this chapter? An empathic leader knows that adopting these conversational characteristics can act as a counterbalance to the notion that the leader’s passion for his or her focus might translate into or be perceived as an autocratic command and control style of leadership. not empathy. Empathy among team members and between teams can occur spontaneously. learn. The word employee has as its root ‘employ’ which means ‘to use’. Conflict avoidance is more evident than open conflict in many organizations. But many teams stall and even regress on this continuum. People therefore are not ‘assets’ to be used. In many ways it is a new contract for a new era. and you dehumanize them. but the need to produce a report. it takes a conscious effort on the part . not the people. as Bill Pollard of ServiceMaster said: “getting to know them.How people use their time is up to them.

an impediment. Edwards Deming advocated. even an organizational value. especially those in the middle ranks of such organizations. and what WE need to do differently next time. teambuilding exercises. Knowing each team member’s strengths. How? Treat goal setting as a ‘hypothesis testing’ exercise. this degree of empathy for each other. Start with goal setting and performance appraisals. Bestselling author Stephen Covey says that ‘strength lies in differences. many organizations have HR systems designed around control.of the leader to introduce the topic…for many teams it is a hot potato that no one wants to handle. Fear in organizations tends to be systemic. they have to ‘look good’ all the time.) Treat performance appraisal as an opportunity to discuss whether the hypothesis was true or false. Root it out. In an organization gripped by fear. Call it something else. leaders need to “drive fear out of their organizations”. As the great quality pioneer W. preferences and principles (beliefs & values). not clones of each other. (If…we introduce this new program…we believe it may…produce these results. As discussed in a previous chapter. t-shirts. The key is to build teams based on complementary characteristics. Overhaul your systems. Do whatever it takes to make fear evident and make it obsolete. recognition (Pavlov again). Make elimination of fear an organizational goal. empathy is a word that conjures up a ‘soft’ approach to issues. In teams that have a diverse range of people from different cultural backgrounds this is a real challenge. Leaders. are forced to rule by fear. team announcements by senior management. Diversity can be both a stimulator of change or if not understood. weaknesses. These systems can and do instill fear in an organization. whether it worked or not. team names. making people feel that in order to advance in the organization or at least stand still. mugs and plenty of fodder for Dilbert cartoons. Expose it. Drive fear out. An organization that operates on the fear factor cannot develop a sustainable high performance team culture. not similarities”. and building a team based on complementary characteristics requires a leader to step forward and address the fears that people may have concerning this degree of personal revelation. with rewards and punishment that have a distinctively Pavlovian flavor (pardon the pun). the root of much fear. how about Performance Feedback? 66 . with all the usual surface manifestations of ‘teamwork’ evident – slogans. Very often this type of rule is covert.

connect or reconnect the individual with the team. being unloved. help them to become part of something significant. which is why some people commit suicide. has become dull and boring. not an anxious discipline in which everybody is constantly graded for performance” Most people who leave corporate life do so because they are unhappy with their boss. Don’t readily accept it when they tell you ‘it’s super’…remember fear can make liars of us all. and they happen to have a boss who is also dull and boring. being unwanted. where your clients or customers live? Listening to the customer also needs attention. But whatever you do on an individual basis. Saperstein. understand that other team members are probably struggling with theirs too. Various studies have confirmed this. Ask people ‘what it’s like to work around here’. rather than dissatisfaction with their contract. help them to belong. death is often a better option than isolation. If a team member is struggling. Listen to your customers Paying attention to establishing conversational skills inside your organization is crucial to success. telling others how you have made a real and positive difference in their lives? In a word . I believe many are not happy with the fact that organizational life is not an adventure. The sum of the whole is better than the individual parts. As you undertake your own journey. a communion of people. The leader builds a community. to be loved. But more than that. their pay or their benefits. he or she connects on a very human and even spiritual level with people. What makes a loyal customer? One who speaks loudly and with fervor about your organization.expectations. it has been shown that people fear social isolation more than they fear death. Maslow tells us that we all desire to belong to something worthwhile. less on individual performance. Help them along the way. but what about the external world. seek to understand them. Don’t become this type of boss. There is no stronger bond created than when people come together to make something significant happen.Focus on team performance. which captures much of what I am trying to convey here: “Working for an organization should be an adventure. work with them in an empathic way. . When a leader takes a keen and genuine interest in developing a cohesive team. Make work an adventure. but listening to the customer is not enough. In fact. I am reminded of a quotation by Milton R. not lead them. to be wanted. and who only knows how to manage people.

... This grid is divided into four zones. and you can't expect the customer to know as much about that as you. you're the expert at what YOU do. In our work with clients. Unstated/Expected.. we like to break this problem down into pieces.But meeting or exceeding customer expectations is not as simple as it first appears.after all. many of your customers or prospective customers are not sure what they should expect. Many will not tell you because they expect you to know. 68 .The Zone of Indifference Literally. this includes all those customer needs and wants that are basic to fulfilling the contract between you and them. as depicted in Figure 3. and for that purpose we use what we call The Customer Loyalty Grid™ to help us understand this better. For a start.

as this is a key stepping stone to customer loyalty.. For example. For example. Listen carefully here. you must first conquer the other zones. CD players in automobiles when first introduced were an innovation.. you will cause DISSATISFACTION. perhaps because other organizations that the customer deals with provide a similar benefit. ASKS for it.. . but knows that they have to specifically ask (or negotiate) for it. but really does not expect you to provide it.The Zone of Satisfaction This is where your customer actually TELLS you what is important to them.. whereas providing it will cause delight. This requires you to be really proactive in suggesting to customers new innovations that they can really benefit from. and would probably be puzzled (and maybe even insulted) if you asked them if this was a need. before it became known to them. This is your opportunity to provide something beyond their expectations and by so doing will create DELIGHT. Of course it’s a need.there are no shortcuts. Not providing it will unlikely cause dissatisfaction.The Zone of Loyalty This is an area where your expertise in whatever product or service you provide and the customer's lack of expertise can really pay off! Providing benefits above and beyond what the customer is even aware of can create a LOYAL customer.For example. If you meet this basic and obvious need. a customer might expect a volume discount on a purchase. or expecting it. For example. customers expect to be treated with courtesy and respect. and if you don't meet this need. whereas not meeting them will cause DISSATISFACTION.The Zone of Delight This is where your customer HOPES for something. All Zones are equally important To get to the Zone of Loyalty... Stated/Unexpected. Therefore this is an area for particular attention in building a LOYAL customer base. It is an expectation. the best you can hope for is INDIFFERENCE. Stated/Expected. Many customers will be even willing to pay extra for this.. Meeting a customer's needs here will cause SATISFACTION. a customer might ask for something that is usually available only in a premium priced product. but customers had no way of asking for this innovation.. Unstated/Unexpected.

If your organization is really good at innovations (the key factor in creating Loyalty). programs and services need to be developed and delivered has accelerated to the point that theoretical approaches to 'empowerment' get bogged down in their own rationale.. and become flavor of the month very quickly. But how do you elicit that type of candid feedback? The answer is to get to know your followers. given all of the foregoing. as well as those who create and bring to market new offerings that delight the customer. Leadership style is important. and your followers are in the best position to be the judges and provide you with feedback on what is your predominant style. Treat them all as members of the same team. and one way to do this is to… 70 . The speed with which products.. if your leadership style is the ‘right’ one for the task.those who produce and deliver the basic product or service. Good question…and hopefully one I can answer in this next section. then it will end up struggling in all four zones. All parts of your organization are involved in creating loyal customers. but struggles at reliability (the key factor in creating Satisfaction). as customers demand higher and higher performance from you and your team.. Loyalty creating innovations are time limited What was once an unstated/unexpected innovation will eventually become unstated/expected. and your team demands more say in how decisions are made and how 'things get done around here'…more empowerment. When you lead…do others follow? Much has been written about leadership style. most leaders would answer 'yes' to the question ‘when you lead…do others follow?’ But what happens on the not-so-good days? What happens when you have to make tough decisions quickly.. reliably day in and day out. and you may be wondering..would you now purchase a car without a CD player? Would you even ask the salesperson if it is installed? So maintaining a rate of innovation that matches or exceeds what the market demands is crucial to maintaining customer loyalty... or you have to deal with a noticeable drop in team or individual performance? Do your people hesitate in following you then? Situations like this are becoming more and more prevalent across various sectors.the Customer Loyalty Team.. On a good day.and you will reap the benefits well into the future.

People were surprised to find him in the mall parking lot in the middle of winter (it gets awfully cold up here in The Great White North!) picking up cigarette butts. high spirit” emphasizes the Southwest Airlines dual focus on customers and employees. Herb Kelleher is a larger than life leader. at 67. That is one among many reasons I love the people of Southwest Airlines. Imagine if you were the manager of such a mega-mall. Using a low cost. polishing garbage cans and collecting rubbish. who places a heavy emphasis on giving Southwest people the freedom to be innovative. Their ‘People Department’ motto is “Feel Free to Actually Enjoy What You Do” . which he co-founded in 1967. Canada is one of the world’s largest malls. fun approach to air travel. even while still emphasizing the need to operate in a streamlined fashion. he stated. Here’s how he described his experience to the local newspaper. but taking themselves with a pinch of salt. On the contrary. As CEO of Southwest Airlines. That is not to say that they do not run a disciplined airline. and you decided to spend some time getting to know each and every employee? How would you go about it? WEM manager Gary Hanson decided that he would spend one day per month over an 18-month period working in each department. but everywhere else that leadership is discussed. In a testimonial to the FAA in 1997. he developed a company that has proven you cannot underestimate the ‘little guy’. Hanson modeled his approach on Southwest Airlines CEO Herb Kelleher who. I co-founded Southwest Airlines in 1967. which has made it famous. Renowned for his goofball antics and sense of humor. “My name is Herb Kelleher. “Time went by very quickly and I enjoyed having a beer later with our crew. The phrase “low cost. in particular their ability to turn around an aircraft within twenty minutes of landing.Walk a while in their shoes West Edmonton Mall (WEM) in Alberta. not just within the highly regulated and extremely competitive airline industry. traveled the US working as a baggage handler. they tell you what they really think” he told a reporter from the Edmonton Journal.” Self effacing comments like this are typical of this leader. Because I am unable to perform competently any meaningful function at Southwest. Southwest has proven that excellent customer service and turned-on employees are possible.000 employees let me be the chief executive officer. provide excellent customer service and have fun in the process. no frills. When people are relaxed. this leader insists that business must be fun. starting with maintenance. And they have the loyal customers to prove that it is a winning business proposition. they pride themselves on taking business seriously. our 25. Southwest are renowned for on time service.

72 . employee. community member.What ideas do you have to walk a while in the other person’s shoes? The other person can be a customer. even your own boss. supplier.

Take notes if appropriate – this is another piece of evidence that you are listening actively.Tips for active listening Let’s face it. Use humor to smooth out rough spots. was once told by his wife that he had two communication styles – talking and waiting to talk. Do this early on and maintain it. but make it appropriate humor. getting ready to have our next say. Focus on the other person. keep it conversational. we all struggle when it comes to listening…really listening. or the conversation you had yesterday. but keep in mind that having two conversations at once will at best result in two very poor conversations. It’s best to make jokes at your own expense than others – it also portrays you as human and someone with a sense of humor. Clarify what the other person is saying. Then tell them what you would like to achieve. Don’t rush in to the conversation without taking the time to ‘break the ice’. live in the now. politician and former Premier of Ontario. a Canadian lawyer. Lighten up. then as the other person is talking we are having our own internal conversation. Shut down all internal conversations you may be having with yourself. Confirm what’s fact and what’s opinion. easier said than done. Make a conscious decision to strike a balance between advocacy (making your point) and inquiry (exploring and seeking understanding). No jokes at someone else’s expense. Ask them what they want to achieve from the conversation. • • • • • • • . Here are some tips for developing that skill: • Be present. then no conversing actually takes place! They go away thinking that they have been talking to the wall. Establish rapport. I know. This really shows that you are not just an empty vessel taking in what’s been said. Give them the benefit of the doubt. and use the opportunity to explore the statement further with them. If the other person does the same. Bob Rae. Sometimes people make statements that are half-thoughts. but listening actively. and they’re both right! The answer is to develop the skill of active listening. Many of us fall into the same trap: saying what we have to say. not fully formulated yet. Don’t be thinking about the next meeting.

74 . Listening actively is a skill that anyone can learn. and listen attentively to what they have to say. Follow up.• • Summarize the conversation and ask the other person to help you with this. encourage people to find creative ways to achieve the focus. Let people know that you are trying your best to ‘be present’ despite all of the other distractions in your busy day. and not every encounter will be perfect. Instead. It takes much practice to master it. You need to draw the line. Keep the channels of communication open by arranging to follow up with the other person…then do it! This really reinforces the fact that you have not just listened actively. Actively listening to someone trying to undermine you. But maintain your focus. but have been influenced by what the other person has said. They will respond positively to this. your focus or your organizational values needs to be dealt with in a firm manner. • • • The questions on the next two pages will assist you in building your capacity to become more aware of what an empathic approach can do for you and your team.

why not? How much fun do people have at work in my organization? . for my followers/team members? If not. try answering these questions for yourself: How good am I at having conversations? How good am I at listening? Think of a recent conversation that went well. What were the differences between the two? Is organizational life an adventure for me. Think of one that didn’t.Summary of Key Questions As a way to get you thinking about this on a deeper level.

How much do I value diversity? How can I ‘walk a while in their shoes’? How much open space do I give people in creating the changes that will support the focus? 76 .

Focus on the specifics that will make your organization. their natural creativeness. Take the higher road. understanding people is perhaps the toughest part of a leader’s job. But in this avoidance. keep in mind that many leaders have fallen into the trap of creating dialogue within their organizations.” .A final note on EMPATHY Being empathetic does not mean being soft. Listen empathically to what your inner self tells you is the right thing to do. but forgetting that change only happens through action. authenticity and courage and watch people grow. because you never know what you might find. your team ‘a great place to work’ and ‘do business with’.Agha Hasan Abedi Now that’s an adventure! As you develop the skill of empathy. which brings us on to our next chapter. Match empathy with focus. the opportunity to discover the good in people. On the contrary. . Conflict avoidance in organizations is born out of the reluctance of leaders to face some of the tough issues that plague their organizations. as this quote aptly describes it… “The conventional definition of management is getting work done through people. their desire to belong to something that has meaning. Inaction becomes especially evident as time passes and no one sees results. is very often lost. but real management is developing people through work.

sunsets and sunrises. but more importantly. Getting the timing right on key decisions and actions is what will make or break any strategy. We already talked about deadlines. and the rewards can go to a competitor who learns from your mistakes and moves at the 78 . in a previous chapter. An idea whose time has come Okay.BETTER VALUE. Now comes the toughest part of all . You’ve decided on your focus. Now we will get down to discussing timing and how we can master our time.CHAPTER 5: TIMING . We also briefly discussed the corporate preoccupation with speed for the sake of speed and what effect it can have on quality. FASTER “…I can’t help but think how much better it would have been if I had done it faster. the right time to act.setting deadlines. You’ve begun the task of listening to lots of other people about how the focus can be achieved. we’re in the final straight. The role of speed based competition and innovation. You’ve gathered your team and demonstrated the courage to challenge people’s view of reality. Introduce an innovation too quickly or too hastily. Who knows? I might have gotten fired if I had worked faster” – Jack Welch in an interview with Robert Slater. April 1999 Focus of this chapter: The ability to read a situation carefully and decide not just whether to act or not to act. You’ve started your journey towards greater self-awareness. You know at the time everything we did was radical.

books. and more willing to listen empathically. seminars.requisite speed to introduce an alternative product or service. As mission critical decisions needed to be made and executed with relative speed. The central tenet of a learning organization is that no learning can occur without action. I believe that part of the reason for this is the inability of organizations to learn quickly from their experiences…in short. Jr.” But many leaders and their organizations have struggled with this. These cycles occur within predictable timeframes. Time based leadership is all about being faster at providing value…in short. faster. workshops. more authentic. Instead of creating nimble. they have created organizations that always seem to be on a treadmill that keeps running faster and faster. probably not even as good technically as what you have to offer. without any noticeable payoffs. When I ask the question . to suppliers. Conferences. etc grew out of a genuine interest in what is a sound concept…and a whole new industry emerged. more debate…and less closure. smooth flowing organizations. to customers. such as George Stalk. When Peter Senge published “The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization”. more courageous (especially at bottom line innovation). more dialogue. Few organizations truly mastered the ability to use time as a framework to measure and manage their learning. consultants. to each other. reflection and reaction. But many organizations mistook the concept of a ‘learning organization’ as meaning more consensus building. in a repeating cycle that takes into account unanticipated outcomes. Then organizations lost their focus. he unleashed something that promised at last to be a way for organizations to achieve a level of authenticity and learning that would provide an unbeatable competitive advantage. introspection and at times false consensus. of the Boston Consulting Group. creating a ‘learning organization’ became the central focus. As you engage your organization on its journey…it will become more focused. For many. are keen to emphasize that it is the relative speed that counts. Proponents of time based innovation or competition. debate. The ‘learning organization’ movement was in trouble. their inability to become a true learning organization. “better value. executive retreats. That last point is one that is at the core of being a learning organization. these organizations languished in a sea of dialogue.

selling. Gerstner proved them wrong. it certainly looked like IBM’s culture had reached a point where its slow moving bureaucracy would bog it down. These processes cover product/service development. and employees. marketing. producing. the response I often get is “Oh. His own journey began in the seventies and would not have succeeded had he been a patient man. more responsiveness. In his acceptance speech. as well as greater satisfaction for everyone – customers. testing.3 billion on service revenue of $35. implementing. faster. He makes a very valid point. Understand that as a leader you need to know and appreciate the value of identifying mission critical processes and their time cycles. representing 43% of sales. which will result in lower costs and improved quality. delivering. At that time. In a new economy that rewarded speed. You have to emphasize the need to engage everyone fully in process simplification in order to shorten these cycle times. The task before him was daunting…reinvent IBM as a service organization. He established IBM Global Services as the biggest and fastest growing part of the company. prototyping. which now promises to be one of the new fuels to replace fossil fuel as our prime source of power. 80 . You have to know when to let a process run and when to intervene. But newcomer Lou Gerstner. Many thought that bringing someone in from the outside signaled not only a crisis in IBM. better speed to market. Another case in point is IBM. Known as a somewhat impatient man. I then advise the leaders that they have to rid their leadership vocabulary of the word ‘ongoing’. follow-up. evaluation and the many support processes involved in making your organization the best place to do business with and to work in. he set about literally reinventing IBM. and break the dependency on hardware and software. in 2001. he quickly moved to keep IBM from breaking up. Appointed as Chair and CEO on that faithful day in April. its ongoing”.“What’s the deadline on this?” in organizations that are caught in this trap. April 1. with stints at RJR Nabisco and American Express Co. many commentators were seriously questioning the survival of Big Blue. he told the engineering students assembled to ‘be impatient’. This is how to deliver ‘better value. knew differently. but also desperation.7 billion. 1993 is a date that many thought would be an April fool’s day for IBM. to buoy him along. and estimated profits of $5.’ It’s okay to be impatient Canadian geophysicist Geoffrey Ballard was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Victoria in British Columbia in 1999 for his pioneering work on hydrogen fuel cell technology. suppliers.

They insist on ‘better value. And they are explicit about those reasons. For example.IBM regained its footing in markets such as servers. software and storage devices also. if left alone. faster’ from the entire system. he gets to the point quickly and makes it clear to everyone what his expectations are. on time delivery. with a payoff in improved customer satisfaction. because time is a universal concept. and place a renewed emphasis on the value of time and timely execution. such as hotels. Manufacturers study theme parks to see how they tackle total quality and maintenance. . Lou Gerstner of IBM. lower costs. other leaders have used impatience as a spur to action. Steve Jobs of Apple. Such studies bring fresh thinking into an organization. but above all a great sense of timing. and they are impatient to see it happen. Their practiced impatience extends to demanding that their managers do this on a regular basis. They know that it is the role of the leader to question this and to insist that the speed and timing of the whole system is not compromised by a slow performing part. shorter response times. everyone eventually slows down to the pace of the slowest function or process. they engage their organizations in a race against time for valid. Regarded as a very focused leader. To emphasize the need for urgency. Process cycle times are ideally suited to such studies. On the contrary. These leaders know that organizations have a way of ensuring that. etc. Turning around an organization as big as IBM in such a relatively short time required such focus and determination. No use being the fastest kid on the block if you are also the poorest. but other industries.faster product/service development. Although ‘patience is a virtue’. But keep in mind that effective leaders do not pursue speed or emphasize urgency just for the sake of it. And they always look for these bottom line payoffs before giving the green light to something. effective leaders benchmark against the high performers in their industry and outside their industry. market driven reasons. Jack Welch of GE are all known for their insistence on speed coupled with quality. and leaders such as Gandhi and Mandela have used it to their advantage.. Hospitals benchmark their admissions processes not just with other hospitals.. improved profitability and increased market share.

Do yourself a favor. they pull project teams together quickly and assume (wrongly as it turns out) that the members. as a leader. they are not ‘ongoing’. and unless you were an engineer. The discussions that need to take place within a proper project management framework always emphasize the timely performance of critical tasks. mainly because it was an engineers’ domain. But a lot has changed in recent years…and for the better. (that word again) they are pure time and outcome based cycles. Everyone in your organization is impacted by these major projects. that will excite people about their potential? 82 . which in a project management sense makes no sense. about projects. Management guru Tom Peters. Organizations have found ways to inject excitement and fun into projects. middle and end…that is. amongst others. As you help others identify the many ways by which the focus can be achieved. Invite a project management professional in to your organization to assess your organizations capacity to execute projects…then listen to the feedback. The neatest thing about projects is that they have a beginning. And everyone needs to understand the importance of project management as a skill that THEY need to develop in order to personally succeed. has long acknowledged its importance in ensuring well planned. a critical few will translate into major projects. It hasn’t in the past. Professional project managers know this only too well. PERT Charts and Critical Paths. In their keenness to get going. because they have ‘worked on projects before’ have the skills and the discipline to make it happen this time. So what should you emphasize.The role of Project Management in a time-based strategy Project Management has been billed as THE management system for the new millennium. You may be shocked by the results. Novices on the other hand like to ‘get things done quickly and out of the way’. well timed and well executed strategy. and to make them an adventure. But traditional project management will not be enough to make projects succeed. you simply shunned the seemingly stodgy world of Gantt Charts. This applies to you also. Would you place all your bets on a horse that received only limited training? Many leaders do this with projects. Your leadership role in ensuring that Project Management becomes a way of life in your organization is essential to the success of your focus. not just the team members. to bring them into the everyday life of ordinary folk.

g. relevant and measured. Being on a project team is not a life sentence! Being on a project team puts you in the forefront of change in the organization and allows you to contribute to its success in a unique way. Project Management is a portable skill in demand in all industries today and into the future. Being a member of a project team helps develop community within the organization. 90 days) experiments. The organization values short run (e. Project teams are exciting and fun! • • • • • .Here are a few pointers: • • Developing project management skills is a prerequisite to advancement in the organization. in which small well-executed projects build on each other to produce phenomenal results. Reward and recognition for being a member of a project team is timely. and creates lasting friendships in a way that no other management system could.

time based performance. If something can’t be tried out and proven within 90 days. break it down into smaller chunks that can. quality and costs. Here are some tips that will help you take a leadership position on this important subject: Prioritize Make time and timing a top priority. Emphasize cycles of change Rid your organization of the notion that change is ‘continuous’ or ‘ongoing’.Tips for getting timing right Today.) and make them examples of timely performance. Lead by example Identify your own personal critical processes (e. 84 . What’s a short cycle? Try 90 days. whether it is in developing and introducing new value adding products/services or reducing the time it takes to produce & deliver them represents a leading competitive edge. goal setting. Change happens in well-managed cycles. Compress cycle times Make your change cycles occur at short time intervals.g. performance appraisal etc. and these cycles need to have built in mechanisms that provide the organization the opportunity to take ‘time out’ to review and revise its approaches. How you manage it will depend on how much value you place on time and timing. and find ways to link one cycle with the next. Demonstrate this by making it a performance indicator alongside such things as productivity. communication. Apply the concepts of process simplification to make these processes a model for other larger organizational processes.

Effective leaders gain first hand and up to date knowledge of the external environment by going directly to the source (Hanson and Kelleher. are not ends in themselves. logical answer…an inescapable logic. They must clearly show bottom line results. Develop a system around this. (the place where business gets done) and it works. Demand a reasoned.Follow-up Make timely follow-up a key ingredient of how you lead. and delayed because of internal processes that aim to make the provider of such data look ‘smart’. Use first hand information from customers. . Ask ‘what will moving on this now do for us?’ and ‘what will not moving on this now do for us?’ Know the payoff Remember that excellence in timing. The Japanese call this ‘going to the Gemba’. ask ‘why now?’ (as opposed to a week. the two leaders mentioned earlier are good examples of this). and time-based innovation. quarter from now). Very often internal data a leader receives has been ‘washed’ to make it more palatable. Use reasoned logic to tell you ‘when’ When people want to charge ahead with a risky idea. Link timely execution to a strategic outcome. and insist that your followers do the same. Use external cues The external environment will tell you when it is time to move on something more so than the internal environment. I know of no other single reason for lost time and mistimed opportunities in organizations than lack of leader follow-up and accountability. suppliers and other external stakeholders to supplement what the ‘internal data’ tells you. month.

Emphasize value with speed Find ways to reward and recognize people for exemplifying ‘better value.e. Decision-making is a process that can be learned. 86 . Define your decision–making processes. This emphasizes the value of relative speed. being faster at providing value. Use dialogue and consensus building to move things along Encourage open dialogue. but place a special value on closure. Be ready to make solitary decisions when the consensus building mechanisms bog down. Let people know that you reserve the right to do this if consensus cannot be reached within a certain timeframe…but beware of false consensus. especially the ones involving groups tackling complex issues. i. faster’. Develop excellent decision-making skills Do this for yourself and for those around you.

The following list will help get you started: How much time do I need to allow to achieve my focus? What first-hand external cues do I need to pay attention to in order to make timely decisions? What time-based performance indicators do I need to establish in order to ensure that we move at the appropriate speed? How can these time-based performance indicators be linked to a strategic outcome? .Summary of Key Questions There are many questions you can ask yourself and those around you concerning timing.

faster’? How can I embed within our culture the concepts of 90-day change cycles and project management? 88 .What cycle times do we need to compress to be competitive? How can we recognize and reward people for embracing the concept of ‘better value. faster’ How can I lead by example concerning ‘better value.

How can I avoid the ‘learning organization’ trap of ‘all dialogue and little closure’? How can I use time (and impatience) to move things along? How can we develop our decision-making skills rapidly? .

Yet you will never fully know the truth. On the other hand.A Final Note on TIMING You will always look back and wonder whether or not you got the timing right. 90 . the good can keep you from your best. keep you from your unique contribution. faster. beware of those who would entice you into taking ‘urgent action’ without good reason. just those we let become urgent. Although you need to create opportunities for dialogue and consensus building. if you let it” Remember…better value. I particularly like how Mother Theresa put it when she said: “Even when the urgent is good. don’t allow it to be used as a crutch for inaction. Being fully committed to your focus will always propel you forward. The reality is that there are very few truly ‘urgent’ issues in our lives. sometimes it will be off. Make time your ally. Sometimes you will get the timing right.

there is one elementary truth. there is hesitancy. but he still has a long way to go. You do not have to succeed on a scale similar to many of the leaders quoted in this book. How much success you attract to you is largely dependent on the choices you make (remember. speaking about the Scottish Himalayan Experience towards the end of the 19th century. Few potentially great new leaders have emerged. leadership is a decision. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. I know. the chance to draw back. had this to say about it: “Until one is committed. . Concerning all acts of initiative and creation. Concerning commitment. H. Your success may be within your own family. President Barack Obama has many people in a hopeful frame of mind. then Providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision. your organization or community. your work team. raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance. Nothing has changed over the period within which I have worked on this manuscript.CONCLUSION I started out at the beginning of this book by saying that the world needs great leaders. the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: That the moment one definitely commits oneself. which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. W. Your journey towards becoming a great leader is unique to you. not a position) and of course your degree of commitment. Murray.

power and magic in it”” Are you ready to change the world? 92 .I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: “Whatever you can do. Boldness has genius. or dream you can. begin it.

USER’S GUIDE TO THE FIVE KEY FACETS FOCUS TIPS KEY QUESTIONS Your FOCUS needs to be… o A Central Theme It MUST be critical to the success of your organization An Enduring End Result Let it represent a leader’s legacy A Call to Action When people hear it they immediately react by thinking of ways to achieve it A New Much Higher Standard This is certainly not ‘business as usual’ – it can be described as a ‘breakaway strategy’ A BIG idea Not just a response to a BIG crisis o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o Describe your focus (7+/-2) What are the ‘towards motivators?’ What are the ‘away from motivators’? How clear and unambiguous is my focus? How specific and measurable is it? How much does it excite and scare me (get me up in the morning. keep me awake at night)? Is it central to our organization’s success? Do I have the energy to achieve it? Am I willing to stake my career on it? Does it excite others? Do they have the energy to achieve it? Does it get a negative reaction from some people? .

then move on 94 . afraid to o o o o Explore all aspects of yourself o o Face the future…let go of the past Learn how to trust yourself Seek feedback from those who know you Find a coach or mentor Avoid too much reliance on standardized tests and assessments Treat self-discovery as a lifelong journey o Consider discovery of your weaknesses as an opportunity to strengthen your team As you reveal your strengths and weaknesses to your followers. ask them to follow you on your journey Understand that people will initially expect more of you in terms of personal change than they will of themselves Learn to talk sincerely about your feelings in given situations Keep your word o o o o o o o o o Admit when you are wrong. think about its higher purpose Don’t be explore. as signposts to finding the questions that will work for you… o As you examine your focus. Find solitude Ask yourself searching questions Not so much questions.AUTHENTICITY TIPS KEY QUESTIONS To be more Authentic… o Spend more time with yourself.

whenever and as often as possible Defend those who support the focus o o Take the necessary time to think things through Call on others when you feel cornered o o o o o o .COURAGE TIPS KEY QUESTIONS To be more Courageous… o Believe absolutely and wholeheartedly in your focus o What will it take to achieve our focus…what will we need to START-STOPIMPROVE? How have we handled change in the past? How should we handle change this time around? How will we handle internal competition and conflict? How will we celebrate our past successes (sunsets) and rejoice in our new directions (sunrises)? How will we handle those who no longer want to be part of our organization? What must I as a leader personally do in order to lead by example? What personal behaviors must I START-STOPIMPROVE? o o Engage in vigorous debate on the values underpinning your focus.

live in the now Establish rapport Good conversations and active listening are the keys to empathic leadership… o How good am I at having conversations? How good am I at listening? Think of a recent conversation that went well. What were the differences between the two? Is organizational life an adventure for me. Clarify what the other person is saying Confirm what’s fact and what’s opinion Make a conscious decision to strike a balance between advocacy and inquiry Lighten up o o Take notes. Think of one that didn’t.EMPATHY TIPS KEY QUESTIONS To be more Empathic… Be present. for my followers/team members? If not. why not? How much fun do people have at work in our organization? How much do I value diversity? How can I ‘walk a while in their shoes’? How much open space do I give people in creating the changes that will support the focus? o o o o Focus on the other person. if appropriate Follow up o o Summarize the conversation and ask the other person to help you with this o o o o o o 96 .

faster’ How can I lead by example? How can I introduce the concepts of 90-day change cycles and project management? How can I avoid the ‘learning organization’ trap of ‘all dialogue and little closure’? o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o . Use external cues Emphasize value with speed Use dialogue and consensus building to move things along Develop excellent decision-making skills o How much time do I need to allow to achieve the focus? What first-hand external cues do I need to pay attention to? What time-based performance indicators do I need to establish? How can these timebased performance indicators be linked to a strategic outcome? What cycle times do we need to compress to be competitive? How can we recognize and reward people for embracing the concept of ‘better value.TIMING TIPS KEY QUESTIONS To master Timing… Make timing a priority Emphasize cycles of change Compress cycle times Lead by example Follow-up Use reasoned logic to tell you ‘when’ Know the payoff.

98 .

Doubleday Fred Smith.com: ‘Masters of Disaster’. some of these links may be redundant.html Difference between leading and managing.. Macmillan Canada Publishers The web is changing constantly.com and www.achievement.org Crisis management. see FastCompany.fastcompany.RESOURCES AND SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY References on Chapter 1: Focus Jack Welch.fedex. see “The GE Way Fieldbook” by Robert Slater.org Sam Walton.achievement. McGraw Hill Publishing Rosa Parks. see www. see “Made in America – My Story” by Sam Walton with John Huey. FOR AN UPDATED LIST OF LINKS VISIT: http://www. Chapter 3 – The High Performance Balance: Managing Things and Leading People.com . 8 Turnaround experts discuss how to deal with a crisis http://www. see “Pathways to Performance” by Jim Clemmer.. see www.com/online/45/one.FacetLeadership. By the time you read this.

. ‘A leader's journey’ http://www.org/index. Wharton http://www. see “Synchronicity – The Inner Path of Leadership” by Joseph Jawaorski.org/ Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership http://greenleaf.fastcompany. Ph.refresher.com/!moralleadership.com/online/25/wieand.refresher. Long.com see.refresher. Collins and Jerry I.html Collins and Porras.html Authenticity & Leadership..org/ FastCompany.alfnational. and James R... http://www.D. Ph.html Moral Leadership: A Pipedream? by Lawrence E.html Lessons in Authentic Leadership by Daniel D. see “Built to Last – Successful Habits of Visionary Companies” by James C.com/!authenticity.References on Chapter 2: Authenticity Joseph Jaworski.shambhalainstitute. Porras.What is the connection? Ivy Sea Online http://www. Berrett-Koehler Publishers Shambala Institute for Authentic Leadership http://www.D.html American Leadership Forum http://www.com/!authenticleadership. Elash. Harper Business 100 .

FacetLeadership. see http://www.com/ and http://www. Deal. By the time you read this.findarticles. Jossey-Bass Publishers Carlos Ghosn.com/cf_atinds/m3012/2_181/70935219/p1/article.Bolman and Deal.jht ml The web is changing constantly. see “Leading with Soul – An Uncommon Journey of Spirit” by Lee G. some of these links may be redundant. Bolman and Terrence E.com . FOR AN UPDATED LIST OF LINKS VISIT: http://www.nissandriven.

By the time you read this.htm Powering the Future (Book about Ballard Systems) Interview with the author Tom Koppel .com/archives/interviews2/tkoppel2.com/html/directors.jht ml FastCompany.com – ‘Brave Hearts.com ‘What Is Courage?’ William Ian Miller wrote the book on courage (The Mystery of Courage) -literally -.html CIO.cio. by Harriet Rubin http://www.and even he calls it a mystery.Parts 1 and 2 http://www. FOR AN UPDATED LIST OF LINKS VISIT: http://www.ca/insidecbc/newsinreview/feb98/emission/index.html Cutting Emissions: New Fuel for Cars http://cbc.ballard. Doubleday Currency Geoffrey Ballard. see “The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook” by Peter Senge et al.com/archives/interviews2/tkoppel1.generalhydrogen.html Find Articles.fastcompany. see www.html The web is changing constantly.FacetLeadership.evworld. Courage and Integrity are at the core of leadership’ http://www.html http://www.com .evworld.com/archive/110100_lead.com/cf_atinds/m3012/2_181/70935219/p1/article.com General Hydrogen http://www. some of these links may be redundant.com/online/55/courage.com 102 .findarticles.References on Chapter 3: Courage Peter Senge.Interview with Carlos Ghosn: ‘Ghosn to the rescue' http://www.

By the time you read this. William Pollard.openspaceworld. John Wiley & Sons Bill Pollard.References on Chapter 4: Empathy Robert Greenleaf. Harper Business/Zondervan Herb Kelleher.com/2001/01_02/b3714015.org/leaderbooks/L2L/spring97/kelleher. some of these links may be redundant. Women's Ways of Mentoring by Cheryl Dahle http://www.com/online/17/womentoring.com/ Business Week Top 25 Managers of the Year 2001 http://www. see ‘The Soul of the Firm’ by C.FacetLeadership. Larry C.org/ ‘Open Space Technology – A User’s Guide’ and ‘Expanding Our Now – The Story of Open Space Technology’ both by Harrison Owen.com .org/index. FOR AN UPDATED LIST OF LINKS VISIT: http://www.fastcompany.htm Harrison Owen and Open Space: http://www.).pfdf. Spears (Ed. Leader to Leader. 4 Spring 1997 http://www. see ‘A Culture of Commitment’ by Herb Kelleher Drucker Foundation for Non-Profits. see Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership http://greenleaf.html and ‘Insights on Leadership’.html The web is changing constantly. Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.html Southwest Airlines: http://iflyswa. No.businessweek.

com: Article 'The dark side of speed' http://www.References on Chapter 5: Timing FastCompany. FOR AN UPDATED LIST OF LINKS VISIT: http://www.html Business Today interview with George Stalk 'It is the relative speed that counts' http://www.india-today.com: ‘It's About Time’ by Jill Rosenfeld 17 people talk about the use of time.some contrarian views. see www. By the time you read this.ibm.com The web is changing constantly..html FastCycle. http://www.FacetLeadership. some of these links may be redundant.fastcycle..fastcompany.com/htm/Speed.htm Lou Gerstner.com/BTODAY/07071999/intrview.com/lvg/ Tom Peters.tompeters. see www.com/online/29/one.com 104 .

SELF.ASSESSMENT INSTRUMENTS Available from www.com: • Authenticity: DiSC® Management Profile and Leadership 363 Profile • • • Courage: Coping and Stress Profile® Empathy: Personal Listening Profile®. Team Dimensions Profile® Timing: Time Mastery Profile™ .Training-Store.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Brian Ward is co-founder and President of Affinity Consulting and Training Inc. consulting. healthcare. Alberta. He has over 30 years experience in the areas of human resources and total quality management. consulting and training organization based in Edmonton. education. insurance. He assists leaders and their teams build stronger high performance organizations.pdf If you would like to discuss setting up a workshop or leadership development program based on The FACET Leadership Model™ contact Brian at brianward@affinitymc. government. through a combination of leadership coaching.affinitymc.com 106 . a Canadian HR coaching. oil & gas.com/Catalog. or visit his website at www.affinitymc. His FOCUS is ‘Making People Stronger’. and non-profit. retail.. He has consulted to various sectors including banking.com or toll free by phone at 1-877-432-8182. A downloadable catalogue of workshops is available at www. manufacturing. and workshops.

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