Categories
Uncategorized

What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There

What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter

Some favourite excerpts…

More often than not, they are simple behavioral tics—bad habits that we repeat dozens of times a day in the workplace—which can be cured by (a) pointing them out, (b) showing the havoc they cause among the people surrounding us, and (c) demonstrating that with a slight behavioral tweak we can achieve a much more appealing effect.

==========

First, I solicit “360-degree feedback” from their colleagues—as many as I can talk to up, down, and sideways in the chain of command, often including family members—for a comprehensive assessment of their strengths and weaknesses. Then I confront them with what everybody really thinks about them. Assuming that they accept this information, agree that they have room to improve, and commit to changing that behavior, then I show them how to do it. I help them apologize to everyone affected by their flawed behavior (because it’s the only way to erase the negative baggage associated with our prior actions) and ask the same people for help in getting better. I help them advertise their efforts to get better because you have to tell people that you’re trying to change; they won’t notice it on their own. Then I help them follow up religiously every month or so with their colleagues because it’s the only honest way to find out how you’re doing and it also reminds people that you’re still trying. As an integral part of this follow-up process, I teach people to listen without prejudice to what their colleagues, family members, and friends are saying—that is, listen without interrupting or arguing. I also show them that the only proper response to whatever they hear is gratitude. That is, I teach them how to say “Thank you” without ruining the gesture or embellishing it. I am a huge apostle for thanking. Finally, I teach them the miracle of feedforward, which is my “special sauce” methodology for eliciting advice from people on what they can do to get better in the future. It’s often humbling for these overachievers, but after 12 to 18 months they get better—not only in their own minds but, more important, in the opinions of

==========

When the “do-nothings” are asked, “Why didn’t you implement the behavioral change that you said you would?” by far the most common response is, “I meant to, but I just didn’t have time to get to it.” In other words, they were overcommitted. It’s not that they didn’t want to change, or didn’t agree with the value of changing. They just ran out of hours in the day. They thought that they would “get to it later”—and “later” never arrived. Overcommitment can be as serious an obstacle to change as believing that you don’t need fixing or that your flaws are part of the reason you’re successful.

==========

I have now made peace with the fact that I cannot make people change. I can only help them get better at what they choose to change.

==========

Almost everyone I meet is successful because of doing a lot of things right, and almost everyone I meet is successful in spite of some behavior that defies common sense. One of my greatest challenges is helping leaders see the difference, see that they are confusing “because of” and “in spite of” behaviors, and avoid this “superstition trap.”

==========

What we’re dealing with here are challenges in interpersonal behavior, often leadership behavior. They are the egregious everyday annoyances that make your workplace substantially more noxious than it needs to be. They don’t happen in a vacuum. They are transactional flaws performed by one person against others. They are: 1. Winning too much: The need to win at all costs and in all situations—when it matters, when it doesn’t, and when it’s totally beside the point. 2. Adding too much value: The overwhelming desire to add our two cents to every discussion. 3. Passing judgment: The need to rate others and impose our standards on them. 4. Making destructive comments: The needless sarcasms and cutting remarks that we think make us sound sharp and witty. 5. Starting with “No,” “But,” or “However”: The overuse of these negative qualifiers which secretly say to everyone, “I’m right. You’re wrong.” 6. Telling the world how smart we are: The need to show people we’re smarter than they think we are. 7. Speaking when angry: Using emotional volatility as a management tool. 8. Negativity, or “Let me explain why that won’t work”: The need to share our negative thoughts even when we weren’t asked. 9. Withholding information: The refusal to share information in order to maintain an advantage over others. 10. Failing to give proper recognition: The inability to praise and reward. 11. Claiming credit that we don’t deserve: The most annoying way to overestimate our contribution to any success. 12. Making excuses: The need to reposition our annoying behavior as a permanent fixture so people excuse us for it. 13. Clinging to the past: The need to deflect blame away from ourselves and onto events and people from our past; a subset of blaming everyone else. 14. Playing favorites: Failing to see that we are treating someone unfairly. 15. Refusing to express regret: The inability to take responsibility for our actions, admit we’re wrong, or recognize how our actions affect others. 16. Not listening: The most passive-aggressive form of disrespect for colleagues. 17. Failing to express gratitude: The most basic form of bad manners. 18. Punishing the messenger: The misguided need to attack the innocent who are usually only trying to help us. 19. Passing the buck: The need to blame everyone but ourselves. 20. An excessive need to be “me”: Exalting our faults as virtues simply because they’re who we are.

==========

Try this: For one week treat every idea that comes your way from another person with complete neutrality. Think of yourself as a human Switzerland. Don’t take sides. Don’t express an opinion. Don’t judge the comment. If you find yourself constitutionally incapable of just saying “Thank you,” make it an innocuous, “Thanks, I hadn’t considered that.” Or, “Thanks. You’ve given me something to think about.”

==========

My specific challenge (and I’m not proud of this) was not that I made nasty comments to people directly. I would do it when they weren’t in the room. This was a problem for me as a manager. In an environment where everyone’s preaching the value of teamwork and reaching out in the organization, what happens to the quality of teamwork and cooperation when we stab our coworkers in the back in front of other people? It does not go up. And I wanted the business to succeed.

==========

So, how do you tone down the need to tell the world how smart you are? The first step is recognizing our behavior. Have you ever done this? Your assistant dashes into your office with a document that needs your immediate attention. What your assistant doesn’t know is that you’ve already been alerted to the situation a few minutes earlier by another colleague. What do you do? Do you accept the document and thank your assistant, omitting the fact that you already are up to speed on the matter? Or do you find some way to make your assistant aware that you are privy to the information? In my experience, this seemingly insignificant moment is a litmus test for our excessive need to tell people how smart we are. If you can let the moment pass with a simple “Thank you,” you’re doing fine. If you’re like most people, though, you won’t let it go so easily. You’ll find a way to communicate that you are a step ahead of your assistant.

==========

What I’d prefer to focus on are all the unintentional or accidental ways we withhold information. We do this when we’re too busy to get back to someone with valuable information. We do this when we forget to include someone in our discussions or meetings. We do this when we delegate a task to our subordinates but don’t take the time to show them exactly how we want the task done.

==========

Likewise the next time you hear one of your coworkers try to worm their way out of accepting responsibility by saying, “I’m just no good at . . . ,” ask them, “Why not?” If we can stop excusing ourselves, we can get better at almost anything we choose.

==========

But enough about what’s wrong with feedback. I’m not trying to prove that negative feedback creates dysfunction. Feedback is very useful for telling us “where we are.” Without feedback, I couldn’t work with my clients. I wouldn’t know what everyone thinks my client needs to change. Likewise, without feedback, we wouldn’t have results. We couldn’t keep score. We wouldn’t know if we were getting better or worse. Just as salespeople need feedback on what’s selling and leaders need feedback on how they are perceived by their subordinates, we all need feedback to see where we are, where we need to go, and to measure our progress.

==========

When I work with a coaching client, I always get confidential feedback from many of my client’s coworkers at the beginning of the process. The fewest I have ever interviewed is eight and the most is thirty-one. My average is about fifteen. The number of interviewees depends upon the company’s size and the executive’s job. Before I begin these interviews, I involve my client in determining who should be interviewed. Each interview lasts about an hour and focuses on the basics: What is my client doing right, what does my client need to change, and how my (already successful) client can get even better!

==========

As part of my interview process, I enlist each of my client’s coworkers to help me out. I want them to assist, not sabotage the change process. I let the coworker know how my process works by saying, “I’m going to be working with my client for the next year or so. I don’t get paid if he doesn’t get better. ‘Better’ is not defined by me. It’s not defined by my client. ‘Better’ is defined by you and the other coworkers who will be involved in this process.”

==========

I then present these coworkers with four requests. I call them The Four Commitments. I need them to commit to: 1. Let go of the past. 2. Tell the truth. 3. Be supportive and helpful—not cynical or negative. 4. Pick something to improve yourself—so everyone is focused more on “improving” than “judging.”

==========

First commitment: Can they let go of the past? Whatever real or imagined sins you have committed against people in the past, they are long past correction. You can’t do anything to erase them. So, you need to ask people to let go of the past. This is simple, but it is not easy. Most of us have never forgiven our mothers and fathers for not being the perfect parents. We cannot forgive our children for not being the ideal kids. We don’t forgive our spouse for not being the perfect partner. Quite often, we can’t forgive ourselves for not being the perfect us. But you have to get this first commitment. Without it, you can’t shift people’s minds away from critic toward helper. As a friend wisely noted, “Forgiveness means letting go of the hope for a better past!”

==========

Second commitment: Will they swear to tell the truth? You don’t want to work your butt off for a year, trying to get better based on what people have told you that you were doing wrong—and then find out that they didn’t really mean it. That they were jiving you, that they were only saying what they thought you wanted to hear. That’s a waste of time. I’m not naive. I know people can be dishonest. But if you solicit—no, demand—honesty from people, you can proceed with the confidence that you’re going in the right direction—and that you won’t get a rude surprise at the end.

==========

Third commitment: Will they be supportive, without being a cynic, critic, or judge? This is asking a lot of people, especially if they are in a subordinate position to you. People are just as likely to suspect or resent their superiors at work as respect and admire them. So you have to remove any and all of their judgmental impulses from the equation. Do that and people are much more inclined to be helpful. At some point, they realize that if you get better, they have won something too. They get a kinder, gentler, better boss.

==========

Fourth commitment: Will they pick one thing they can improve in themselves? This is the subtlest commitment, but it only sounds like you’re asking a lot from your colleagues. What you’re actually doing is creating parity, even a bond, between you and the other person. Imagine if you walked into work one day and announced that you were going on a diet. Most people would respond to that announcement with a massive yawn. But what if you announced your plans and also asked a colleague to help you—for example, to help you monitor your eating habits and stay on track? Since most people like to help their friends, you’d probably get a much more involved and sincere response to your objective. Finally, what if you add the compelling reciprocal twist of saying, “Now, what would you like to change in yourself? I’d like to return the favor and help you”? If you do that, you won’t have any problem enlisting support. Suddenly, both you and the other person have become equals: fellow humans engaged in the same struggle to improve.

==========

The client not only changed for the better because he was getting support from his coworkers, but the coworkers changed too because of what they learned by supporting him. This is a rich and subtle dynamic, proving that change is not a one-way street. It involves two parties: the person who’s changing and the people who notice it.

==========

Stop doing that. Treat every piece of advice as a gift or a compliment and simply say, “Thank you.” No one expects you to act on every piece of advice. If you learn to listen—and act on the advice that makes sense—the people around you may be thrilled.

==========

In soliciting feedback for yourself, the only question that works—the only one!—must be phrased like this: “How can I do better?” Semantic variations are permitted, such as, “What can I do to be a better partner at home?” or, “What can I do to be a better colleague at work?” or, “What can I do to be a better leader of this group?”

==========

I sometimes have clients conduct the following exercise. When they’re in a team and starting to get bored, I ask them to pretend they’re watching a movie with the sound off. They can’t hear what anyone is saying. It’s an exercise in sensitizing themselves to their colleagues’ behavior. They must ask themselves what’s going on around them. One of the first things they see is no different than what they hear with the sound on: People are promoting themselves. Only with this newfound sensitization, they see how people physically maneuver and gesture to gain primacy in a group setting. They lean forward toward the dominant authority figure. They turn away from people with diminished power. They cut rivals off with hand and arm gestures. It’s no different than what people are doing with the sound on except that it’s even more obvious with the sound off.

==========

The action plan for leaders (and followers): If you want to really know how your behavior is coming across with your colleagues and clients, stop looking in the mirror and admiring yourself. Let your colleagues hold the mirror and tell you what they see. If you don’t believe them, go home. Pose the same question to your loved ones and friends—the people in your life who are most likely to be agenda-free and who truly want you to succeed. We all claim to want the truth. This is a guaranteed delivery system.

==========

These five examples of observed feedback are stealth techniques to make you pay closer attention to the world around you. When you make a list of people’s comments about you and rank them as negative or positive, you’re tuning in the world with two new weapons: Judgment and purpose. When you turn off the sound, you’re increasing your sensitivity to others by counterintuitively eliminating the precious sense of hearing. When you try the sentence completion technique, you’re using retrograde analysis—that is, seeing the end result and then identifiying the skill you’ll need to achieve it. When you challenge the accuracy of your self-aggrandizing remarks, you’re flipping your world upside down—and seeing that you’re no different from anyone else. Finally, when you check out how your behavior is working at home, you realize not only what you need to change but why it matters so much. The logic behind these drills is simple: If you can see your world in a new way, perhaps you can see yourself anew as well.

==========

If it isn’t obvious by now, I regard apologizing as the most magical, healing, restorative gesture human beings can make. It is the centerpiece of my work with executives who want to get better—because without the apology there is no recognition that mistakes have been made, there is no announcement to the world of the intention to change, and most important there is no emotional contract between you and the people you care about.

==========

Once you’re prepared to apologize, here’s the instruction manual: You say, “I’m sorry.” You add, “I’ll try to do better in the future.” Not absolutely necessary, but prudent in my view because when you let go of the past, it’s nice to hint at a brighter future. And then . . . you say nothing. Don’t explain it. Don’t complicate it. Don’t qualify it. You only risk saying something that will dilute it.

==========

I tell my clients, “It’s a lot harder to change people’s perception of your behavior than it is to change your behavior. In fact, I calculate that you have to get 100% better in order to get 10% credit for it from your coworkers.”

==========

You failed to appreciate that every successful project goes through seven phases: The first is assessing the situation; the second is isolating the problem; the third is formulating. But there are three more phases before you get to the seventh, implementation. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t pay close attention to phases four, five, and six—the vital period when you approach your coworkers to secure the all-important political buy-in to your plans. In each phase you must target a different constituency. In phase 4, you woo up—to get your superiors to approve. In phase 5, you woo laterally—to get your peers to agree. In phase 6, you woo down—to get your direct reports to accept. These three phases are the sine qua non of getting things done. You cannot skip or skim over them. You have to give them as much, if not more, attention, as you do phases one, two, three, and seven. If you don’t, you may as well be working alone in a locked room where no one sees you, hears you, or knows you exist. That’s the guaranteed result of committing “one, two, three, seven.”

==========

Basically, there are three things that all good listeners do: They think before they speak; they listen with respect; and they’re always gauging their response by asking themselves, “Is it worth it?” Let’s examine each one and see if it makes us better listeners.

==========

The implications of “Is it worth it?” are profound—and go beyond listening. In effect, you are taking the age-old question of self-interest, “What’s in it for me?” one step further to ask, “What’s in it for him?” That’s a profound consequential leap of thought. Suddenly, you’re seeing the bigger picture.

==========

Ninety percent of this skill is listening, of course. And listening requires a modicum of discipline—the discipline to concentrate. So I’ve developed a simple exercise to test my clients’ listening skills. It’s simple—as simple as asking people to touch their toes to establish how limber they are. I ask them to close their eyes and count slowly to fifty with one simple goal: They cannot let another thought intrude into their mind. They must concentrate on maintaining the count. What could be simpler than that? Try it. Incredibly, more than half my clients can’t do it. Somewhere around twenty or thirty, nagging thoughts invade their brain. They think about a problem at work, or their kids, or how much they ate for dinner the night before. This may sound like a concentration test, but it’s really a listening exercise. After all, if you can’t listen to yourself (someone you presumably like and respect) as you count to fifty, how will you ever be able to listen to another person?

==========

That’s what this fifty-count exercise achieves. It exposes how easily distracted we can be when we’re not talking. But it also helps us develop our concentration muscles—our ability to maintain focus. Do this exercise regularly and you’ll soon be counting to 50 without interrupting yourself. This newfound power of concentration will make you a better listener.

==========

Put this book down and make your next interpersonal encounter—whether it’s with your spouse or a colleague or a stranger—an exercise in making the other person feel like a million bucks. Try to employ the tiny tactics we’ve outlined here. •  Listen. •  Don’t interrupt. •  Don’t finish the other person’s sentences. •  Don’t say “I knew that.” •  Don’t even agree with the other person (even if he praises you, just say, “Thank you”). •  Don’t use the words “no,” “but,” and “however.” •  Don’t be distracted. Don’t let your eyes or attention wander elsewhere while the other person is talking. •  Maintain your end of the dialogue by asking intelligent questions that (a) show you’re paying attention, (b) move the conversation forward, and (c) require the other person to talk (while you listen). •  Eliminate any striving to impress the other person with how smart or funny you are. Your only aim is to let the other person feel that he or she is accomplishing that.

==========

If you can do that, you’ll uncover a glaring paradox: The more you subsume your desire to shine, the more you will shine in the other person’s eyes.

==========

No matter how far along you are in life, think about your career. Who are the people most responsible for your success? Write down the first 25 names that come to mind. Ask yourself, “Have I ever told them how grateful I am for their help?” If you’re like the rest of us, you probably have fallen short in this area. Before you do anything else (including moving on to the next chapter of this book) write each of these people a thank you note.

==========

The process is a lot like physical exercise. Imagine having out-of-shape people sit in a room and listen to a speech on the importance of exercising, then watch some tapes on how to exercise, and perhaps then spend a few minutes simulating the act of exercising. Would you be surprised if all the people in the room were still unfit a year later? The source of physical fitness is not understanding the theory of working out. It is engaging in regular exercise. Well, that pretty much sums up the value of executive development without follow-up. Nobody ever changed for the better by going to a training session. They got better by doing what they learned in the program. And that “doing,” by definition, involves follow-up.

==========

For example, you say, I want to be a better listener. Would you suggest two ideas that I can implement in the future that will help me become a better listener? The other person suggests, First, focus all your attention on the other person. Get in a physical position, the “listening position,” such as sitting on the edge of your seat or leaning forward toward the individual. Second, don’t interrupt, no matter how much you disagree with what you’re hearing. These two ideas represent feedforward. 4. Listen attentively to the suggestions. Take notes if you like. Your only ground rule: You are not allowed to judge, rate, or critique the suggestions in any way. You can’t even say something positive, such as, “That’s a good idea.” The only response you’re permitted is, Thank you.

==========

David’s problem wasn’t that he ignored what people told him. As CFO, he knew the results better than anyone. David’s problem was that he wasn’t very good at “spinning” the media. That’s not a behavioral problem. It’s a skill problem. David needed a coach all right—a media coach. But he didn’t need me.

==========

Or, “No matter how terrific your idea and how thoroughly you’ve thought it out, I’m going to add my two cents to it in order to improve it. Your first impulse will be to listen to me and act on my suggestion. Please don’t. Just nod your head and pretend you’re listening. If you’re as smart as I thought you were when I hired you, you’ll ignore me and do it your way.”

==========

I asked the executive to imagine the feedback I would have gotten from all his departed assistants. What would they say good and bad about him? Then I asked him to write it down as if it were a memo to his next prospective assistant titled “How to Handle Me.” Here’s what he wrote: I’m good with people and even better with ideas. If clients have a problem, it’s my job to come up with a creative solution. I’m bad at everything else. I hate paperwork. I find it hard to perform the usual courtesies that clients expect of a personal services business. I don’t follow up with thank you notes. I don’t remember birthdays. I dread picking up the phone, because it’s always someone with a problem, never someone calling to say that a huge check is on its way to me or that I’ve won the lottery. You need to know this about me. I have a pretty good idea how the business is doing, but I don’t like budgets and expense reports and projections. People think I’m an unmade bed as a manager, and they’re right. I’m not bragging or being self-deprecating. It’s the truth. On the personal side, I’m a decent, polite human being. I’ll never yell at you. When things are going well and we’ve pulled off a few miracles in a row, I begin to think I’m one of the funniest, most charming people on earth. You may find my humor caustic at these times. Please don’t take it personally. Better yet, tell me I’m out of line. I have a relaxed laissez-faire personality, and the more hectic things get, the calmer I get. That’s my peculiar reflex to pressure. Don’t misinterpret this cool demeanor to mean that I don’t care. I care a lot. I only expect one thing of you: I want you to do as much of my job as you can handle. The less I have to do the better. Do that and we will succeed magnificently together.

==========

Making the staff less dependent on her, I said, was a good thing. But they still needed leadership. They still needed to be re-directed. I had her arrange discussions with each of her direct reports—to discuss two things: One, I wanted her to ask each of them, “Let’s look at your responsibilities. Are there areas where you think I need to be more involved and less involved?” She was making them define the areas where they could legitimately ask for face time with her—and areas where it was not legitimate. In effect, she was delegating more responsibility to them, but in a generous and empowering way. She was allowing them to determine how much responsibility they could take. Two, I wanted her to say, “Now let’s look at my job. Do you ever see me doing things that a person at my level shouldn’t be doing, such as getting involved in details that are too minor to worry about?” She was forcing them to come up with ideas for how she could become more disengaged. In effect, she was letting them help her get home by 6:30. What better gift can a leader present to his or her troops? And vice versa.

==========

I conducted a research project for Accenture involving more than 200 high-potential leaders from 120 companies around the world. Each company could nominate only two future leaders, the very brightest of its young stars. These are the kinds of people who could jump at a moment’s notice to better-paying positions elsewhere. We asked each of these young stars a simple question: “If you stay in this company, why are you going to stay?” The three top answers were: 1. “I am finding meaning and happiness now. The work is exciting and I love what I am doing.” 2. “I like the people. They are my friends. This feels like a team. It feels like a family. I could make more money working with other people, but I don’t want to leave the people here.” 3. “I can follow my dreams. This organization is giving me a chance to do what I really want to do in life.” The answers were never about money. They were always about happiness, relationships, following dreams, and meaning. When my friend asked people on their deathbeds what was important to them, they gave exactly the same answers as the high-potential leaders I interviewed.

==========

This leadership inventory was developed as part of a research project (sponsored by Accenture) involving 200 specially selected high-potential leaders from 120 companies around the world. Respondents are asked to rate leaders on a five-point scale, ranging from Highly Satisfied to Highly Dissatisfied. Global Leadership Inventory Consider your own (or this person’s) effectiveness in the following areas. How satisfied are you with the way he or she (or you) . . . Thinking Globally 1. Recognizes the impact of globalization on our business 2. Demonstrates the adaptability required to succeed in the global environment 3. Strives to gain the variety of experiences needed to conduct global business 4. Makes decisions that incorporate global considerations 5. Helps others understand the impact of globalization Appreciating Diversity 6. Embraces the value of diversity in people (including culture, race, sex, or age) 7. Effectively motivates people from different cultures or backgrounds 8. Recognizes the value of diverse views and opinions 9. Helps others appreciate the value of diversity 10. Actively expands her/his knowledge of other cultures (through interactions, language study, travel, etc.) Developing Technological Savvy 11. Strives to acquire the technological knowledge needed to succeed in tomorrow’s world 12. Successfully recruits people with needed technological expertise 13. Effectively manages the issue of technology to increase productivity Building Partnerships 14. Treats coworkers as partners, not competitors 15. Unites his/her organization into an effective team 16. Builds effective partnerships across the company 17. Discourages destructive comments about other people or groups 18. Builds effective alliances with other organizations 19. Creates a network of relationships that help to get things done Sharing Leadership 20. Willingly shares leadership with business partners 21. Defers to others when they have more expertise 22. Strives to arrive at an outcome with others (as opposed to for others) 23. Creates an environment where people focus on the larger good (avoids sub-optimization or “turfism”) Creating a Shared Vision 24. Creates and communicates a clear vision for our organization 25. Effectively involves people in decision-making 26. Inspires people to commit to achieving the vision 27. Develops an effective strategy to achieve the vision 28. Clearly identifies priorities Developing People 29. Consistently treats people with dignity 30. Asks people what they need to do their work better 31. Ensures that people receive the training they need to succeed 32. Provides effective coaching 33. Provides developmental feedback in a timely manner 34. Provides effective recognition for others’ achievements Empowering People 35. Builds people’s confidence 36. Takes risks in letting others make decisions 37. Gives people the freedom they need to do their job well 38. Trusts people enough to let go (avoids micromanagement) Achieving Personal Mastery 39. Deeply understands her/his own strengths and weaknesses 40. Invests in ongoing personal development 41. Involves people who do not have strengths that he/she does not possess 42. Demonstrates effective emotional responses in a variety of situations 43. Demonstrates self-confidence as a leader Encouraging Constructive Dialogue 44. Asks people what he/she can do to improve 45. Genuinely listens to others 46. Accepts constructive feedback in a positive manner (avoids defensiveness) 47. Strives to understand the other person’s frame of reference 48. Encourages people to challenge the status quo Demonstrates Integrity 49. Demonstrates honest, ethical behavior in all interactions 50. Ensures that the highest standards for ethical behavior are practiced throughout the organization 51. Avoids political or self-serving behavior 52. Courageously “stands up” for what she/he believes in 53. Is a role model for living our organization’s values (leads by example) Leading Change 54. Sees change as an opportunity, not a problem 55. Challenges the system when change is needed 56. Thrives in ambiguous situations (demonstrates flexibility when needed) 57. Encourages creativity and innovation in others 58. Effectively translates creative ideas into business results Anticipating Opportunities 59. Invests in learning about future trends 60. Effectively anticipates future opportunities 61. Inspires people to focus on future opportunities (not just present objectives) 62. Develops ideas to meet the needs of the new environment Ensuring Customer Satisfaction 63. Inspires people to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction 64. Views business processes from the ultimate customer perspective (has an “end to end” perspective) 65. Regularly solicits input from customers 66. Consistently delivers on commitments to customers 67. Understands the competitive options available to her/his customers Maintaining a Competitive Advantage 68. Communicates a positive, “can do” sense of urgency toward getting the job done 69. Holds people accountable for their results 70. Successfully eliminates waste and unneeded cost 71. Provides products/services that help our company have a clear competitive advantage 72. Achieves results that lead to long-term shareholder value Written Comments What are your strengths? Or if you are evaluating someone, what does this person do that you particularly appreciate? (Please list two or three specific items.) What specifically might you do to be more effective? Or if evaluating someone, what suggestions would you have for this person on how she or he could become even more effective? (Please list two or three specific items).

==========

*I outlined the complete methodology, statistical results, the companies involved, and my conclusions in “Leadership Is a Contact Sport: The Follow-Up Factor in Management Development,” written with Howard Morgan, in Strategy and Business, Fall 2004.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *