Volume 28 Issue 4                       E . D . I . T . O . R ’ S             N . O . T . E                             Le...
LEADERSHIP        ARCHETYPES                                                               project; their carefully select...
CAPABILITY         LEARNING                     uation. The person being asked for help             1. Learning how to ask...
MANAGEMENT           ALIGNMENT                to be available whenever someone wants                      CAPABILITY      ...
Four personality types have excep-                            LEADERSHIP        ALIGNMENT                   up in several ...
LEADERSHIP       SERVICE                                                              which the signs are faint, leaders m...
CHANGE        INNOVATION                                                                      of their accomplishments tha...
situation. Risk taking is not a blank check                           LEADERSHIP          STRATEGIES                 more ...
CAPABILITY         BREAKTHROUGHS            blinded him to the need to develop his      skills that you didn’t need when y...
Leadership Excellence April 2011
Leadership Excellence April 2011
Leadership Excellence April 2011
Leadership Excellence April 2011
Leadership Excellence April 2011
Leadership Excellence April 2011
Leadership Excellence April 2011
Leadership Excellence April 2011
Leadership Excellence April 2011
Leadership Excellence April 2011
Leadership Excellence April 2011
Leadership Excellence April 2011
Leadership Excellence April 2011
Leadership Excellence April 2011
Leadership Excellence April 2011
Leadership Excellence April 2011
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Leadership Excellence April 2011


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  • Podia ser só amizade, paixão, carinho,
    admiração, respeito, ternura, tesão.
    Com tantos sentimentos arrumados
    cuidadosamente na prateleira de cima,
    tinha de ser justo amor, meu Deus?
    Porque quando fecho os olhos, é você quem eu vejo;
    aos lados, em cima, embaixo, por fora e por dentro de mim.
    Dilacerando felicidades de mentira,
    desconstruindo tudo o que planejei,
    Abrindo todas as janelas para um mundo deserto.
    É você quem sorri, morde o lábio, fala grosso, conta histórias,
    me tira do sério, faz ares de palhaço, pinta segredos,
    ilumina o corredor por onde passo todos os dias.
    É agora que quero dividir maçãs, achar o fim do arco-íris,
    pisar sobre estrelas e acordar serena.
    É para já que preciso contar as descobertas, alisar seu peito,
    preparar uma massa, sentir seus cílios.
    “Claro, o dia de amanhã cuidará do dia de amanhã
    e tudo chegará no tempo exato. Mas e o dia de hoje?”
    Não quero saber de medo, paciência, tempo que vai chegar.
    Não negue, apareça. Seja forte.
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
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Leadership Excellence April 2011

  1. 1. Excellence L E A D E R S H I PTHE MAGAZINE OF LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, MANAGERIAL EFFECTIVENESS, AND ORGANIZATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY APRIL 2011 Humble Inquiry Why Leaders Fail Collective Henrik Ekelund CEO BTS Leadership “Leadership Excellence is an exceptional Unite Diverse Groups way to learn and then apply the best and latest ideas in the field of leadership.” —WARREN BENNIS, AUTHOR AND USC PROFESSOR OF MANAGEMENT w w w . L e a d e r E x c e l . c o m
  2. 2. Excellence L E A D E R S H I P THE MAGAZINE OF LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, MANAGERIAL EFFECTIVENESS, AND ORGANIZATIONAL PRODUCTIVITYVOL. 28 NO. 4 THE GLOBAL LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT RESOURCE A P R I L 2 0 11 Scenic Hazard Most leaders who are standing in the tee box enjoy a telescopic vision or scenic vista, yet all they can see in the fore- ground is the pox of sand traps and ocean waves with many ways to fail and few safe places to drive business, save strokes, or make money. JAMES QUIGLEY AND GARY D. BURNISON Turn Vision into Reality Personal Leader Brand STEPHEN LANGTON Beyond Perception Great companies become Go beyond having a Collective Leadership Stay connected to what real communities. . . . . . .11 leader point of view. . . . 16 Unite diverse groups in a matters the most . . . . . . . .7 common purpose. . . . . . . 3 STEVE ARNESON SANDI EDWARDS CHIP R. BELL AND Employee Bill of Rights Sudden Leader Loss EDGAR H. SCHEIN Every person deserves to JOHN R. PATTERSON Most organizations have certain rights. . . . . .12 Humble Inquiry Cultivate Innovation are very ill-prepared . . . .17 For leaders, helping others It requires you to exercise HENRIK EKELUND is complicated. . . . . . . . . . .4 JOE FOLKMAN bold leadership. . . . . . . . . 8 Practice Makes Perfect Put and keep the company Employee Commitment MARK NYMAN The grass is not always SHEILA MURRAY BETHEL on the right course. . . . . 13 Function Misalignment greener elsewhere. . . . . .18 Align the purpose Effective Leadership You can take three steps to JONAS AKERMAN with the strategy. . . . . . . . 5 IRA CHALEFF enhance authenticity. . . . 9 Effective Simulations 10 key elements of success- Courageous Followers E. TED PRINCE ful simulations. . . . . . . . .13 Would we stand up DANA C. ACKLEY Money Makers for or to our leaders. . . . .19 Very few managers or Glass Walls IRVING BUCHEN leaders create revenue. . . .5 Break through to a BEVERLY KAYE AND brighter future. . . . . . . . .10 Why Leaders Fail Avoid 10 dead-ends. . . . .14 BEVERLY CROWELL LARRY SENN Coaching for Engagement Leader’s Job #1 MARC MICHAELSON AND DAVE ULRICH AND Tap into discretionary Align strategy and culture. . .6 JOHN ANDERSON NORM SMALLWOOD energy and effort. . . . . . .20
  3. 3. Volume 28 Issue 4 E . D . I . T . O . R ’ S N . O . T . E Leadership Excellence (ISSN 8756-2308) is published monthly by Executive ExcellencePrinciple-Centered Publishing, LLC (dba Leadership Excellence), 1806 North 1120 West, Provo, UT 84604. Editorial Purpose: I feel that I’ve come full circle. Our mission is to promote personal and organi- zational leadership based on constructive values, sound ethics, and timeless principles. Basic Annual Rate: by Ken Shelton C o m i n g F u l l C i r cl e US $99 one year (12 issues)) Also in March I visited the offices of The Corporate Bulk Rates (to same address) Full Circle Group, aiming to deliver on the Ask about logo and custom editions I and foreign bulk rates. N MARCH LEADERSHIP Excel- promise of effective leadership and business lence co-sponsored the Prin- performance. Developing effective leader- Article Reprints: ciple-Centered Leadership ship is now a strategic priority, says partner For reprints of 100 or more, please contact the editorial department at 801-375-4060Conference at Utah State University Hunts- Bill Adams. “Given the high impact that or email CustomerService@LeaderExcel.com. Permission PDF US: $75.man School of Management, home of the effective leadership has on performance, itCovey Center for Leadership. is tempting to treat leadership development Internet Address: www.LeaderExcel.com In 1984, we started publishing Leadership as an activity separate from running the Submissions & Correspondence:Excellence under the banner of the Institute business. Our unique approach engages All correspondence, articles, letters, and requests to reprint articles should be sent to:for Principle-Centered Leadership—as a organizations in leader development within Editorial Department, Executive Excellence,joint-venture alliance with the Covey Leader- the context of business performance. This inte- 1806 North 1120 West, Provo, Utah 84604; 801-375-4060, or editorial@LeaderExcel.com.ship Center. That same year, I started writing gration is our governing principle, andtwo books with Stephen R. Covey: 7 Habits when this principle is put into practice, it Customer Service/Circulation: For information on products andof Highly Effective People and Principle-Center- helps organizations develop leadership as a services call 1-877-250-1983 ored Leadership. While 7 Habits sold more competitive advantage. email: CustomerService@LeaderExcel.com.copies (one of the top 20 best-selling Again in March, I welcomed Executive Excellence Publishing:nonfiction books of all-time), the home a son, Chris, who had been Ken Shelton, CEO, Editor-in-Chief Sean Beck, Circulation Manageridea of PCL may be more useful as a serving two years in Sweden, andleadership development paradigm. (within two days) welcomed two Contributing Editors: Chip Bell, Warren Bennis, Dianna Booher, In a nutshell, PCL is based on the granddaughters (Kora and Zoey) Kevin Cashman, Marshall Goldsmith, Howardnotion that Universal Principles ulti- into the world. This, indeed, is Guttman, Jim Kouzes, Jim Loehr, Tom Peters, Norm Smallwoodmately govern in life and leadership. coming full circle.As Covey has proven, when people I selected the great golf art of The table of contents art is a detail from 2010 U.S. Open Championship, The 9th Hole, Pebbleseek to develop a value system, Linda Hartough for the cover this Beach Golf Links (image cropped) © Lindathey identify the same basic values Linda Hartough month because all of us face a hard, Hartough, and is courtesy of the artist and art print publisher Greenwich Workshop.when four conditions are met: you tough situation like the ninth hole atget enough people interacting; there is a Pebble Beach. Whether we are new-born or For additional information on artwork by Linda Hartough, please contact:spirit of trust and openness; people are born again or coming full circle, the cycle of Greenwich Workshop 151 Main Streetinformed about the problems and issues; life and leadership presents challenges. The Saymour, CT 06483and they feel they can communicate freely vision or vista may be appealing, but in the 1-800-243-4246 www.greenwichworkshop.comand synergistically. And these universal val- foreground we see nothing but rough traps.ues deal with four dimensions: physical or Full view of table of contents art.economic; social or relationship; mental, tal- L e a r n i n g / L D E l i t eent, or intelligence; spiritual or meaning. Congratulations to CLO 2011 LearningElite “If leaders don’t build their value sys- Organizations: Accenture, Alexian Brotherstems on bedrock principles and try to live Medical Center, Allied Barton Securityby them—acknowledging that they fail Services, Almac Group, Amdocs, AT&T,much of the time, but striving to get back in Banner Health, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CAalignment—they’ll have dysfunctional cul- Technologies, Cerner., Defense Acquisition Copyright © 2011 Executive Excellence Publishing. No part of this publication may be reproduced ortures,” notes Covey. University, Deloitte, Department of Veterans transmitted without written permission from the “As leaders alienate themselves from Affairs, EMC., Emory University, Farmers publisher. Quotations must be credited.moral conscience based on natural laws and Insurance Group, FedEx, Genentech, Generalcorrect principles, they are influenced more Mills, Grant Thornton, IBM, InterContinentalby the social conscience of political correct- Hotels Group, J. C. Penney Co., Life Timeness, popularity, and public relations. In Fitness, Loblaw Cos., Lowe’s Cos., ManTechevery great culture or organization, people Intl., McDonald’s, Nationwide Insurance,speak up when they see misalignments NetApp, New York Presbyterian Hospital,between principle and practice, and try to NIIT USA, Orkin, Procter & Gamble,close the gap. Leaders may know intuitively Prescription Solutions/ UnitedHealth Group,that they are off track, but lack an informa- Qualcomm, RWD Technologies, Scotiabank,tion system that tells them how far off track Sidley Austin, Spectra Energy, St. Peter’sthey are. They tend to under-correct with a Health Care Services, Vanguard, and Vi. LEsuperficial LD program, or over-correct bydownsizing—harming the culture.” So, base your LD on bedrock principles. Editor since 1984 2 A p r i l 2 0 1 1 L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e
  4. 4. LEADERSHIP ARCHETYPES project; their carefully selected teams make it happen. Ideas are developed through frequent meetings and interac- Collective Leadership tions and an open culture of collabora- tion. Long-term success depends on Go from platitude to practice. constant innovation and reinvention. 5. General and soldiers. Soldiers focus How do you track common interpre- on well-defined and scripted tasks, mo- tations of rather abstract mental models? tivated by hierarchical structure and How do you concretize collective leader- the prospects of promotion. Extensive ship? To make the As One diagnostic training is needed for recruits to under- robust, we had to find an answer. Tra- stand the culture and to learn specific ditional leadership theory wasn’t helpful. skills. The generals’ authority—their The twin poles of command-and-control ability to command respect—is just as by James Quigley and Stephen Langton and hierarchy on the one hand and col- important as their mission. Without it,C OLLECTIVE LEADERSHIP—THE ABILITY to unite diverse groups of peoplein a common purpose, to achieve laboration and flat-and-fluid structure on the other could not tell the whole story. the organization disintegrates. 6. Architect and builders. Leaders need a team of skilled followers to bring theirteamwork on a grand scale—is the Eight Models or Archetypes blueprint to life. Builders are masterlifeblood of successful organizations. Using a self-organizing map (SOM), craftsmen and innovators capable ofEvery project, strategy, meta-goal or we drew out the relationships among finding new solutions to technical andvision depends on effective teams, on our 60 case studies and compiled a set practical problems. Interdependent linkscollaboration. A leader is nothing without of eight distinct archetypes: in a project management chain, theyfollowers; no manager is an island. 1. Landlords and tenants. In this strive to achieve milestones mapped to Statements like these have been command-and-control, top-down model, deliberate work cycles. As each link ismade and reprised in management leaders control access to valuable or completed, they’re one step nearer tobooks for decades. The idea that work- scarce resources and dictate the terms realizing the architect’s grand design.ing together is a good thing, that it gets for followers’ participation. The land- 7. Captain and sports team. Oncecomplex tasks done—and that it is lords’ power base grows with the num- players, leaders know the rules of thenecessary for both organizations and game. They combine the practical skillssociety—is as old as it’s elementary. of followers with the ability to motivate But what does collective leadership look and improvise, often adapting to newlike? What are the models for effective challenges in real time. Members of theleaders and followers? How can you team have a strong sense of sharedensure the whole will be greater than the identity and see each other as equals.sum of the individual parts? Here, things There is minimal hierarchy. Leaders,get blurry. Applying the theory of col- like followers, get their hands dirty.lective behavior to modern manage- 8. Senator and citizens. This model isment is still a work in progress. a democracy. The leader’s style is consen- Three years ago, we started a major ber of tenants they attract and retain. sual: problems are tackled through freeproject to bring collective leadership be- At best, the relationship is mutually and open debate. The senator leader isyond the platitudes into practice. We reinforcing: tenants commit to the rules; the guiding intelligence who overseesreviewed hundreds of perspectives on landlords ensure those rules are fair. decision-making, but followers workcollaboration and collective action drawn 2. Community organizer and volun- independently. In return for their per-from several disciplines and made case teers. Leaders bind the activities of fol- sonal freedom, citizens willingly com-studies of 60 examples of collective lead- lowers together through an inspirational mit to the constitution and to respon-ership in diverse organizations across story and provide the rationale for the sibilities they owe to the collective.geographies. The result was As One, a cause. Leaders don’t, however, tell fol- Landlord and Tenants, Conductor andnew service offering to our clients. lowers what to do. The decentralized Orchestra, and General and Soldiers are Designed to help minimize and man- organization functions more by philoso- variations on the command-and-controlage the intangible people risks of strategy phy than by rigid rules and structures. theme; the other five archetypes areexecution, As One identifies and measures 3. Conductor and orchestra. Highly more agile and adaptive. None is inher-three conditions for collective leadership: trained members perform, with care ently weaker or stronger—but might be1) Shared Identity—people see themselves and precision, repetitive and scripted in certain situations. An organizationas members, not as outsiders; 2) Direction- tasks. Protocol-driven, they’re about intent on continuous innovation would-al Intensity—people feel impelled to do doing essentially the same things but n’t operate well as Conductor andwhat’s needed to achieve the organiza- in new, better, and more efficient ways. Orchestra or General and Soldiers.tion goal; and 3) Common Interpretation The leader motivates the team by the The SOM provides a taxonomy for—people have common mental models of promise of helping them achieve their collective leadership and puts manage-how work will get done. personal best. There’s little room for ment in a practical, how-to context. LE All three factors are equally impor- improvisation—but room for excellence. James Quigley is CEO of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited,tant. To fail to correct deficiencies in any 4. Producer and creative team. In this co-chairman of the Deloitte Center for Collective Leadership, and co-author of As One: Individual Action, Collective Powerone is to make the strategic bet less safe. archetype, the leader has the vision and (Portfolio). Stephen Langton is Managing Director of theIt was, however, in the development of the power to bring together a team of Deloitte Center for Collective Leadership, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. Visit www.deloitte.com/about.a measurement tool for the third that highly inventive and skilled indepen-our efforts were most concentrated. dent individuals. Producers guide a ACTION: Practice collective leadership.L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e A p r i l 2 0 1 1 3
  5. 5. CAPABILITY LEARNING uation. The person being asked for help 1. Learning how to ask the right ques- must be sensitive to the vulnerability of tions. Different questions have different the help seeker and ensure that he or impacts. Do we want respondents: a) to Humble Inquiry she does not make matters worse by continue their story (humble inquiry), or It’s the key to helping. belittling the seeker, giving premature b) to become more diagnostic by asking advice, jumping to conclusions about many “why” and “what did you do” what might be helpful, or reinforcing questions, or c) do we want to confront by Edgar H. Schein the one downness of the seeker. And, the them: “Have you thought about doing seeker must be clear about what he or this?” (advice in the form of questions). she needs, not asking something irrele- Knowing when to ask what type of S INCE LEADERS ARE SUP- posed to set direction, display wisdom, and tell vant just to test the potential helper. The biggest trap for the seeker is to ask the wrong question; the biggest trap for the question and assessing the impact of different questions requires practice. As leaders, we tend to use confrontativetheir followers what to do, we’ve become giver is to answer that wrong question. questions. We think that being a leaderobsessed with leadership competencies For help to be helpful, the leader seek- means knowing what to do and offeringthat emphasize action, direction, and ing help must reveal the real problem, guidance and advice. In the new world,charisma. That works in a simple world and those being asked to help must often formal leaders won’t know thewhere leaders can figure out what to enable the leader to reveal the real answer and need to create a helping sit-do. Alas, that is not the world of today. problem. Hence, a relationship of trust uation in which they and others solve In a world of complexity, globalism, must either exist or be built. the problem together (mutual helping).multiculturalism, dispersion, and social Humble inquiry is the most reliable 2. Learning what role to take in theresponsibility, formal leaders won’t know way to test or build a relationship of helping situation. Do we want: a) to beenough to be decisive, will depend trust. By humble, I mean that the helper the expert and provide information or amore on the knowledge and skill of must ask a question to which he or she service, b) to be the doctor who willcolleagues, will manage networks of does not already know the answer. If diagnose the problem and offer a pre-people from different cultures, and will we are asking just to check our expec- scription, or c) to enable the client tofactor in new priorities in decision tation or presupposition or assumption solve his/her own problem by beingmaking. These requirements force us more of a process consultant.to focus anew on Greenleaf’s concept If the seeker clearly wants informa-of servant leadership and my concept of tion or a service, we provide it, but wethe leader as a giver and receiver of help. must be sure that what the seeker asks Leaders can’t give direction if they for is, in fact, the problem to be solved.don’t understand the complex realities Often in building the helping relation-of the situation, which means: 1) seek- ship, we discover that since the situa-ing help from many others to provide tion is complicated we have to take onthe information needed, 2) creating sit- more of a doctor role. If human systemsuations in which others are motivated are involved, we also discover that weto provide such information, and 3) can never learn enough about thehelping others implement the desired or hypothesis, we won’t learn what the client’s system to offer answers orcourses of actions. Leaders need to person seeking help needs or wants. If advice, but we can become a processseek, offer, provide and accept help— the seeker is the leader or boss, the sub- consultant, a role in which we focus onand often they are not very good at it. ordinate or peer has to ask some hum- helping the client to solve his/her own ble questions. If the group member or problem. In this case, the helper andKey to Successful Helping subordinate comes to the boss for help, client become a team working together Helping is complicated, since in most the leader or boss must humbly inquire to diagnose and figure out what to do.cultures being a competent adult means what is really being asked. We often assume that the leader mustnot needing help. To ask for help puts the By inquiry I mean that the first steps in give the answer or be the doctor; in theperson one-down and puts the potential the helping process must be questions, espe- multicultural new world, leadershiphelper temporarily one-up. To ask for cially by helpers. Even if the seeker asks a will require more of a process consulta-help makes you vulnerable. To be asked question, if helpers do not engage in tion role, since only the team membersfor help makes you powerful. To offer some humble inquiry, they won’t know will have the knowledge and capacityhelp when it has not been asked for is whether what was asked was the real pro- to solve the problem. Leadership will in-displaying power. The situation is ini- blem on which help is needed. Inquiry volve a constant shifting of roles as the tasktially unbalanced. Normal social pro- does not have to be a set of questions. demands change. All team members needcesses are balanced and equitable. We Showing an open attentive demeanor, to ask for and provide help as needed.know our roles and the rules of tact encouraging the seeker by staying Leadership becomes a distributed function.insure that most conversations are equi- silent, or saying tell me more will reveal From this view, teamwork can then betable in terms of the social economics. When relevant information. If the seeker feels seen as perpetual mutual helping, requir-one person speaks, others pay attention! listened to, that equilibrates the social ing each team member to engage inAsking for help or offering it when it is situation. It builds a momentary helping humble inquiry with other members.not asked for disrupts this process. And relationship in which both parties can Mutual helping is a critical leadershipfor a leader to ask for help is a double dis- more easily say what is on their minds. skill—and humble inquiry is the key toruption of leader/follower expectations. creating mutual helping relationships. LE So what can go wrong? The person Master Tw o N e w S k i l l s Edgar H. Schein is the author of Helping: How to Offer, Giveasking for help must trust the potential Two sets of skills are involved in and Receive Help (Berret-Koehler). Visit mitsloan.mit.edu.helper not to take advantage of the sit- developing helpful relationships: ACTION: Engage in humble inquiry. 4 A p r i l 2 0 1 1 L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e
  6. 6. MANAGEMENT ALIGNMENT to be available whenever someone wants CAPABILITY FINANCIAL their services but also be lean enough that Function Alignment their people are being fully utilized. As with technology tools, managing utilization Money Makers Align with the purpose and strategy. versus availability often feels like a no- Do your leaders have it? win situation. In fact, trying to do both is a no-win. Functions must be clear by Mark Nyman about the primary drivers of business by E. Ted Prince success to determine where they apply utilization or availability as organizing I N GOOD AND BAD ECON- omies, functions such as HR, Finance, and IT principles. And support organizations need a clear method for prioritizing their work and who they respond to L EADERSHIP DEVELOP- ment approaches should include businessare in a continual cycle of growing then first to keep the business running. acumen within their ambit, and theseshrinking and centralizing only to decen- 4. Solutions looking for problems. Too approaches need models with thetralize. They are reengineering, down- many improvement efforts are solutions power to predict leadership acumen.sizing, outsourcing, or creating shared looking for problems. Many functions, in Do your executives have what itservice organizations. One day they are being proactive with good intentions, takes to create capital? My goal is toasked to increase responsiveness, the next identify a concept that they find com- assess the business acumen of managersthey’re asked to cut cost and improve effi- pelling, get management support, and and leaders; predict their impact on theciency. Most change efforts focused on implement the concept without under- financial outcomes; predict the finan-support functions have unin- standing the relevance or cial impact of teams; predict financialtended negative results. For application on day-to-day impact using metrics that appear inexample, when the HR func- work. Creating work for oth- financial statements; and translate thesetion makes what they feel are ers tends to create the biggest into predictions of valuation impact.positive changes, line leaders credibility gap between func- My work is a part of the emergingoften have a negative view. tions and those they serve. So, discipline of behavioral finance. ThisWhile they value the contri- always identify what business shows how cognitive biases impactbution of the HR people need you are meeting. Other- decision-making. We enable the pre-assigned to them, they don’t wise, your leaders may see diction of financial impact by identify-value the contribution of the your work as an added bur- ing how the cognitive biases offunction. Why? The changes HR makes to den or distraction from real work. managers impact financial outcomes.improve the function do not help the line 5. Accountability confusion. This Business acumen can be measured—leaders improve business results. occurs when functions police budgets, and its impact predicted. One aspect of When functions try to improve with- policies, and procedures that belong to our work shows what behaviors charac-out aligning with the organization as the line and become accountable for terize managers with exceptional capabili-the primary outcome, they tend to hurt issues that belong to the line. It’s ties for creating capital—the personalitiesrather than help business performance. alarming how many functions desire of people who excel at making money. this responsibility. It creates misalign- We’ve developed three core psycho-Five Types of Misalignment ment, victims out of those who are metric assessment instruments: Five types of misalignments occur: being policed, and becomes a rationale • Financial Outcome Assessment (FOA) 1. Optimizing the function. Often a for the line not taking responsibility measures the financial signature of man-function will implement changes that and accountability for results. agers—their propensity to create capital.make their work more efficient or easi- Solutions to misalignment involve • Executive Outcome Assessment (EXOA)er while making it harder for the orga- understanding requirements (what effec- measures the behavioral characteristicsnization to achieve its goals. Support tive support looks like) and determin- that lead to specific outcomes—how afunctions must know who they are con- ing what responses drive the most value. manager’s behavior impacts financialnected to and how their actions and improve- This includes looking at the work you outcomes in practice in his situation.ments will impact the core business. When are doing and understanding how to • Corporate Financial Outcome Assess-you are in a support role, most of the best position the work for the good of ment (CFOA) measures the financialrequirements need to flow from the the business. The most lasting solution mission based on behavioral data. Thisbusiness needs out rather than from the comes from understanding business enables us to evaluate alignment andsupport organization to the business. purpose and strategy and aligning all measure competitive prowess from a 2. Standardization versus custom- functions to the same end result. Most behavioral perspective.ization. Standardization is a common leaders see the need for alignment but Since many executives have experi-solution in cost-cutting initiatives and don’t address what is being aligned. enced these assessments, we can nowstreamlining functions. When properly Alignment implies direction or a reference look at the behaviors associated withapplied, it creates great value and cost point to align everything else with. capital creation and financial impactsavings. But when business drivers Support functions that are aligned and correlate the financial signatures ofcall for customization, standardization to the business have clear priorities managers with leadership outcomes.results in rework, shadow organiza- and those working in the functiontions, and other drains on people’s clearly see the role their work plays. LE Exceptional Money-Makers Are Raretime. The belief that work is scalable is We focus on the most exceptional Mark Nyman is an expert on HR Transformation with Resultsnot enough of a reason to standardize. Based Leadership. Call 801-492-6955 or visit www.rbl.net. types of propensity for capital creation. 3. Utilization versus availability. Most managers do not create capital—theyFunctional groups are often challenged ACTION: Align functions with business strategy. consume it (only 12 percent create capital).L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e A p r i l 2 0 1 1 5
  7. 7. Four personality types have excep- LEADERSHIP ALIGNMENT up in several ways. Cultural traits wetional capabilities in creating capital commonly see that create barriers to(yet even within these groups, only a change include turf issues, trust issuessmall subset excel in creating capital): Leader’s Job One or people working in silos. These all • Alchemists are introverted and street- Align strategy, structure and culture. get in the way when changes requirewise, meaning they distrust logic. They collaboration across the enterprise.invariably create a new high-value There is also a need for more agilityproduct that creates new market seg- and innovation than ever before. by Larry Sennments. To qualify for this characteristic, Acquisitions are a part of thethe person is usually intensely introvert- growth strategy for many companiesed and streetwise. Usually the compa-ny founded by this person does well,even though the founder is highly C EOS AND SENIOR TEAMS have a lot—usually too much—on their and it is well known that the biggest reason for shortfall in acquisitions and mergers is “cultural clash”. So, if thatintroverted, because the product is rev- plates, especially today. So, what are is the strategy, creating an acquisitionolutionary enough that it attracts more the blue chips, the highest value things friendly and aware culture is anmarket interest and sales support that for CEOs to focus on? We believe there imperative. Other companies are seek-the founder himself can’t attract. are three powerful drivers of perfor- ing to change their structure, such as • Visionaries are extremely forward mance that deserve their attention. moving from a holding company orlooking and strongly oriented to giving 1. Purpose and direction—connect- decentralized model to a “one compa-up the present for a far-off future. If ing people at all levels to the mission ny” shared business model. In both sit-they are too altruistic or too individual- and their declared strategy for fulfill- uations, the cultural traits that needistic, they will fail to generate revenue. ing that mission. strengthening are trust and collabora-They can be only mildly altruistic or 2. Structure and enabling processes tion for the greater good.mildly individualist; however, being —creating the best organization struc- To eliminate the Jaws of Culture, wemildly visionary is insufficient—the ture and supporting system to drive advise CEOs to focus on the culture topsychological impulse to look forward that strategy. support the strategy, beginning at themust be intense; otherwise, the person 3. An enabling culture—ensuring the senior team because those leaders setwill not show exceptional money-mak- behaviors in the organization are the the example for the rest of the organi-ing and capital creation propensity. specific ones needed to make the struc- zation. One CEO who did this to great • Customer analysts are strongly sales ture and strategy work. success is Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. Heoriented, rather than product oriented. While this appears to be regularly points out that heHowever, if they are too strongly sales- a reasonable agenda, sever- had to get the culture rightoriented, they won’t have a high al factors make this difficult to succeed at creating thepropensity to create capital. They are to do. First, these drivers best customer experience.also strongly financially oriented. This are vital but not time Why? Because it is thedoes not mean that they will have urgent, and culture is the behaviors of employeesfinancial qualifications; in fact, usually hardest to shift into align- that affect the experiencethey will not. Rather their zone of psy- ment. Most CEOs and their customers have. Hsieh ischological comfort is exceptionally top teams can effectively an example of a CEO whostrong in dealings with finances. adjust their strategies. focused on culture to sup- • Generals are disciplined planners, but They’re also good at devis- port his service strategyif they are too strongly planning oriented, ing new organizational and by doing so created athey are too slow in adapting to market con- structures. But as Ed Schein, one of the distinctive competitive advantage.ditions and thus lose market opportuni- pioneers in culture, said, “An organi- In order to make their culture aties. In addition, these managers can’t zation’s culture is its response to the launching pad for success, CEOs andbe extremely consensual or command- way things used to be.” their teams should define or revisitoriented in their styles. If they become In other words, the culture lags and their organizations’ cultural defini-too strong in these areas, they lose the can become the anchor out the back of tions. Do the value statements coverpropensity to create capital. the boat. We call this the Jaws of Culture. the kinds of behaviors the company Where a manager or leader falls on We all encounter those jaws at one time needs to win at this moment in time? Ifthe money propensity scale depends or another when we go to implement a not, they need to be adjusted. If theon their behavioral characteristics and change and it doesn’t go easily. cultural definitions are fine but thetheir intensity. You can use the results Culture represents the collective norms behaviors don’t match, CEOs need toof these assessments to boost your self- and behaviors in the organization. Most first find ways to ensure the team atawareness so that you can improve companies have solid core values and the top is living and modeling theyour financial and valuation impact— cultural traits that have made them desired behaviors. This is becauseand thus align better with the financial great. They also have historic habits organizations become shadows of theirmission of the organization and with that haven’t changed with the times. leaders. Special training processes andits valuation goals. Seek training in Those habits can get in the way, espe- reinforcement systems can be used tobusiness acumen. Complete the assess- cially when strategy or structure/pro- bring the desired culture to all levels inments, link your behaviors to business cess changes or when higher levels of the organization. LEoutcomes, and create self-awareness as performance are needed. If not system- Larry Senn, Ph.D., is Chairman of Senn Delaney, shaping cul-to how this can improve your impact. LE atically addressed, these cultural barri- tures that enhance spirit and performance. Call 562-426-5400,E. Ted Prince, Ph.D., is CEO of the Perth Leadership Institute. ers act like jaws in the culture that can email lsenn@senndelaney.com or visit www.senndelaney.com. This article is adapted from his interview in The CEO Forum.Call 352-333-3768 or visit www.perthleadership.org. chew up strategies and initiatives.ACTION: Boost your money-making capability. In terms of cultural traits, this shows ACTION: Align strategy, structure, and culture. 6 A p r i l 2 0 1 1 L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e
  8. 8. LEADERSHIP SERVICE which the signs are faint, leaders must get close to customers and employees to separate perception from reality. Beyond Perception Although it sounds simple, it can be difficult to do. Leaders who have spent Perception becomes reality. their careers climbing a pyramid to reach the pinnacle can become insulat- ed and even isolated if they don’t sepa- opportunities for growth. Others are rate who they are from what they do. by Gary D. Burnison innovating to capture consumer inter- They often become engrossed in the est in global markets. And, it’s not just inverted pyramid that suddenly appears C ONSIDER THIS STORY: technological innovation. I think of A group of settlers Nestlé, which launched its first floating in a remote village of supermarket on the Brazilian Amazon, above them—layers of constituencies, including the media, special interest groups, stockholders, financial analysts,Outpost were preparing for winter. a retail barge that extends its reach to and so on. At the intersection of the twoThe group’s leader, unschooled in the more than 800,000 customers. pyramids is the CEO, who must notold ways, guessed that the winter This global view contrasts sharply only look over the horizon, but relent-would be cold and that people should with the perception of those who have lessly execute today, for that deter-gather firewood. One day, he traveled relied more on Western economies for mines the starting point for tomorrow.to the nearest town and called the growth. Those CEOs are more subdued. That means being connected to whatNational Weather Service, which con- As they wait for consumers to crank up matters the most. This is what Mulcahyfirmed his suspicion: the winter was their spending again, the cup is not called “logging the miles,” traveling toindeed going to be cold. The leader only half empty, but leaking steadily. meet with employees and customers inordered more firewood to be collected, So who’s right and who’s wrong? It person. It’s a high-touch style of lead-and checked in with the NWS again a depends upon your perception. In this ership that allows not just communica-week later, which amended its fore- case, however, throw away percep- tion from the leader, but dialogue withcast—not only for a cold winter, but a tion—the classical lens of West versus the people who are the closest to thevery cold winter. So the people of East or developed versus emerging has marketplace. As she observed, “I don’tOutpost gathered even more wood. think people can get the sense of the When the leader checked in with leadership dynamic of the companythe NWS a third time, the prediction without the ability to touch and seewas now for a very, very cold winter. and interact on a personal basis.”Finally, having asked for every branch Her comments bring to mind theand twig to be gathered, the leader observation by Muhtar Kent, CEO ofasked the NWS how they could be so The Coca-Cola Company. His first tasksure. The answer: “The people of Out- in changing the culture into one of con-post are gathering a lot of firewood.” nection was to visit major and minor In a directionless economy, it is very markets and to meet customers. It waseasy for perceptions to become reality. the same tactic he used when he was inThe levers of growth are not as appar- blurred. The world’s axis has tilted and charge of Asia for Coca-Cola. “The firstent as they were in the days of con- the compass spins in all directions. thing I did was to go to every countryspicuous consumption and fast credit. Leadership, however, is timeless and (39). Back then, most of our people Myopically focusing on the decline can’t wait for clarity. It is about making didn’t even know the names of ourin Western consumer sentiment, you and seizing opportunity—not by sitting biggest customers,” Kent recalled.will undoubtedly perceive an econo- home consumed by pundits and prog- The experiences of Kent and Mulcahymy that, while officially out of the nosticators, but by leaders listening should serve as a wake-up call for CEOsgreat recession, is barely growing. If and learning from those who matter and other leaders to consider whereso, you are probably preparing for a most: customers and employees. they are spending most of their time. Iflong cold winter of anemic growth. Some months ago, on the eve of her they dwell at the intersection of the Not every leader, however, sees retirement as chairwoman of Xerox, I pyramid tips, they will be squeezed. Ifthings the same way. This past sum- met with Anne Mulcahy. She recalled they overly rely on perceptions, itmer, I spent much of my time on the her early days as CEO of Xerox when undoubtedly will be myopic and cer-road in Europe, talking to leaders from the company teetered on the brink of tainly will be filtered. If that happens,Paul Bulcke, CEO of Nestlé, to former bankruptcy. As the new CEO in those they shouldn’t be surprised if theyPrime Minister of Hungary Gordon days, Mulcahy was pulled in countless spend most of their time hunkeringBajnai. My mission was twofold: to be directions until she received some sage down for a long, cold winter.with employees and clients outside of advice from Warren Buffett: “There is Those who empower others whilethe United States and to engage in dis- only one way you are going to get results, venturing out themselves to listen andcussions with other leaders on what and that’s by keeping your customers loyal learn will discover astonishing newthey see, hear, and experience. and your people engaged and motivated. levers of growth. For them, there will In every conversation, I was struck Get everything else out of the way.” be pockets of spring where potentialby the bifurcation in perceptions. For By focusing on customers and employ- blooms and opportunity grows. LEthose who lead global enterprises, the ees—Mulcahy accomplished the near- Gary D. Burnison is CEO of KornFerry International andproverbial glass is half full and contin- impossible: saving Xerox. author of No Fear of Failure. Visit www.kornferry.com.uing to fill. They are investing and hir- The mission for leaders today is noing and expanding because they see different. In a directionless economy in ACTION: Focus on customers and employees.L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e A p r i l 2 0 1 1 7
  9. 9. CHANGE INNOVATION of their accomplishments that represent examples of the vision and purpose. And, they make certain their actions are Cultivate Innovation consistent with the vision and purpose. Boldness happens when employees do not fear error. Boldness would not It all requires bold leadership. be daring were there not potential for error. Leaders foster a healthy attitude toward failure. When Thomas Edison mostly a superstition. It does not exist was asked about failure associated with in nature. Avoiding danger is no safer in his quest for invention he said: “I never the long run than outright exposure. Life is failed once. It just happened to be a either a daring adventure or nothing.” 2,000-step process.” Edison held over The remove rather than add approach 1,000 patents. How you deal with error by Chip R. Bell and John R. Patterson means leaders focus on eliminating all can communicate volumes about your that exists in the work world that fuels commitment to fostering innovation.I N TODAY’S INNOVATION-DEPRIVED ECON- the opposite of boldness—timidity, omy, proactive leaders adopt theproverb: “Fortune favors the bold but hesitance, doubt, and reserve. Boldness is borne of purpose. Stok- When you meet error with rebuke, you send a different message than when you see error as an opportunity forabandons the timid.” ing the flames of boldness begins with learning and problem-solving. Once we consulted with a financial a wide-eyed focus on a dream or pur- As part of encouraging bold leader-services company as their leaders con- pose rather than a squint-eyed look at ship, recognize that employees don’t resistsidered launching a change manage- the task or job. Caution comes from change as much as they resist the predic-ment effort that would foster a more being mired in day-to-day activity. As tion of pain over which they have no con-innovative approach to their market- the trees block your forest vista, you trol. Helping employees view change asplace. Every meeting, phone call and are soon left blind to aspirations and opportunity not threat requires candidemail was painted the color of timidi- dreams. “I came to my last job,” said communication as well as an atmos-ty. “Why the extreme caution?” we one retired leader, “with a great sense phere of inclusion. The more employ-asked them at the end of another do- of purpose. But, I got so enmeshed in ees are in the know and find theirnothing-but-talk meeting? The COO fingerprints on change initiatives, thereplied, “We’ve been in a bunker mind- more they will replace fear with fervor.set so long we’ve forgotten that chutz- Without risk, there’s no creativity.pah has been the key to our success.” However with risk come honest mis- A steady diet of cut-backs, layoffs, takes. It is easier to gently rein in anand budget crunches has introduced overzealous, go-the-extra-mile employ-an abundance of caution into most lead- ee than to find one with an enthusiasticers. The Great Recession trimmed their attitude in the first place. Fostering dar-wings—turning them into activity-seek- ing is a manifestation of trust—theers instead of results-makers. greater the trust, the greater the freedom. Now’s the time for leadership bold- But, with freedom comes with respon-ness. The key to progress and growth sibility. The bold leader’s job is to coachis innovation—and innovation is never what I had to do that I soon forgot what I employees to feel more comfortablespawned in a culture of reticence. had hoped to be. It was not until I was with more and more responsibility.“Boldness has genius, power, and ready to retire that I realized I had got- Examine policies and procedures.magic in it,” wrote Scottish explorer ten more defensive and less daring.” Are employees clear on what is a thouW.H. Murray. “Until one is committed, Boldness is a choice based on a com- shalt not law versus an it would be betterthere is hesitancy, the chance to draw mitment to a future state. It’s not a reac- if you didn’t guideline? Are rules of thumbback, and always ineffectiveness.” tion but deliberate action. It is pro-action at and rules of law treated the same? Are Innovation is counter cultural, against its finest—a step toward the light. It is metrics so abusive that employees feelthe grain, and unconventional. It is borne of a noble reach beyond the that leaders are pulling plants out of thesometimes cut from unfamiliar cloth. mediocre of the moment and the ordi- dirt to determine if they are growing? AreWhile the specific output of innova- nariness of the status quo. Daring with- employees publicly given the benefit oftion might not be that controversial, it out recklessness requires awareness of the doubt? Do they get more coachingsprings from a restless, unsettled place a purpose or vision and a desire to or more critiquing? How many timesthat today’s leaders must occupy if move in the direction of that future. do employees get praised for excellentthey are to inspire innovation. It is the Bold leaders have a valued dream that efforts that failed to work? Are employ-habitat of ground-breaking pioneers serves as the compass for their courage ees commended for seeking assistanceand norm-breaking entrepreneurs. and an inspiration to associates. from others, including other leaders?Inventors and artists of all types reside Bold leaders, intent on fosteringthere as well. And, the company or innovation, talk often about mission and Responsible Freedomcountry that leads the innovation vision. They focus on what they want a People need guidelines, not unlimitedspace corners the marketplace. unit or organization to BE, not just DO. license. The leader who says, “Just go Leading boldness is not about some- Such leaders communicate the whys do whatever you think is best,” isthing leaders add as much as some- when making assignments, not just the demonstrating abdication, not encour-thing they remove. Boldness resides in whats and whens. They affirm heroes by aging boldness. But guidelines needus all. Helen Keller wrote: “Security is telling their stories—especially the details elbow room for people to adapt to the 8 A p r i l 2 0 1 1 L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e
  10. 10. situation. Risk taking is not a blank check LEADERSHIP STRATEGIES more aware and sensitive to how theirto be foolhardy and reckless. Sensible risk part fits into the whole. You also havetaking comes from knowing how to people who can step in and help, in abalance great performance with responsi- Effective Leadership variety of areas, when needed. Deepble stewardship. It is “owner-thinking.” If Three strategies for tough times. training is one of the best uses of youremployees are to make front-line deci- times while business is slow. Also, assions like owners, they need the benefit the economy turns around you willof owner-type information. by Sheila Murray Bethel have a competitive edge and reap the “A lot of us think that success is benefits of having highly trained staff.about the boldness of the gamble,” • Leadership Lesson: The sense ofsays Harvard Business School profes-sor Nancy Koehn. “Success is aboutunderstanding what’s bold about the bold- I T IS NEVER EASY TO LEAD, and in these turbulent times it is harder than shared responsibility is the end product of training in tough times. 3. Be a hope giver. Here is whereness, about knowing how to keep the ever before. The big question is, what your ability to use aspirational languagerisk from coming back to bite you, and can you do today to be a more effective comes to the forefront. Your words canabout knowing what your organization leader? How can you help your people inspire or discourage, hurt or help, di-will get from taking such a big step.” through these tough economic times? vide or connect, cause fear or give hope. Boldness does not mean the absence of Here are three actions you can take to Once again, gather your teamsfear. People who are daredevils think relieve employee stress, increase pro- together and reassure them that it maythey are invincible. Their arrogance ductivity, and enhance your leadership not be easy, but pulling together is thecauses them to miss seeing the signals authenticity. only way to survive in these toughand cues needed as guidance to suc- 1. Focus on A priorities. We are all times. Have a discussion about whycess. Sometimes hotdogs get lucky; in bombarded daily by bad news that your enterprise exists and have thetime, they crash and burn. Innovation- affects our self-confidence, attitude group clarify your statement of pur-focused leaders help associates respect fear and work product. One of your most pose. Ask each person to share ideasand channel it. They provide outlets for important leadership skills is to help about how you benefit your cus-people to talk about their apprehen- people stay focused on the tasks that tomers. Ask them to define what theysions and deliver support and encour- are the anchor of your business. These believe brings you all together in aagement when people have doubts. are the basics and almost always bring shared sense of purpose. Examine your reward and recogni- the highest results. Help your team American Express lost 11 employeestion practices. Which is more valued: emphasize best practices on 9/11. On 9/12 Kennethcreativity or compliance? Being resourceful and the most valuable Chennault, CEO, knew thator being always right? Who gets praised processes and procedures in he would need to commu-or promoted—and for what? Former 3M their job description. nicate a strong dose of hopeCEO Lew Lehr said: “If you place too A recent client asked me in the face of such an over-many fences around people they can to help improve company whelming tragedy. Nineeasily become pastures of sheep. How morale. The first thing we days later he brought themany patents are assigned to sheep?” did was gather the various entire New York City staff Surround your unit with bold people. teams together. Each team to Madison Square GardenSeek the council of others who exhibit had a leader that guided for a team meeting. He tolddaring. Invite card-carrying mavericks them through a short exer- them that it would taketo your meetings. Read biographies of cise in which each person courage and hard work, butpioneers who overcame personal limi- listed the most productive and impor- he was confident that they would alltations to achieve greatness. Visit orga- tant things they do in their job. They pull through together. His calmnizations famous for breakthrough then evaluated the least effective activ- demeanor, quiet grace, and words ofthinking—R&D facilities, art studios, ities and quickly saw where to put hope, gave his followers the confi-and culinary institutes. While your their energies and effort. As they dence they needed to carry on.approach needs to be relevant to your cleared away less important tasks, and • Leadership Lesson: Feelings of opti-unit, others can offer insightful suggestions. focused on basics they felt more mism and expectation are greatly enhanced As an old expression notes: Only dead assured and much of their stress was by your ability to help followers step outsidefish swim with the current. Smart fish swim relieved as they got to work on their of themselves and serve a higher purpose.in all directions, but the pull of the cur- “A” list of jobs. Yes, times are tough. It takes excep-rent does not influence their choice. • Leadership Lesson: Help your people tional leadership to move your teamInnovation never comes from follow- focus on A priorities, all else can wait for forward. If you help everyone keep aing the herd. Bold leaders bent on culti- better times. Get back to the basics and better perspective on which to focusvating innovation live the vision, drive results will follow. priorities, train them to support onefear out, and encourage employees to 2. Train Train Train. As they say in another, and use aspirational languagethink and feel like owners. The byprod- sports, “go deep on the bench”. Which to uplift and give hope, you are usinguct is the assurance of business creativ- translates into: train, retrain and cross- three of the most powerful 21st centuryity that brings the best and brightest to train your followers so that they have leadership skills. LEthe marketplace leading to valued a broader depth of appreciation for all Sheila Murray Bethel, Ph.D., is CEO Bethel Leadership Institute,progress and consistent growth. LE parts of your business. You will be speaker, author of A New Breed Of Leader, 8 Qualities That building a strong team of players who Matter Most in the Real World, and Global Leadership, ChangeChip R. Bell and John R. Patterson are customer loyalty consultants and Customer Service Expert. Visit www.bethelinstitute.com,and authors of Wired and Dangerous: How Customers Have Chang- understand not only their jobs but email Sheila@bethelinstitute.com, or call 925-935-5258.ed and What to Do About It. Visit www.wiredanddangerous.com. those of their fellow workers.ACTION: Exercise bold leadership in innovation. The benefit is that everyone becomes ACTION: Adopt these three priorities.L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e A p r i l 2 0 1 1 9
  11. 11. CAPABILITY BREAKTHROUGHS blinded him to the need to develop his skills that you didn’t need when you staff. Once he identified his assump- relied on old strengths—like hard work tion, he could see that to handle his and cheerfulness—alone. Breaking Glass Walls current demands he needed to devel- op the talent that reported to him. Carl down your glass walls gives you access to more of your performance potential. C h a l l e n g e a s s u m p t i o n s . asked a promising direct to take over Tr y Self-Coaching some of his duties. And it paid off! The man stepped up to the plate with If you don’t have a coach, try this: by Dana C. Ackley enthusiasm and effectiveness, delighted First, ask yourself some questions: with the trust that Carl placed in him. What do I admire most in others? Who are Second, Carl assumed his cheerful- my heroes? When have I been proudest of C ARL IS A HIGH-POTEN- ness would win the day. Since cheerful- tial leader. He is ness had brought him so much success, smart, good looking, and he worried when he wasn’t cheerful. myself? The answers will tell you some- thing about your espoused beliefs and values. These are the thoughts youhas a cheerful personality that draws When he was upset with underperform- have that you would like to believepeople to him. He is well regarded at ers, for example, he tried to deny his guide your behavior. (“I’m a no-non-work. Some think he has it all together. feelings. This strategy created problems. sense guy. I tell it like it is. You always I know better. I’ve spent 40 years When a direct report was under-per- know where you stand with me.”)working with highly successful people. forming, Carl needed to notice his feel- Next, consider your behavior over theI hear about their successes, and about ings of displeasure so that he could past week. Take a hard look at discrep-where they get stuck. And they all get take appropriate developmental action, ancies between your stated beliefs andstuck at some point. What gets in their hopefully while the situation was still your behavior. For example, maybeway? Paradoxically, it’s often the one salvageable. When lost in his cheerful- you value courage, but avoid necessarything that’s made them so successful. ness, Carl let poor performance go too conflict. Maybe you compliment some- Here’s how it works: Behaviors that long. His job also required him to deal one you should be taking to task.help you get what you want get repeated. with tough personalities. Sometimes Note the times that you don’t behaveWith enough success and repetition, in alignment with your stated values.these behaviors become habits. When These times signal the presence of hid-a behavior becomes habitual, it falls den assumptions (glass walls) that areout of your awareness. You do it auto- channeling your behavior in unintend-matically, without thinking whether ed directions, blocking you from reach-you should or not. You assume it is the ing the results you’re seeking. Theseright thing to do. For example, you hidden assumptions, not your stated values,might assume that in order to become are guiding your behavior. (Maybe yousuccessful, you need to work hard. really think that people aren’t strong Assumptions bring order out of enough to take what you have to say.chaos, enabling you to narrow the Ask yourself what might be makingcountless choices available to you you believe that. Or you may worryevery time you act, without forcing his cheerfulness diffused the situation; that someone might not like you if youyou to examine each possibility every at other times, Carl needed to be tough told them what you think, and believetime. They bring predictability and himself. Showing resolve, perhaps with being liked at all times is crucial to success.)efficiency. Questioning assumptions a splash of annoyance, would be more Ask what might be compelling youevery time you make a choice about useful. But Carl hated to feel annoyed, to act as you do when a behavior con-how to act would defeat their purpose. since feeling annoyed created a sense flicts with your espoused values. This But as circumstances change, the of failure. Breaking through this glass question can bring your hidden assump-assumptions you hold may no longer wall involved learning to recognize that tions to light. These are your glass walls.be valid. Yet, your outdated assump- annoyance—even anger—could promote Give yourself permission to betions continue to guide your behav- needed outcomes, such as not letting a imperfect. Taking a close look at your-ior—off course, functionally barring bully intimidate him or others. self isn’t easy. Accepting your imperfec-you from getting where you want to What about you? What are your glass tions will free you up to work on them.go. Unseen yet powerful, they have lit- walls? You can let them control your behav- Your past success doesn’t guaranteeerally become glass walls. ior, or you can take control, changing your future success. As you progress, you assumptions that were once valid, but will confront new situations that requireCarl’s Glass Walls no longer serve you well. Identifying changed responses. The hardest part of Although he seemed to have every- assumptions that create glass walls isn’t change is identifying limiting assump-thing going for him, Carl was actually easy (they’re invisible—outside aware- tions, or glass walls. Once you achievestruggling. He worked overtime to suc- ness); nor is it for the faint of heart. that, learning new skills and responsesceed, but felt that he wasn’t measuring up. Talking with an executive coach or becomes much more manageable. As In our work together, we discov- other trusted advisor is one approach. you do so, you’ll break through to aered two glass walls: Your organization might provide lead- brighter future, perhaps with a key to First, Carl assumed that the solution ership skill development (including an the executive wash room. LEto any problem was to work harder. executive coach) to enable you to learn Dana C. Ackley, Ph.D., is CEO of EQ Leader, an executiveOver a series of promotions, he had about your glass walls. Once you learn coaching and leader development firm, and author of EQaccumulated increasing responsibili- about them, you are empowered to Leader and BreakGlassWall Programs. Email dana.ackley@eqleader.net, or visit http://www.eqleader.net.ties that exceeded what any one per- make a choice about how to handleson could do. His drive to work hard them. Then you can begin building ACTION: Challenge your assumptions. 10 A p r i l 2 0 1 1 L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e
  12. 12. FLASH FORESIGHTA New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today BestsellerHOW TO SEE THE INVISIBLEAND DO THE IMPOSSIBLEIn his new best selling book, Flash Foresight: How to Seethe Invisible and Do the Impossible (HarperBusiness;January 2011; hardcover), Daniel Burrus takes theconcept of looking into the future and transforms itinto a new paradigm for running highly successfulbusinesses now and in the future.Order Your Copy Today at www.FlashForesight.com “I love this book! It’s as much fun to read as it is inspiring to learn from. Buy it, read it, and put it to use—in a flash!” — ALAN M. WEBBER, CO-FOUNDER, FAST COMPANY MAGAZINE