Declaring yourself

Interesting feedback on the Campbell's Leadership Model–thanks.

Let me start by asking–do you think leaders can be made or are leaders born with "it?"

Often leaders have the very best intentions but people can't read your mind. And, as leader, your followers shouldn't have to guess your motives or your intentions. In my mind, this is why it is important to declare yourself and be fully transparent. Share with your followers why you choose to lead and the values that you live by.

As leaders, sometimes we struggle in our attempts to influence or swing favor. Thankfully, not with all, but with some. By the way, don't be offended. I think this phenomena is a natural occurrence of the times we live in, how we were brought up and posssibly what we're taught as children.

That's the "what", now for the "how." I often suggest that as leader, you sit down with these folks and have a heart-to-heart, a 1:1, let your guard down and be fully transparent. Declare yourself, talk about your values, peel back the onion a bit and let your folks see your vulnerabilities (some call it "being real") and why you care so much about what you do.  

As importantly, ask them. Determine how their views on work and workplace culture are in alignment or different from your own. I guarantee this will be a genuine inflection point in your relationship going forward.

Keep in mind that once you have these conversations, your followers will be on the lookout for congruity of your actions with your words. Thus, it only makes sense to "walk the talk." If your actions aren't consistent with your words, your ability to lead is compromised.

The conversation is the relationship-changing the world by changing ourselves–what are you thinking?

The Campbell’s Leadership Model

I saw something the other day that got me to thinking.

The premise was that employees, on average, are engaged 40% of the time. 40% of the time! On a 40 hour week, 16 hours or so engaged in activities that provide significant ROI for their employer. Remember the Pareto Principle? It's alive! Like me, maybe you're a little dubious of that particular statistic but as I travel around, I have my eyes open—- watching. Naturally, I want them to be WRONG! But, even if the experts are half-right, consider the possibilities here!

Anecdotally, Campbell's Soup Company was 1 of my biggest customers when I ran Toledo Scale. Certainly 1 of America's (remember, "Soup is good food.") enduring brands and emblematic of a successful and well managed organization.  

I had a thirst for learning "what" and "how" so I took the initiative and asked.

Campbell's obliged by sharing their leadership model depicted in the link posted on DropBox below. Presently, there is a very good YouTube video in the public domain. Type in "Campbell's Leadership Model."

Campbell's made their leadership values an expectation of every director, manager and team lead including the rank-and-file. All associates were evaluated according to the 6 tenets.

Over the coming days, and with your permission, we'll drill down on some of this–building to a crescendo by the week-end! Getting this aligned pays significant dividends in any organization and over time reduces your personal workload and associated anxiety and stress.

The conversation is the relationship–changing the world by changing ourselves–what are you thinking?


Developing the “what” and the “how” to employee engagement

Yesterday, we talked about employees reading your mind regarding your vision for your business. 

Today, we'll start with the premise: engage your stakeholders in a conversation about where you are and where you want to go (assuming that there is a difference or "delta" between what you want and what you presently  have) and how you plan to get there.


By seeking out stakeholder input, you increase their commitment and confidence and the likelihood of delivering traction in the most efficient manner possible. SECRET SAUCE: the folks closest to the work almost always have the best ideas! In my experience, you have to trust it and embrace it in your culture whether starting anew or changing an existing culture.

Always remember, the conversation is the relationship–what do you think?

Think your employees can read your mind?

In the past few posts, we have talked about you taking the necessary quiet time to lay out your vision— what you want to accomplish for yourself and your business. Have you done that yet? Might be the best use of three minutes this morning before the first crisis hits! 

For business objectives, do your employees know what your vision is? Do they know what needs to be done to reach the objectives? 

Consistent with pursuing your objectives do your connections know how you expect them to behave?

And — once they know the "what" and the "how" — do you provide them with enough autonomy to get the job done in an effective and timely way?

We'll be "talking" about this over the next few days. In the meantime, think about it!

Why a blog–now?

As part of a comprehensive communications strategy, I've learned and practiced that we need to cover all the bases. These days, everybody "receives" messages differently. E-mail, snail mail, phone call, in person, blog, Linked In, Facebook, you name it. And, most importantly, if you don't like the message, opt out. Today, it's that simple.

Good news here is, I'll never share with you when I am going sunbathing (I never do!) or where/when I am going to eat supper out. (of all the ethnic foods, personally, I like Mexican the best) Nobody cares!

Random musings: I do long for the days of my mom's sewing circle. Those "soccer moms" (new generation term) would share things with each other with 1 clear objective. Typically, and as I recall, there was never anything distilled from those exchanges that would be termed "cutting edge" or particularly profound. Rather, exclamations, declarations and proclamations that stood the test of time. With the sole intention of helping one another. Come to think of it, "viral." It seems to me that our communities were both kinder and gentler back then—what do you think? 

Can 1 person make a difference and be a firestarter? I certainly hope so or this blog will be a dismal failure. I certainly don't want that but when you are me, and the objective is to start a blog, even 1 raving fan is worth it. (And, by the way, it takes a village.)

How will I know when I get there?

You've heard the old adage, "if you don't know where you are going, any road will do."

We "talked" yesterday about getting to the essence of what you truly want. How will I know when I get there?

Mary Lore tells us, "In your quiet time, notice how you feel."

Imagine for a moment how you'll feel when you achieve what you want. What are you doing? How are you being? Big smile!

Continuing our health example from yesterday, "I want to look good and feel good."

If you're feeling like a victim (and conversely– not a victor) being judgmental and blaming others you probably aren't at a place that is right for you (yet). When you state what you want, get to peace and feel inspired, you have arrived at the essence of what you want.


Self awareness and being on purpose

Remember when I have told you everyone receives their messages differently today? E-mail, snail mail, blog posts, Facebook, IM, etc?

Mary Lore tells us that we should take 3 minutes of quiet time and self-reflection and determine what we truly want. What we value and what is of significance to us.

At least in the areas of family, spirituality, career, health. Maybe more (or less) is of value to you. 

Like me, you probably have "mental models" as a result of your genetics, education and your experiences. In short, your humanity. Some call it "how you are wired" or "your DNA." Further, it's been my experience we cannot change what is in our rearview. Mary calls it our Viewmaster.

Question, how's that working for you?

For example, "health." After every answer, let's peel back the onion of our humanity by asking ourselves "what does this bring me?" until we are at the true essence of what we value and is of significance to us.

Example: health>>well being>>happiness>>vitality>>strength>>taking care of the engine>>P/PC according to Covey>>like the way I look and feel>>energetic>>smile on face>>joy

Get the picture? Next time: are you in sync? 


Do we read too much?

The conversation is the relationship.

First of all, I'm a non-fiction guy. I have too much to worry about improving myself than worry about some fictional character! In short, reality works for me, escapism doesn't. On the other hand, I fully appreciate that some folks are just the opposite of me.

I heard earlier this week that the Japanese believe that Americans read too much. In general, that we'd be better served by absorbing 1-2 books annually, perhaps as many as 10 times (10X!) to fully absorb the content–make it part of our being. In my lifetime, I've read tons of books, most of which never stuck. Do you agree or disagree with the Japanese people and why? 

Therefore, I'm making a change in my life as I am always seeking a better result here.

I like the idea so much that I'm discarding some long standing mental models of my own & trying something different. By the way, the books I have selected are Managing Thought by Mary Lore and Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott. Two foundational treatises!

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