What Is And Always Will Be The Most Important Business Attribute?

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I did not really want to go down this path on my blog this week but I have a been so troubled by a series of events that I decided it was critical to express my views about the most important business attribute that is not valued nearly enough by too many leaders. That business attribute is a simple word but the depth of issues that can surround it if it is not embraced is devastating. The attribute is integrity. We are bombarded, it seems like every day, by countless examples of leaders who have just simply decided that integrity was less important than money, fame, or some form of satisfaction which will now compromise there future abilities and effectiveness forever. In fact, I was at a Board meeting recently where I stated to the leaders of the business that I was simply serving with them and investing in their business because integrity was the most important aspect of their day to day leadership.

I never really was as visible to the general public as a CEO as many of our politicians or business leaders are today but it was my general belief that I was the leader of a great group of people who had placed their trust and future in my vision and leadership. If I falsified things about the business’s future, its needs, its financial position, or their future and it was discovered, at what point were they to believe me or trust me again? All the hard work by me, my team and all the members of the business could be destroyed or at least significantly impacted in a negative way by my lack of integrity. In fact, I told all my teams that I would answer any question with as much honesty or opinion as I had and if I did not know I would simply say I do not know.

I believe we are being conditioned to believe that lack of integrity is simply a mistake that is to be forgiven with the hope that things will be done better in the future. I do believe in second chances but I think as leaders we have to never ask for a second chance on integrity because we will never be as effective a leader when this attribute is compromised. Every team deserves to work for a leader and a leadership team that they can trust and that trust will be the cornerstone of buy-in to the vision, tough execution choices, strong communications and putting the best people on the team. At the heart of Transformational Leadership lies the cornerstone of integrity!

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How Do You Connect The Dots Between Vision, Mobilizing Commitment and Financial Results

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I had the opportunity to speak or actually do a deep dive, two hour conversation with a limited group of small to mid-size business CEO’s last month, following a broad Transformational
Leadership presentation to a much larger audience. This roundtable type process involving about a dozen CEO’s allowed us to really get into the details and their broader questions that were
created by listening to my thirty minute speech that addresses the highlights of my book, Transformational Leadership–A Blueprint for Real Organizational Change. It was a great almost two hour
deep dive and we discussed many subjects that will be further commented on in my future blogs. However, the discussion I want to highlight today is as you read it in the title for this blog or
connecting the fundamental business strategy to a vision and mobilizing the commitment of the entire organization to work towards that vision and ultimately change the financial results, market
position or future security of the business and its related jobs.

This is such a great question that I had to write about it first relative to all the things that surfaced and it is also important to note that this group got from the presentation or their own perspectives
that you have to know your business’s success factors, build a strategy to get there, create a vision of what that new state looks like to mobilize a commitment to get there and then EXECUTE the
strategy to achieve improved results. None of that is as easy as it sounds but what is easy is that this is a tried and tested process that works and following/executing this series of events can lead
to great success! So, with that said what was the answer to the how of connecting these activities (the dots) to make it all work. Well, if I gave you all the details this blog would be much longer than
you would probably care to read but because it is the fundamentals to any successful business transformation, let me give you the highlights.

First, you must know your businesses strengths, weaknesses market position and the overall market conditions. That is the only way to properly define the future success factors around which the
strategy is built. Second, the leader and a small, knowledgeable team can take the success factors and develop a strategy to achieve them but it must be a detailed strategy with timelines and
clear responsibilities assigned. Then that strategy must become a vision that can be communicated and be understood by all involved which is only achieved through focused, simple communications
taken to every level and continually communicated both from a plan and results standpoint to all involved. Third, the leadership must then determine if the commitment of the majority of the organization
has been mobilized (engaged actively) to achieve the vision/strategy with clear metrics to measure that commitment and ongoing performance. Last, when that all comes together there will be some real
wins and also some failures that will help correct the direction/performance. This is not a short term process. In most of my situations it took 18 to 24 months to see real significant financial or market
change. It could take longer in some instances but if you stay the course of vision, commitment, metrics, and correcting course as necessary. The dots will connect to drive improved business performance!

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How Will Your Employees Vote About Their Perception Of Leadership

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Executive Leadership Mentoring

It is at this time of the year that I am often reminded to always be so thankful for the amazing privilege to vote. I will be honest and tell you that I too really could do without all the mud-slinging and rhetoric but I guess it is just part of the process in a country where we enjoy the privilege to speak our minds on just about any subject. With that said, I am so grateful that I can freely cast my vote to make a difference in how things are done in my city, my state and my country! I am not one of those who believes that I am only one vote so I can’t make a difference. On the contrary, I am one of those who believes that my one vote could prevent a difference from being made so I love to cast it with great pride as a citizen of this great country. So, I hope you will exercise your right to vote and make a difference.

With that introduction, I bet you wonder where this is going. I will get quickly to the point. Last week, I shared in my blog, as well as it is the heart of my book, that the most critical part of Transformational Leadership is getting a real change agent in as the leader of all the aspects of the business. Let me remind you that the “right leader” will be a change agent that visions, communicates, owns, drives, and shares the success with the team as the business grows and performs. If this happens and this leader NEVER GIVES UP in his/her quest to change the business and keep improving, then the second phase of business alignment will take place. That second phase of alignment will be the alignment to the goals, objectives, needs and performance of the business!

Now back to the title for this blog. How will your employees vote on their perception of leadership. They will not watch the silly ads. They will not read about the views of the leader on all the business subjects and they will not often get to have a public forum to evaluate the leader’s stance. They will however vote with their allegiance and commitment to the business. You see the allegiance of employees today is not to particular leader or in many instances even to a company. Their allegiance is to their own personal opportunity for growth and development as well as working in a successful environment.

So, just like many of us will not vote for a certain candidate as we don’t believe it is in our own best interest. Employees will vote with their feet and move on, especially the best ones, if they believe their leader is not leading in their own best interest. So, the big question is if was election year—how would you do in your race as a real change agent leader?

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Randy’s Blog

Good Leaders Do Not Manage Change……They Lead Change!

As I mentioned in my last blog, I have had several interesting consulting engagements recently and they have provided me some great experiences to … [Read More...]

Motivational Leadership Speaking Motivational Leadership SpeakingRandy continues to be an exciting motivational leadership speaker, which has been his passion for over 25 years. He honed his skill as a motivational speaker and business coach working at GE under the tutelage of Jack Welch. From line supervisor to President & CEO, Randy has successfully lead individuals through his specific motivational methods that produce tangible results. Randy is personable, authentic, and driven. He has a speaking ability that motivates and energizes individuals to achieve beyond their potential.
Executive Leadership Mentoring Executive Mentoring & Leadership ConsultingRandy Dobbs is a proven CEO with strong operational/execution skills who has demonstrated success in fix-it situations. Randy has been a mentor for over 30 years helping individuals, senior leaders, to CEO’s at GE, Phillips Medical, USIS and wcasportfolio companies. Randy was trained in mentoring while at GE and subsequently pushed to train all the top leaders in Philips and USIS while implementing mentor programs at both organizations.Randy mentors/coaches CEO’s and some of their direct reports today in his current role.
Buy Randy’s book “Transformational Leadership” Transformational Leadership

Sharing personal experience and practical business blueprints, Dobbs takes the reader on a journey through the transformational process. Leaders working in organizations of various sizes--and facing diverse challenges and opportunities--will find Dobbs' ideas transformative, personally as well as professionally. This is a book for persons who want to be change agents within their respective organizations. It is for all who want to make a difference for themselves and their coworkers.