76 Slices
Medium 9781626563940

Something Has to Change

Mark Miller Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Debbie Brewster was the third-most influential person in Blake’s life. After his mom and dad, Debbie had invested more in him than anyone else. She taught Blake how to lead. And the irony of it all was that since Blake’s late father had mentored Debbie, many of the principles she shared with him came, indirectly, from his dad.

Regarding his current challenges, Blake had complete confidence Debbie could help. He called her and she agreed to meet early the next morning. They met in the coffee shop they had used as a central meeting place on and off for a decade.

“Good morning!” Debbie said as soon as Blake walked through the door.

“Good morning to you,” he said.

“How are you and Megan and the kids? We’ve got a lot of catching up to do,” Debbie said.

In no time at all, the two friends had reconnected. After a few minutes, Debbie said, “When you called, you said you had a new job. You’re a CEO now. Congratulations! How’s it going?”

“Well, it looks like it’s going to be really challenging,” Blake confessed.

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Medium 9781609940935

The Journey Continues

Mark Miller Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The team developed two comprehensive plans: one for the pilot leaders and another for a systemwide introduction of the high-performance team concepts.

Debbie met with Jeff and reviewed the plans. He liked them both. He also decided to speak to the pilot team leaders when they returned for their second session. He wanted them to hear directly from him how important this work was to the long-term health and vitality of the organization.

He also agreed to talk to as many of the other groups as possible when the systemwide launch began. When he couldn’t be present, he volunteered members of the Executive Team to be there. He understood that ongoing leadership support would be vital.

The team reconvened the original pilot leaders and opened with a session in which the attendees were invited to share their questions and issues regarding the project.

This was followed with a session entitled “Lessons Learned from the Field,” presented by Debbie’s team. The short list of critical roles the leader must play in talent, skills, and community was extremely well received.

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Medium 9781609949600

Look in the Mirror

Mark Miller Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Once again, Blake had attempted to schedule an early meeting. However, with the coach it was more difficult. He already had weight training with his athletes scheduled for 7:00 each morning. So, Blake agreed to meet the coach after practice. He promised Megan he’d bring dinner home after the meeting, which was always a good idea from her perspective.

“Coach, thanks for meeting with me.”

“It’s great to see you again. And, under more friendly circumstances,” he said with a broad smile.

“Oh, you remember me?” Blake had specifically not mentioned their past connection when he scheduled the appointment.

“Yes, I do. You were a fine quarterback. Congratulations on that championship.”

“Thank you, sir, and thank you for meeting with me. As I mentioned on the phone, I’ve been meeting with members of my dad’s small group.” As Blake said those words, all of a sudden, he had a new question. “Why didn’t I know you were meeting with my dad?”

“Maybe because I only had the chance to be in one meeting with him.”

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Medium 9781626563940

Game Plan

Mark Miller Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

On the way back to the office, Blake called Alex. “Please see if everyone on the leadership team is in the office today. If they are, call a meeting for 2:00.” Although Blake believed the business was generally headed in the right direction, he agreed with Jack—they needed more focus on execution.

At 2:00, Blake began. “Thanks for coming on such short notice. I had a good meeting today with Jack, and we talked about the fourth move we need to make to create a high performance organization—Excel at Execution.”

“Isn’t that what we’ve been working on?” Charles asked.

“Yes and no,” Blake said. “The yes part: we are making good plans and laying the groundwork for the future. The no part: we are not moving with enough urgency. Our conversations have been focused on the first three moves, and we’ve not done enough to improve our execution. Regardless of what we’re working on, we can never forget we must execute. Ultimately, we want to excel in this arena. Right now, we’re playing catch-up.”

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Medium 9781626561984

What Is Success?

Ken Blanchard Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Back in the office, it was apparent from the smiles, laughter, and banter that morale was on the upswing. Debbie was hopeful that performance would follow. She was still listening as much as possible. She was still actively looking for little ways to serve her team. She was delegating more often, and that allowed her more time to think about the future. She was scouting for talent, rather than just waiting for HR to send her warm bodies. She was investing more time in the interview process, and she was working purposefully to engage the hearts and heads of her people.

At times, it all seemed overwhelming. But in her heart Debbie knew that she was just laying the foundation for bigger and better things. As she prepared for the upcoming team meeting, she really wanted to engage the team in Reinventing Continuously. So she sent an e-mail.

Send to:

Team 7




Upcoming Meeting


March 1




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