76 Slices
Medium 9781609943035

Gaining Knowledge

Ken Blanchard Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Blake accepted the job at Dynastar and was eager to get started. His start date was set for two weeks after graduation.

This gave him just enough time to settle into his new apartment and have one more meeting with Debbie before he began. This time, there’d be no talk of job hunting. Just one topic: how to GROW as a leader.

They met at the usual coffee shop. After brief greetings, Blake got right to the point. “Tell me how I can GROW as a leader.”

“Gladly,” Debbie began. “Growth is what separates living things from dying things. Organizations and people that are fully alive, GROW—leaders especially. Sometimes, people and organizations aren’t really alive at all—not in the fullest sense of the word. They’re not fully alive because they are not growing. Think of a heart-rate monitor. If you’re not alive, the line is flat—you’re clearly not growing. Growth brings energy, vitality, life, and challenge. The people I meet who aren’t growing are also the ones who find life and their jobs boring. Without growth, we’re just going through the motions.”

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Medium 9781626561984

An Insight with Impact

Ken Blanchard Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

As the new week began, Debbie had a fresh take on the world. She even brought some flowers into the office and put them by the front desk where everyone could enjoy them. She had a new-hire interview scheduled for Tuesday. This time she asked Human Resources to give her two meetings with the candidate and to schedule ninety minutes for each session— not her usual thirty minutes. Following Jeff’s lead, Debbie prepared a short list of references for the candidate. She knew that some of the people might not give her an entirely positive reference, but she wanted to be up-front and honest.

On Tuesday Debbie met with the candidate, a woman a few years older than herself. At the end of their meeting Debbie said, “Thank you for your time today. If you’re still interested in the job, I want you to come back for another meeting. I know this is a major decision for both of us, so next time, I want you to interview me. Ask anything you like. Also, I’ve prepared a short list of personal and professional references for you. You may call them if you like, but you are under no obligation. I have to be honest with you, though. Some of these people may not have the most glowing things to say about my past leadership. But I am committed to becoming a great leader, and I see it as a journey. This team is going to do amazing things, and you may be one of the people to help us.”

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Medium 9781609949600

The Price of Leadership

Mark Miller Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Blake was excited to meet with Debbie to update her on his previous visit.

This morning, Blake and Debbie met in the parking lot as they approached the shop.

“How are you this morning?” Debbie asked.

“I’m doing okay.”

Debbie knew Blake well enough to know he wasn’t telling her the whole truth.

“Okay …” she hesitated. “Let’s get our drinks and find a table.” A few moments later they were seated in their usual spot.

“How’d the meeting go with Molly?”

“Well, Molly clearly lives out her belief that leaders respond with courage.”

“She does. That’s one of the reasons many people love her … and others don’t.”

“I guessed that responding with courage would not always be popular,” Blake said.

“Your instincts are correct, not everyone is a fan of Molly Ortega.” Debbie affirmed Blake’s intuition. “It just wouldn’t be productive to display some of the letters and emails she receives,” Debbie said with a grin.

“I guess making everyone happy is out of the question,” Blake said, thinking out loud.

“When leaders lead well, not everyone is going to be happy.”

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Medium 9781626561984

Serving Leaders

Ken Blanchard Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Debbie became more enthusiastic about her team and her work over the next few weeks. She was beginning to see how all of what Jeff was teaching her fit together. As the day of their next meeting approached, she thought about the question she had asked at the end of their last meeting. I wonder who he’ll select as the leaders who best put the principles of SERVE into practice?

On the morning of their meeting, Debbie headed for Jeff’s office with her newfound sense of optimism. I’ve learned so much. This mentoring has been a great experience!

They began by sharing what was going on in their personal lives. From the beginning, Jeff had always expressed interest in her life, both at work and outside the office.

Turning to the business at hand, Jeff asked, “Have you had any fresh insights since our last meeting?”

“Yes, quite a few,” Debbie said with some satisfaction in her voice.

“Like what?”

“I learned that the ideas you shared actually work! Also, as I began to think about establishing and living the values of our organization, I realized that ‘if it is to be, it is up to me.’”

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Medium 9781626561984

Where Are You Going?

Ken Blanchard Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

It wasn’t long until Debbie was scheduled to meet with Jeff again. She was excited to share the ways she had been able to serve since their last meeting.

“Good morning, Jeff,” she said as she walked in carrying a box of his favorite donuts.

“How did you know?” Jeff asked.

Debbie smiled. “I’m learning to listen and observe more carefully,” she said.

“Thank you, Debbie. That was very thoughtful.”

“Jeff, you were right. I discovered that I could serve people regardless of my position in the organization. I made a list just as you requested.”

“Wonderful! Let’s take a look.”

“I bought coffee for my staff. I picked up trash in the parking lot on my way into the office the other day. I listened to two of my team members who wanted to talk about personal problems. I’ve agreed to work with Charles on his skill development as a project manager. There were others, but I think I’m beginning to get it.”

“How’s your team’s performance?” asked Jeff.

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