87 Slices
Medium 9781609949600

The Next Step

Mark Miller Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

As the weeks turned to months, Blake continued doing the things his new mentors had suggested. When his next review rolled around, he was confident. He knew he had miles to go, but he was convinced he was making progress.

The morning of the review, he showed up early and eagerly awaited Samantha’s arrival.

“Good morning, Blake. I’ve been looking forward to our time.”

“I have been, as well,” Blake said.

Over the next few minutes, Samantha asked Blake to share his perspective on his performance. Blake was candid and complete in his analysis.

“That’s a great summary. I agree with your observations. What are you learning?”

“I’m learning a lot. Specifically, I’m learning that I’ve been focused on just part of my leadership development.”

“Can you explain?”

Blake took Samantha’s question as a chance to draw the iceberg for her. She was fascinated. She had never seen leadership depicted like that.

“So, I’m so grateful you challenged me during my last review. You were right. Leaders are different. That was a new idea for me. Since then, I’ve learned, as much as ninety percent of my success as a leader will be determined by my leadership character. I would never have started my search without your feedback. Thanks again!”

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Medium 9781609940935

A Second Chance

Mark Miller Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Debbie and her team knew they needed to refine the initial training they had provided for the pilot. There were some obvious things that needed to be changed, some things to be added, and even a few things that could be eliminated.

Based on what the team had found in their initial visits, they decided more visits would be helpful. Those would be conducted over the next thirty days. The team also wanted to hear from all the leaders they could not visit. They decided to send out a brief survey. Here’s what they created:

• What impact did the training session you attended last quarter have on the performance of your team?

• What tangible success have you seen as a result of the training?

• How would you improve the training?

• What questions do you have that were not addressed in the training?

• How can we help you as you work to improve your team and its performance?

Five questions—that was it. The team sent these out by e-mail. The response was encouraging and almost immediate. With all this information—the initial visits, the additional visits, and the survey results—the team was ready to plan its next steps.

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Medium 9781609949600

Vision Fuels Courage

Mark Miller Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The meeting with Joe had been extremely helpful. Blake was glad that, as best as he could tell, he was doing okay on the “expect the best” front. Would he be so fortunate regarding the other facets of leadership character? He would soon find out.

After his meeting with Joe, Blake was more attentive than ever at the office. He was on the lookout for an expect the best attitude. Where would it show up? In what form? Would he see it at all?

Interestingly enough, when he looked for it, he saw it. He saw it from senior leaders and some of his peers. He even saw it in some of the new interns. Blake knew this ability alone would not make a leader, but it was good to recognize this critical leadership character trait.

Because it was going to be several days before his meeting with Molly, Blake decided to get in touch with Debbie to see if they could meet sooner than scheduled. He was glad she was available.

• • •

“How are things at home?” Debbie asked. “How’s Megan feeling?”

“Generally, things are good. Megan’s sick almost every morning, but she feels better as the day goes on. I’m working hard to get home early enough in the evening to help around the house. Clint is also sleeping better. I think we’re going to make it.” He smiled.

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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 9781609940935

Study the Best

Mark Miller Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Debbie was discouraged. Her new team was proving to be more of a challenge than she had bargained for. Up to this point in her career, she had enjoyed success after success. Most noteworthy, she had led her previous dysfunctional team “from worst to first.” This feat had not gone unnoticed by management. In fact, Jeff, the CEO, had given Debbie her recent promotion in part due to her success and in part because he saw tremendous potential in her.

However, in her new role, nothing seemed to be going her way. With her former team, she had looked forward to every new day, but now she went to work only to be confronted by a team with real issues. Not only that, Debbie was feeling the stress and strain of trying to do more and more, often with less resources. Beyond her team issues, she was faced with a growing mountain of e-mail; there seemed to be more meetings than ever; and if there was any time left, she still had customers to serve. She was tired. The pace of her life was out of control, and she wasn’t sure what to do about it.

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