164 Slices
Medium 9781576754689

Accentuating the Positive to Help People Win

Blanchard, Ken Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Later that morning the author knocked on the door of Herb’s office. Herb obviously knew in advance that the author was coming, because he looked up and said, “I understand you like to catch people doing things right.”

“I certainly do,” replied the author. “I love the entrepreneur’s idea that to really learn how to do something, you have to be willing to be coached and study under a master. But I feel the follow-up system he got from his father—tell me, show me, let me, correct me, et cetera—doesn’t accentuate the positive. He told me you confronted him on the lack of support and the learning system you use in the company now includes catching people doing things right. I’d be interested in learning about that.”

“Be happy to share what we’re doing,” said Herb. “First, let me give you a little background. We hire two kinds of people: winners and potential winners. Winners are people who are already experienced in what we have hired them to do and have a good performance track record.”

“They don’t need much help, do they?” guessed the author.

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Medium 9781626561984

Where Are You Going?

Blanchard, Ken 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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Medium 9781576751534

Allow Teams to Become Self-managed

Blanchard, Ken Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

MICHAEL WAS excited to meet with Luis Gomez and learn more about self-managed teams. Luis greeted him with a firm handshake.

Luis began, “So it’s my job to show you more about how teams become the hierarchy. Actually, that’s my favorite subject. Probably the fact that I’m team leader this quarter has something to do with it.”

“Did top management give you some rules that govern your team’s operation?” asked Michael.

“We operate with very few rules from the top,” Luis answered. “In fact, we have only four basic rules, and these were actually developed with all employees involved in a process led by Sandy and her management team. The four rules that guide all our actions are

“But,” Michael said, “I’ve just finished learning from Elizabeth that new rules and boundaries are essential for getting to empowerment.”

“That’s right, but they’re essential mainly at the beginning of the process,” Luis said. “We’ve come a long way on our journey to get where we are today. We started with a lot of external structure and rules. But now those rules come from within our team. Let me tell you how that happened.”

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Medium 9781609943035

Moving Forward

Blanchard, Ken Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Three weeks elapsed before Blake’s exams were over and Debbie had a free afternoon. The meeting was scheduled for the same coffee shop. Again, they both arrived early.

“Good afternoon!” Debbie said. “How are you?”

“I’m okay,” Blake said. The truth was, he was still grieving over his father’s death.

“Getting used to losing a loved one takes time,” Debbie said gently. “Did you have time to think through the things we discussed at the end of our first meeting?”

“I did. Just as I feared, I don’t know the answers to all the questions.”

“That’s okay. I rarely know all the answers to my own questions,” Debbie said with a grin. “And that really doesn’t diminish the power of the question. Often the search for the answer is just as valuable as the answer itself. Let’s see what you’ve come up with so far.”

They began to discuss Blake’s strengths and passions. Blake was very talented, so this was a fascinating conversation.

“It’s easy to see Jeff’s influence on your life,” she said. “After just twenty minutes, we’ve identified the following about you: You’re comfortable meeting people. You enjoy working with children—you were a camp counselor during your high school years. You’re a good student—a high GPA and other test scores helped you get into a prestigious university. You majored in business administration with a minor in marketing. And you’re athletically inclined—you played several sports growing up and are still an avid skier.”

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Medium 9781605098753

Blurry Vision

Blanchard, Ken Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

I had been working at the agency for over two months and was feeling pretty good. I liked working. I had a sense of accomplishment, liked the people I worked with, and felt good about bringing home a paycheck. My morning discussions with Jim were especially enriching.

Early Monday, I was sharing my reflections with Jim when my mobile phone rang. It was my son, Alex.

Mom, dont be mad at me, he began. I got in a fight with some boys on the way to school. Im okay. I promise. Im with a police officer right now. She wants to talk with you.

I caught my breath. What was going on?

Your son appears to be all right, the officer said. But he lost consciousness briefly and has a cut on his forehead. An ambulance is on the way. You can meet us at the hospital. Id like to talk with you.

Feeling a rising panic, I hung up the phone.

Alex is hurt. Im going to the hospital, I said.

I stood up quickly, probably too quickly, because I got momentarily dizzy and had to sit back down.

You dont look like you should be driving, Jim responded. Wheres your car? Ill drive you there.

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