Unlocking the Heart and Soul of Remarkable Leadership, Keith Merron
Remarkable Leadership

Archive for February, 2010

Don't Walk Past a Problem

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

I was recently at an offsite where I observed an extraordinary a

The First Ps3 Cinavia Fix & Free Bonus: Ylod/red Lights Repair Guide!

nd powerful act of leadership.

This was a meeting of the top 35 or so leaders in a large and growing multi-national company. During the meeting, one of the leaders (we’ll call him Bill) had coined the phrase: “don’t walk past a problem.” The phrase meant that in this company, whenever someone violates one of our values, never, ever walk past it. Instead, confront the person and the issue immediately and in so doing, we will better be able to walk our talk.

The phrase caught on for leaders and is becoming a mantra for the company. In the past, they tended to avoid the difficult conversations. Now they are committed to facing them. The phrase itself will make a difference, but

order viagra online

what made that phrase penetrate the meeting was the behavior of the leader who coined the phrase. Here is what happened:

At one point a group of leaders in one division, were discussing their concerns about another division and its performance. In particular, they felt the other division lacked the kind of work ethic needed to take the company to the next level. Bill was the head of that division in question. When the leaders of the one division were describing their concerns, they seemed to keep dancing around the issue, trying to put it ever so delicately so as not to upset Bill and his division leaders. They said stuff like: “we could use more focus” or “you folks are great, it’s just that we need a little more.” Bill kept asking questions to try to get the specific feedback, but each time the response seemed to obfuscate the issue.

Bill knew what they were trying to say, but felt frustrated that they just wouldn’t come out and say it. Eventually he said: “You guys keep beating around the bush. I think you mean that we don’t have a strong work ethic, and it is troubling you. Well, I think you are absolutely right!” They all nodded yes and began talking about the impact on them. Bill’s actions turned the meeting around.

In not so many words, Bill did two things. He was, in effect, saying, “let’s be direct and honest here. Nothing less will be okay with me.” And he was demonstrating that when someone gets feedback, we need to take it in, wholeheartedly. When those two conditions are present, we will move our culture as leaders to the next level. Words mean little to Bill when not coupled with action. His actions spoke volumes.