You did it. The “it,” of course, is your personal definition of success. You started the company. Got the salary. Landed the job. Grew the organization. Expanded the territory. Got married. Had children. Built the dream house. Ran the marathon. Traveled the world. Went skydiving.
Reality has a number.
That’s the number of years life expectancy has grown since the early 1900s. That means at around age 48 you’re just getting started for the next three decades. After all, fifty is the new thirty! Right?
A New Chapter
People commonly refer to this phenomenon as the third age. Scholars, however, call this gift of years the Third Act. There is a critical distinction between the two.
Standard business rhetoric is abundant. Step into any bookstore’s business aisle and you will be overwhelmed with shelves of how-to books, usually promising all the answers to leaders’ universal challenges. And yet, despite the volumes of instruction, the answers continue to remain an elusive mystery to many.
And yet the whispers of change are growing bold. Come enter a place where real companies are achieving the seemingly impossible: a responsive, thriving environment of life and work supported with a strong bottom line and fully engaged employees. How did these organizations get there?
Who doesn’t love a good lasagna? I’m reminded of this great Italian recipe by a previous post – noting that good leadership is not so much the ingredients of a great recipe, as it is the actions of a great cook. Anyone who knows their way around a kitchen will remember that every good cook has a different recipe for lasagna. This much sauce, that much ricotta, a stack of fat egg noodles – and each cook adds their own spices, to make their own dish.
And, even new cooks can create masterpieces.
This quote, in particular, resonated with CEOs and executives alike,in our community. No matter what level in a company the person holds, everyone has their version of dealing with this issue.
We all have jobs, families, commitments, and typically don't want to let any one of our commitments go, and in doing so, we create the "What Matters?" dilemma.
This parallels some of the work we do In our Facilitative Leadership Program. Part of our study is the work of Peter Blocks, The Answer to How is Yes-Acting On What Matters.
The moral bucket list requires an on-going process, to become the kind of virtuoso Brooks describes. This list parallels what it takes to be a facilitative leader as well as a good human. Becoming a great leader has all the elements of becoming a great person. It too is an ongoing process to become a virtuoso.
"It occurred to me that there were two sets of virtues, the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral — whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful. Were you capable of deep love?" David Brooks
This month I was privileged to be on a panel of presenters on the topic of Building and Sustaining High Performance Teams. We spoke to a a diverse audience of community business leaders and Human Resource professionals.
The panelists were asked to address these three areas:
- Attracting Talent
- Grow the Team
- Talent Retention
Growing the Team, my topic, was sandwiched between the others. In our work, we've had the opportunity to work with hundreds of CEOs and their teams, and have learned from the best in the business about creating High Performance Learning Organizations.
When it was my turn, here's how I started my presentation...
Steve Mostyn wrote a review of Noel Tichy's new book, SUCCESSION-Mastering The Make Or Break Process of Leadership Transition. If you are not familiar with Noel's work, he's known for leading GE's company leadership institute and transforming the leadership pipeline under Jack Welch. He is a trusted adviser on management succession to many leader companies.
His book examines why some companies fail and others succeed in training and sustaining the next generation of leaders. He reviews case studies of H-P, IBM, Yahoo, P&G, Intel, and J.C. Penny. Tichy concludes that the most important responsibility is to grow transformational leaders from the inside so that you never need to go outside.
In an article by Brian deHaaff, Why This CEO Will Never Hire Another Salesperson, he states what seems to be a very controversial belief, that the traditional sales role is endangered. He tells us,"I will probably never hire another VP of Sales or commissioned salesperson again." That is some statement.
Why, because today's buyers are way more savvy than ever before, and geting more savvy every minute. This is due to endless internet information we can find on a company or product before ever talking to anyone about buying. And with almost endless social media, we can find out what people we know, think about the product we want to buy. That's a more powerful influence than any salesperson.
A CEB (Corporate Executive Board) study of more than 1,400 B2B customers found that those customers completed, on average, nearly 60% of a typical purchasing decision – researching solutions, ranking options, setting requirements, benchmarking pricing, and so on – before even having a conversation with a supplier.
70% of business technology buyers are at the RFP stage (request for proposal) by the time the vendor becomes aware of the opportunity – UBM Techweb.
In our last blog post, we asked the question, what would happen to you, to your family, team or organization, if you kept score of "promises made and promises kept"? Our CEO and Key Executive groups, have been doing this for awhile now and have come up with some unique ways of scoring - almost as unique as each of them. How pretty it is, doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is your commitment to it.