Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 2/13/12

February 13, 2012—Issue #125

This week’s focus point: Despite the historical claims that “involvement” and “consensus” and “commitment over compliance” are important for employee productivity and performance, I’ve often thought that high-performing cultures are imposed more than gelled. Referent, charismatic leaders can galvanize people to action and add the important element of speed, which is often the victim of consensus and involvement. Steve Jobs was known as a tough guy, as was Roy Vagelos as CEO of Merck and Jack Welch as CEO of GE. But they achieved startling results and developed loyal employees. Perhaps one problem is that instead of developing great leaders we’ve tried to compensate for mediocre ones by asking people to take on some of those accountabilities at lower pay grades. Order in the world often (usually?) must be imposed. Perhaps high performance must be as well.

Monday Morning Perspective: The best is the enemy of the good. — Voltaire

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I remember a meeting with a boutique consulting firm that had fallen on hard times. The debate was whether or not to sell their magnificent conference table. “Where would clients sit?” asked one partner. “We have no clients,” stated the advocate of selling. You can’t cut your way to renewal or success. Top line growth is the key to bottom line achievement, for you and for your clients. Today is the time to invest in the future. Once you cut muscle, you’re powerless.
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2 Responses to Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 2/13/12

  1. “Perhaps one problem is that instead of developing great leaders we’ve tried to compensate for mediocre ones by asking people to take on some of those accountabilities at lower pay grades.”

    Amen to that! I see this on a daily basis unfortunately. I also see tremendous opportunity wasted because a ‘team’ of mediocre managers, devolves the business down to a level at which they are capable of managing. These are the two most common management problems I encounter.

    I love the MMM!!! Energizes me every single time.

  2. Alan Weiss says:

    That’s why I write it!

    (If you read people like Peter Block, they advocate that human resources should ensure that everyone is sitting at round tables looking each other in the eye, and that management is basically evil and must be fought. This is just nonsense. HR is fairly useless and true leaders should be on their horse shouting, “Follow me!” and not trying to hold “open meetings” or run the latest HR fad.

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