Prosperous Leaders = Prosperous Business
Have you ever thought about what makes a business prosperous?
Why are there companies in the same space, same market, same geography that are on the top of their game and why are there those that are failures?
Why are some employers, the place to work and why are some employees the people to hire and why are others a dysfunctional work environment and some employees toxic ?
Then again, some may have read business books or may even have gotten an MBA or went through the school of hard knocks, yet they fail?
In my book The Prosperous Leader I share something profound I learned from my mentor Roy Cammarano and it’s the 6 C’s of Communications-
When a company is faced with Conflict and Competition it will equal failure, if it creates rules of Compliance and Communication then it can be successful, if it creates a culture of Collaboration and Cooperation then it will prosper.
Conflict is when both management and leadership are pointing fingers and blaming each other. It’s almost a given, when I speak to leaders and managers that it’s someone else’s fault. It’s as if when you have someone to blame then you are excused from your company’s failures or poor performance.
In a great book, Extreme Ownership, written by 2 Navy Seals, they explain that the success of the Navy Seals is that everyone takes responsibility for the outcomes regardless whose fault it is.
If you as a Leader or Manager, are finger pointing and blaming, it’s failure!
Remember, when you point a finger at someone, three fingers point back at you.
Competition is when employees are fighting for recognition, competing for pieces of the business or jockeying for positions, these are different symptoms of competition.
Competition is also when the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing and people are not aligned in their mission or goals.
In many places they call it fiefdoms or silos…
Compliance and Communications=Success
I also call it, Transparency and Accountability.
When companies build these two very important ingredients into their day to day, it creates a very strong message about open and honest communications.
Transparent Communications is when everyone in the company knows the mission and vision or impact or why we do what we do.
Simon Sinek is his very famous TED talk (based on his book, start with the why) explains that all companies know what they do, some know how they do it but very few know why they do it. People will do business with people that share the same why. His example of Apple is very insightful.
Ask yourself-Why do you do what you do? And why should anyone care?
What impact do you want to have that will be meaningful for your employees, clients and all stakeholders?
Recently there has been a report that 180 plus leaders came together to share that impact was more important than profit.
Compliance=Accountability. Great companies are very upfront about their KPI’s (key performance indicators) or Scorecards and how people are accountable to those goals and objectives.
Goals need to be S.M.A.R.T.
Specific, Measurable, Achievable or Ambitious, Responsible party and Timeline.
Stephen Covey in his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People speaks about a simple but very effective onboarding and evaluation tool called Dr. Grac which stands for Desired Results, Guidelines, Resources, Accountabilities, Consequences.
Using this tool to clarify exactly what are the goals or desired results we are trying to achieve and what is your contribution to the goals.
What are the guidelines, meaning what authority do you have or don’t have, who do you report to, etc.
Resources, means things like what is your budget or who are the people or other people available for you.
Accountabilities, meaning how and when will we be reviewing the results and what are our expectations. Some business owners have a very hard time with this either because they don’t want to come off as being bossy or they don’t like to confront their employees. The challenge is then, if the employee doesn’t know what he or she is doing wrong they cant know what to change.
Just remember, say what you mean and mean what you say, but don’t say it mean!
Collaboration and Cooperation = Prosperity.
Covey calls it Synergy!
Meaning when people celebrate differences and understand that every person brings different skills to the table, that’s when Collaboration and Cooperation happens.
Often times, the reason why there is conflict and competition is because people aren’t aware of what their strengths and abilities are (and what they’re not ;).
Jim Collins said in Good to Great, (I’m paraphrasing) that you need to make sure you have the right people, in the right seat and on the right bus.
Entrepreneurs have a very hard time hiring the right people, as they use their gut feeling to hire and then the disappointments happen.
I forgot who said that most people get hired for skills and fired for attitude!
I say, hire for attitude and train for (both) hard skills AND soft skills.
When you hire the right people and they are clear on the mission and values, then they can be placed in the right seat in the right bus.
When I was a Vistage chair (www.vistage.com) we had invited a Labor Attorney to speak to our group. We were expecting all the do’s and don’ts lawyers love to speak about. Instead he shared a huge insight.
If you neverwant to hire me (as a labor attorney), make sure that you’re hiring people with the right values and shared sense of mission.
There is a subtle difference between Collaboration and Cooperation.
Here is a great story to illustrate.
I travelled with my wife to Montreal, Canada for a family wedding and we stayed in a very nice hotel call Hotel Ruby Foos (https://www.hotelrubyfoos.com).
Upon checking in, the receptionist asked us if we want a Wifi code (as not to incur out of state/country charges) and when we said yes of course, she offered to enter the code while we were filling out the registration. (I know many today would say be careful ;).
So cooperation was asking us if we needed the Wifi code, collaboration was asking if we wanted it entered.
The same is internally, do your employees, leadership included, share resources and also offer to help? Do they do things even if it’s not their credit?
That is a prosperous culture!
I’d like to share with you a short paragraph I read in Covey’s last book he wrote before he died, called The Third Alternative.
Money is only one kind of wealth, a mark of secondary success. Primary success, as I’ve said before, arises from our character, and is measured in terms of the contributions we make. Integrity, honesty, hard work, and compassion for others—if we live by these principles, we will never be poor in primary. In a world of such people, no one would be poor, not even the weak and disabled. This kind of wealth is primary wealth. Often (there’s no guarantee) secondary wealth follows as a natural consequence. The assets that lead to material prosperity have never changed; they are character, education, skills and relationships developed over time, and patience.
There are natural laws at work here, and those that live by them can be both humble and confident at the same time. It’s true that some people get rich without these assets, through birth, luck, or conniving and it’s easy to get bitter over it. But if I see myself as a victim, [then] I will wait for society to become “fair” rather than developing those primary assets that lead to prosperity (p. 355).