Steps toward higher performing organizations

Feb 23, 2014 (San Diego)

Over the last 15 days I have had the privilege of presenting leadership principles in 9 of those days to groups of military, other government functions, and private sector companies. Seems the challenge-of-the-day is people who position themselves just the opposite of the principle of “Invictus” (see Feb 02 blog). They are good at presenting problems and seeking others to solve them: both personal and professional problems. They take no responsibility for the occurrence of the problem, nor the solution: those are both the domain of someone else. They have essentially detached themselves from the organization except for…. salary and benefits. How sustainable is that?

In Robert Greenleaf’s seminal book, “Servant Leadership” Paulist Press, 1977, he wrote that there is an implicit and often explicit “social contract” between organizations and leadreship servantworkers. The worker applies his/her gifts and talents for the good of the organization at goal level and the organization will give the promised salary, benefits, and suitable working conditions. If one is “detached” from the organization and not fulfilling their portion of the social contract, Greenleaf wrote there must be means to restore the contract or remove the employee. Everyone can imagine the impact of a non-whaleperforming whale on the performing whales. In case the metaphor is illusive go to your local SeaWorld and ask them. They will tell you that the nonperforming whale adversely impacts the performance of the performing whales. Not cool!

Unlike whales, on the job you get to do interviews and stress we need youtesting for suitability before hiring. There are resumes and referrals where a company can research past performance.

In my next blog I will first address how to preserve the initial motivation a person brings to the job, thus heading off the potential of developing a non-performing whale. The ensuing blog I will address what I see as a means of working with the non-performing whale.

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