Were They Always Dead Wood

This morning I had a tweeter conversation with Tom Peters – prolific author and business thinker – who said, “Dan, my whole “psychological shtick”: “Act your way into feeling/thinking” rather than “Feel/think your way into acting.”

Tom went on to say, “The only thing I know how to do is bust my ass at whatever, grand or trivial.”

Our best is about us not others. KaChing!


“Peter Drucker used to open many of his lectures to executive audiences by asking, ‘How many of you have some dead wood in your organizations?’ Nearly everyone would raise a hand. Drucker would then ask, ‘Were they underperformers when you hired them, or did they become so once they started working for you?’” From, Better Under Pressure.

Leaders and organizational systems either drain or energize. Energizing-organizations provide clarity, simplicity, resources, connections, channels, boundaries, and guidelines.

Energizing high performers:

  1. Challenges. High performers love to perform.
  2. Learning. Provide relevant training they enhances performance.
  3. Obstructions. Get out of the way. High performers don’t like meddlers.
  4. Love. Keep them doing the things they love doing.
  5. Honor. We don’t honor some for fear of neglecting others. That’s a formula for depressed organizations. We don’t honor some for fear others will be jealous. That’s a formula for mediocrity.
  6. Progress. Making progress may be the most powerful energizer of all – celebrate it.

What brings out your best?

What does an energizing organization look like?


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