Who Not What
Stop teaching leaders what to do.
Teach them who to be.
Four steps toward character based leadership
First, determine who you want to be as an organization. Forget about what you do. That comes later. Determine if you want to be innovative or “steady as she goes,” for example. Identify words that describe the best you; exciting, caring, trustworthy, systematic, or transformative.
Second, determine people-qualities that express who you want to be organizationally. Forget about communication skills, culture building, and organizational charts. What qualities in people help your organization become who it must be?
Innovative organizations need courage more than tenderness. Trustworthy organizations look for steadiness in people. All organizations, in reality, need courageous, steady people. It’s a matter of focus and degree.
Third, in order to develop character based leaders, identify behaviors that express character. Courage might be associated with speaking truth to superiors. Honesty could be tied to owning mistakes.
Fourth, tie all skill development to character qualities. Describe courage, selflessness, or innovation in ways that express who your organization must become.
Develop character based leaders
by connecting skills to character.
Let’s say you want to be an exceptional service organization. You’re looking for selfless qualities, not big egos.
You might identify gregarious, kind, and flexible as three character qualities that help your organization be who it should be. Flesh out character with behaviors. Determine three behaviors that express flexibility, for example. Or, describe what kindness looks like in your organization?
Character based organizations develop character based leaders when they solve problems by focusing first on character then on skills.
Train people who to be before telling them what to do.
Suppose an employee isn’t responding to others in a timely manner. Focus on respect and courtesy before explaining time management techniques.
How can organizations tie character to skills?
This is a much needed post for employers and leaders when considering the hire of new employees , or, the promotion of current employees. Please excuse my lack of memory today Dan, the following is a quote I believe in with all my heart. I think it was Dale Carnegie but I’m not certain. It goes something like this, “The quality that a person possesses which I am willing to pay handsomely for is Character, skills, talent, job knowledge can be taught, Character can not”! Another great post Dan, enjoy a beautiful day in our Lord.
Insightful and practical… a home run today!
Thank you for your daily devotion to this calling/blog.
and carefully select those qualities… some qualities may be more difficult to train.
First things first!!!!
An HONEST assessment of how things are going???? You who YOU wanna be? You work where YOU wanna work? Boldly, the world you living in the World YOU wanna be living in?
Can’t start change if you see no need! You won’t be willing to take the steps necessary if you do not clearly show yourself you are not thrilled with where you are at.
Now I said yesterday bob chapman says 7 out if 8 of us hate our jobs!!!! Then I was watching real time yesterday and bill maher said THIS WEEK gallop poll drumroll… 7 out if 8 people hate their jobs. Did y’all really think I was lying? Hehe
So once again collectively our strategy STINKS!!!!!!! Like it or not, accept it or not there are the facts. Go ahead google it I am not lying.
So the people who read Dan’s GREAT cool stuff, are we really Leaders or liars?
Seems to me Leaders would see 7 out of 8 people hating the jobs means we are failing unless our goal to to get a bunch of people together that hate what we are leading them to do.
So what to do about it? Find someone getting the results you want and drop the ego and do what they do!!!!! Brilliant simple stuff, huh?
Barry Wehmiller has a video on their culture 6 or 7 minutes. There they started solving this problem. They took a poll to measure the effectiveness of their strategy…..72% of their employees love working for Barry Wehmilller, NOW!!!! They have over 7000 employees. Wakey wakey!!!!!
Now if that does not stir you to action, stir you to investigate what I am talking about sorry but you are no leader. Not sure what you are but inspiring people to better themselves and their lives you are not.
We got a serious Leadership Crisis Isn’t 7 out of 8 people hating their jobs a crisis to you? Goodness if that is not a problem in your head and heart what in the world is?
Hope I am at least reaching one person with what I am trying to say. All I need is one person to say what the heck I got 7 minutes to check out this video Scott is talking about. What if this disturbing bit if news he is laying in us is actually true?
If true I want to be a part of the solution, not the problem. Here is the deal ignoring the facts with your head in the sand is not being part of the solution! The problem is still there!
Getting honest, getting real, digging deep and joining the folks who know we can do better. Barry Wehmiller is showing us they are doing it. Please get familiar with what they are up to. For your sake and the people you are leading. Those people deserve better from you cause now there is clearly a better way.
So is 72% inspired at work a better way than 7 out if 8 hating their jobs? Thought so go watch the video. Google Barry Wehmiller. University all their info and videos and strategies all there waiting on your head and heart. All you got to do is have little willingness. Do ya?
SP back into the fight!!!!!
Scott, I googled something else. The estimated underemployment rate approaches 20%. Multiply 8 times .2 and you get 1.6 Round up (can’t have half a person) and two of your 7 people who “hate” their jobs might just be upset they are not working to their experience or earning potential – nothing to do with leadership. Others might wish they didn’t have such a long commute. The work environment might be loud, cold, hot or otherwise uncomfortable. They might be working third shift and wish they could be on schedule with their family/kids. Maybe their benefits don’t cover all their needs. If we parse out the other disgruntling factors, I’ll bet we could whittle that 7 number down to about 2-3, which would be a 62-75% “happiness” rate with respect to the leadership of their organization.
The question itself provides meaning to skill, Character linked skill. It means organizations should character based leaders to train employees. When employees see, who is the trainer, they get automatically motivated to learn. Hence they learn skill while adapts the characters exhibit by leaders. We can imagine a situation where leaders without strong character teach about character. How much effective this kind of training could be? Employees create perception before actually leaders come to teach. People create perception based on what they hear from those whom they trust. I also believe that powerful communication and message to employees before providing skills is very much necessary. This make them curious to learn things with interest. It is true that our learning depends upon our pre evaluation about the teacher. So, it is necessary to disseminate proper and timely information to employees before they go for training.
I recall one CEO in banking, who was known for his courage to take decisions and better known as transformation leader. When he used to call meeting for employees, they had a kind of fear to attend that meeting. There was a sense of openness among employees to speak what they thought. Before that, attending meeting was just formality and few people had agenda to speak, not everyone was supposed to speak. So, it is important to convey positive message among target group about leader. Equally, target audience should be provided enough encouragement to speak and interact with leaders. This can provide skill with character.
Leadership is an inside-out job. Establishing a culture of authenticity requires courage and care. The courage to hear and speak truth and care to do this in a way that builds not breaks.
You sound like Simon Sinek!!!
Kindness? I know you have gone off your rocker!!! no one needs kindness any longer. I think companies should belittle their customers…pffft kindness. On the serious side, great post! Sometimes some of these traits are not teachable. Egos abound. Peace, cheers and blessings
Yesterday’s post emphasized the importance of focusing on “progress” over “process”. Todays, the importance of developing and ensuring the right “who” before “what”.
Both essential leadership priorities.without which, organizations can feel like rudderless, captain-less ships.
To achieve it’s next level of greatness, organizations need leaders that are unwavering in their insistence on people with the right character, focused on supporting and promoting desired organizational progress.
With a clear sense of “who” you want to be and “where” you want to go, it will be easier to determine “what” skills are needed and “how” to get there.
Yes it will be a great thing to say about leadership. Appreciated
Research done by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching uncovered an important significant fact – a fact later confirmed by additional studies done at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. Results from these studies revealed that even in the most technical fields such as Engineering, (about 15% of ones financial success is due to thier technical knowledge while 85% is due to ones skill in’Human Engineering’ – to personality and the ability to lead and inspire thier people to strive for greatness. In the heyday of his activity, John D. Rockefeller said that, “the ability to deal with peopleis as purshasable a commodity as sugar or coffee. And I will pay more for that ability”, said John D., “THAN ANY OTHER UNDER THE SUN”! I find it surprising Dan that every college in the nation would not conduct courses to develope the ‘Highest-Priced’ ability under the sun… Now, lets go one step further, the person who has the technical knowledge ‘PLUS’ the ability to lead, express ideas, inspire those that work for them, and arouse enthusiasm among people – that person is headed for ‘Greatness’! By far this blog ranks at the top of my ‘favorites list’ Dan. God Bless my friend.
I suspect some of this starts before the person sets foot in your organization as an employee. Some”who to be” skills can’t be taught. Thought provoking piece!
Great post as always, Dan, almost goes without saying. I love your daily dose of wisdom. I do have a slight “bone to pick” with your statement to “Train the people who to be…” I have found, over the years, that that is pretty near impossible, and reminds me of the expression “Quit trying to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time, and annoys the pig.” The Who We Are is exactly that. Each of us possesses certain foundational characteristics, based on the sum total of our experiences to date. I believe that natural tendancies can be encouraged and cultivated, but that trying to fundamentally transform someone’s value system (train them who to be) is a futile exercise. I think of a story someone once told me about Cold Stone Creamery, a local (?) ice cream shop, where if you put a dollar in the tip jar, they staff sings a song of appreciation. An associate of mine (in operations at a retail chain) remarked that he was puzzled about how the company got such great execution of this directive. A peer replied, “It helps if you hire people who like to sing.”
As leaders we can motivate and influence lots of things. Who our people fundamentally are is not one of them! I will take picking the right people, and then helping them learn the how anyday!
Just found this, and it directly applies to my next book project. Rather than focusing on the “What: as a goal, I think the key to building better teammates (and teams) is to shift the focus to “WHO”
For high achievers, our identity determines our actions. The issue is seldom “can this person accomplish this goal” – the challenge is internally, “is this a person who sees him or herself as someone who can / will accomplish that goal.”
When the answer is yes, the destination is imminent!
Seeing this blog today brings a smile to my face. It is one the Dan very best and my personal favorite.
Any organization, that ‘DOES NOT’ make Character the foundation of their Leadership philosophy has a system in placed that is ‘doomed for failure’. Knowledge is a wonderful thing, (*BUT), “I have YET, to see knowledge inspire anyone to do anything…” However, I have witnessed Leaders of average knowledge, education, or sometimes even the most rudimentary experience in their fields, inspire others to greatness, push ‘themselves’ beyond what expected to achieve goals some would say are unattainable. This type of example is infectious to others and the positive by-product is, “it produces spectacular results through the concerted effort of others…
Thanks for re-posting this Dan. “It’s going in a lesson plan, COUNT ON IT!!!”