Vision is a wonderful thing

I recently spoke as part of a panel on Values-Based Leadership at the Royal Roads University Leadership Conference in Victoria BC. There was vigorous discussion following the presentation and one delegate asked a question that led me to discover a fresh vision for what I do!


In my words, he basically waved his hands about the room and stated that there had been many great concepts introduced to the room, but that he was a bit overwhelmed as to how to implement these great concepts in a smaller organization. “Could the same principles that helped to save Ford Motor Company be applicable to his small team of 30?” I could have exploded as the answer hit me instantly with a firm conviction:  Please Continue Reading …

Courage — to serve?

Ever reach out to connect or collaborate with someone, thinking it was all about a “project” to find yourself trying to comprehend the quality of the person you were reaching out to; how separate from convention, how extra-ordinary they truly were? I did, and I am still processing it.

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As many of you will know, I have recently completed the draft writing of a new book: Resilience; How culture enabled the rebirth of Ford Motor Company (iBooks). Writing a book is the easy part, I hear, and promoting it is where the real work begins. So I have committed to engaging the process, so as to be true to the message. I thought it would be helpful to get an endorsement from Ford, and so I set out to see if this was possible. In the end, I did get the endorsement, but the experience of encountering Alan Mulally (President and CEO of Ford Motor Company) in the process of achieving it, was a greater gift; far more moving than  Please Continue Reading …

Lessons from the Dragon Boat – Part 1

This is an article I wrote for my column “Calibration” which is published in SaskBusiness Magazine.

It was a windy day on the South Saskatchewan. Tension crept into muscles, making them tight with anticipation as six boats drifted towards the start line, paddlers leaning forward at the ready. “Boat 3 – paddle forward, boat 6 – hold your position!” Crack! The gun went off, and the silence was interrupted by the churning sound of wood stabbing and throwing water, and the exhortative shouts of paddlers spurring teammates forward.

Within a few seconds, I began to long for the race to be over. My legs were awkwardly bent back under my seat, and my lower spine was beginning a lobby effort to cease and desist as whole muscle groups began to wage war against each other. Perseverance, however, is the key to fitness and competition, so I determined to finish well and spend myself for the cause. I could do this! I would not be one of the “cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat”! I would press on!

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Sustainable High Performance & Assumptions

Values are the foundation of culture. A healthy culture has healthy values…but furthermore is one wherein the behaviors, articulated statements – and assumptions – are in alignment.

Assumptions are the subconscious motives for the way we act. We can hold a value for something (example innovation), but our assumptions will lead us in differing directions on the same value.

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Value Recognition

People engage where they feel valued for their contribution.

Organizations don’t value people…people value people.

It is not so much that you “tell” people you value them…more that they recognize (sense) that they are valued. It may be that you have said, “we sure value your contribution here”…but a comment such as this may lead to feelings of being a “tool” – rather than valued as a person.

It is less likely that people really want to be an employee of the month picture on the wall…or have a parking space at the front door…this may actually work against other people on your team recognizing the value you have for them.

How do you feel valued?