Posts by Michael Beck

Michael Beck is the Founder and President of Michael Beck International – a leadership development and employee engagement consulting firm, headquartered in Portland, OR. He is passionate about helping leaders bring out the best in others, and utilizes executive coaching to improve their effectiveness, broaden their strategic thinking, and maintain their focus on execution. Connect with him on Linkedin: Visit his company at

On Leadership and The Politics of Onions

The Politics of Onions

There’s an interesting dynamic taking place in India right now. It’s a lesson about creating political change, but it also offers a great insight into how to be more effective as a leader and/or a marketer.

Indian politicians have been battling one another as to how to reverse the country’s declining economy, but no consensus has been reached. (Sound familiar?) However, the weakened economy has taken an interesting twist.

It’s driven the price of onions up dramatically – nearly 5-fold in a month!

On Onions and Culture

While this may not seem like a major event to many of us, in India, it’s catastrophic. Indian families of all social strata eat onions in or with just about every meal. An increasing portion of the population cannot afford to buy onions, and therein lies the interesting dynamic.

As we all know, politicians tend to argue for solutions which favor their own agenda or the agenda of their party. But a groundswell of public protest and discontent is about to change all that. It will change the politics because unhappy constituents tend not to re-elect politicians.

Appreciating the impact of this dynamic can give us an insight into how to be more effective in our leadership and in our marketing.

Motivation is Personal

If you want to motivate people to take action, you must address something that matters to them. Whether we’re talking about politicians, members of our team, or potential customers, people tend to act in their self-interest.

When it comes to leadership, if you want to motivate people to take action, you must appeal to something that matters to them. Setting goals does not motivate most people. Yes, some love the challenge , but many are not motivated by goals.

And, as you’ve probably observed, most people aren’t motivated by more money, either.

What’s In It For Me?

Study after study has demonstrated that more money is pretty low on the list of things that are important to people.

Instead, people appreciate things like:

  • Getting respect
  • Having autonomy
  • Gaining recognition
  • Being Appreciated
  • Having a purpose
  • Taking pride in their work
  • Work/life balance

When it comes to marketing, that old acronym comes to mind – WIIFM – “What’s in it for me?” Prospects are not moved to action by logic – they are moved to action by emotion.

In your marketing, if you can appeal to what matters to them (the benefits) rather than how great you and your products are (the features), you’ll have far more success getting people to take action.

Whether it’s politics, leadership, or marketing, if you want people to act on your behalf, you must give them what they want – what matters to them.

So, as a leader, are you considering what “the onions” are to your team members? Are you looking to their personal, professional, and social aspirations as you lead them? How can you recalibrate your thinking to become more influential with the people that you lead? I would love to hear your thoughts!


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Michael Beck
Michael J. Beck is President of Michael Beck International, Inc
He helps leaders improve their personal effectiveness and productivity
Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Blog | Skype: xleaders | 866-385-8751

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Executive Success: Dealing with Difficult People

Difficult People

There’s no avoiding it.  You’re bound to come across someone who’s difficult to deal with. 

It’s inevitable as soon as you add different personalities, experiences, and backgrounds to the mix.

Who Are They?

They may be someone we report to or someone who reports to us.  Or they may be a peer, a vendor, or a client.  The bottom line is that it’s going to happen and generally can’t be avoided.

If we are to be effective as a leader, we must become good at dealing with those difficult people.

Whoever they are, they usually cause anxiety, frustration, concern, and/or anger in us.

The irony is that when we become anxious, frustrated, concerned or angry, we ourselves, can become difficult to deal with.

Consequently, it is imperative that we become adept at dealing with them.  Occasionally we can avoid the person altogether, but more often than not, it’s a relationship we have to address.

Dealing With Them

Difficult PeopleOne course of action is simply to tolerate the other person.  This course of action (or more accurately, inaction) is one which avoids confrontation and maintains the status quo.  Productivity remains consistent and there’s no risk of workplace “drama.”

Unfortunately, by not dealing with the situation, you end up perpetuating a number of counterproductive dynamics.

You end up expending valuable energy by “tolerating” an unsatisfactory situation.

It affects your attitude, your thoughts, and your productivity.

Additionally, in your attempt to shield or isolate yourself from this person, they end up feeling neglected and unappreciated.

When that happens, they tend to “check out”, becoming complacent and apathetic – simply going through the motions at work.  It’s not a very fruitful course of action.

Negative Team Dynamics

There’s one other negative dynamic that exists when we tolerate a difficult person.  Although it may feel like the issue is between the two of you, in fact, a difficult person affects your entire team.  When you allow a difficult person to persist, it reflects on your leadership style and your values.

This, in turn, negatively impacts your ability to lead effectively.

Additionally, the age-old adage holds true, “One bad apple spoils the barrel,” as will be evidenced by the people who will come forth voicing their relief once the difficult person is gone.

Looking In The Mirror

Another course of action might be to reflect on our own behaviors and attitudes, and summarily decide to change ourselves.  While this occasionally may be appropriate, generally it’s not.  (A good test is to observe whether there are many “difficult” people on your team.)

In fact, our initial reaction to this course of action might be this:

“Why should I be the one to change?  It’s clear the other person is the one with the problem.”

Not only would that be valid, but it sheds some light on how to handle the situation, because if our thought is to ask the other person to change, their reaction would most likely be the same.

Why should I be the one to change?

This of course poses a problem because in fact, that person generally IS the problem.

Being Transparent with Truth

The answer to this dilemma is to have an honest and transparent conversation with the person.  As a leader, we have the opportunity and an obligation to develop people and help them grow.

  • We need to be compassionate, yet strong.
  • We need to be empathetic, yet work change their perspective.
  • We accomplish this by acknowledging the situation and by asking good questions.

This course of action helps us understand their perspectives and motivations.  By doing this, not only can you positively impact their enjoyment of and satisfaction with their work, but you’ll help them to be more effective and productive.

Gaining Clarity

If nothing else, you’ll help them gain clarity about themselves and then help them (in a positive way) move on to another opportunity which better suits their skills and their perspectives.

Mastering the ability to effectively deal with difficult people will enhance your leadership effectiveness and enrich the lives of the people around you.


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Michael Beck
Michael J. Beck is President of Michael Beck International, Inc
He helps leaders improve their personal effectiveness and productivity
Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Blog | Skype: xleaders | 866-385-8751

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Executive Effectiveness: 4 Insights on Becoming Inspiring


One of the most important competencies a leader must master is the ability to inspire people.

On Inspiration and Motivation

There is a difference between inspiration and motivation.


in·spi·ra·tion  [ ìnspə ráysh’n ] n.

1. Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity.

By definition, “to inspire” means “to exert a stimulating or beneficial effect upon, or to arouse with a particular emotion”


mo·ti·va·tion  [ mo tə váysh'n ]  n.

1. Something that motivates; an inducement or incentive.

By definition, “to motivate” means “to provide with an incentive, or move to action.”.


The important implication to this distinction is that we inspire people by who we are and what we do (or did), and people are motivated by who they are or what they want.

Therefore, for you to be able to inspire people, they need to see who you are as a person and they need to become aware of what you’re doing or what you’ve done in the past.

Inspirational Leadership

What does being an inspiring leader accomplish?

Inspirational leadership achieves a number of very important things.

Elicit Emotions

An inspiring leader elicits an emotional response from people. This ability is essential to effective leadership. People are moved more often and more strongly by emotion than they are by logic.

When we inspire people, it creates the desire to accomplish more and helps people to overcome their challenges and fears. Becoming an inspirational leader is one of the keys to creating a high performing team.

Spark Imagination

An inspiring leader can spark the imagination of an entire organization. When a leader masters the ability to deliver an inspiring message, their message can become the catalyst for a new, innovative future. Inspiration causes people to align themselves with your vision, your passion, and your cause.

Belief, Enthusiasm and Hope

An inspirational leader creates belief, enthusiasm, and hope in people. When people are inspired by someone, they admire them, respect them, and often strive to emulate them. In turn, they will strive to gain your respect and admiration as well.

Who & How

Now that I’ve sparked your interest in becoming a more inspirational leader we need to turn our attentions to the things we can do to become more inspiring. A good place to start is by thinking of people who you find inspiring and by reflecting on why they inspire you.

These people may be historic figures, present day figures, or family members.

Here is a sample list of people I think most of us would consider to be inspiring:

Feelings About People

  • So the question is, what is it (or was it) about them that makes them inspiring?
  • What causes us to feel that way about them?

If you list all the things about them that cause you to feel that way, you’ll see that it boils down to how you feel about them as a person or what they did that was admirable.

When someone has a vision, a passion, a purpose, or a philosophy and communicates it well, they draw people to them like a magnet.

They inspire them to dream bigger and achieve more. Even more inspiring is when they act on that vision, passion, or purpose.

Onward to Greater Things

Additionally, we’re often inspired by someone who was willing to stand up for someone or something. We tend to admire people like that. People who overcame adversity and succeeded in spite of it also inspire us onward to greater things.

We all have challenges. Sometimes we overcome them, and sometimes they overwhelm us.

An inspiring leader can make all the difference in someone’s life.

Alignment & Integrity

And finally, we are inspired by someone with integrity. Someone who not only does what he or she says they will do, but speaks and acts in alignment with the values they say matter to them. There are few things more powerful than a person who lives by their principles.

Let me offer some insights into what you can do right now to be more inspiring to the people around you. Most of us haven’t had to overcome extraordinary challenges and most of us haven’t made an impact on a global scale. But nevertheless, each of us can be an inspiring leader to our team, our company and our family.

Your Future Challenge

If you want to enhance your leadership effectiveness and achieve greater success, it is essential to become inspiring to others. We each tend to consider our past achievements and accomplishments as unremarkable.

Unremarkable because either they came easily to us, or because we feel that anyone (and everyone) could accomplish what we did, or because we focus on (and are possibly embarrassed by) the challenges we faced rather than focusing on the fact that we overcame. Nothing could be further from the truth.


Become clear about, effectively communicate, and act upon your vision, passion, purpose, or philosophy.

People are attracted to and inspired by someone who believes in something and is passionate. In truth, most people aren’t passionate about anything in their life. Having and expressing a vision can be impactful, but actually taking action on what we say matters to us is very powerful. After all, actions speak louder than words.

If you need a jump start towards gaining clarity about this for yourself, reflect on what advice you would give someone just starting out in business or in life. Never miss an opportunity to share what matters to you. Use stories to make your point and paint a picture with your words.


Let others know about an adversity you overcame.

When people hear a story of how someone overcame adversity and succeeded in spite of it, they become inspired to overcome their own obstacles and challenges. It doesn’t have to be a “crushing” issue. It can be an attitude, circumstance or belief that we overcame which allowed us to achieve what we did and become who we are today.

Share past challenges that you worked to overcome. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a major life-altering challenge to have an impact on someone. Once again, use stories to make your point and paint a picture.


Be willing to stand up for what you believe.

People admire someone who stands up for what they believe – even if they don’t agree with them! They admire someone who is true to themselves and defends others.

Don’t compromise on the principles you believe in. Stand up for someone’s rights, even if you don’t agree with them.


Act with integrity.

When someone does what they say they’re going to do, it creates an impression. When they go out of their way to do what they said they’d do, it creates an impression. Acting with integrity causes people to take notice of us. When we speak and act in alignment with the values we say matter us, we make an impression on people.

Make a practice of doing what you say you are going to do, become clear on what values matter to you, and work to ensure your words and actions align with who you say you are as a person.

The best way to start becoming more inspiring is to take time to reflect back on your life and take stock of how you’ve changed, who you’ve become, what you’ve achieved, and what you believe in (your passions, philosophies and/or purpose). And then begin sharing it. Share it with your team, your company, and your family. Once you do, you’ll start making a greater difference in people’s lives.

By the way, if you’d like help becoming more inspiring as a leader, please give me a call or contact me through the website.


Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Michael Beck
Michael J. Beck is President of Michael Beck International, Inc
He helps leaders improve their personal effectiveness and productivity
Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Blog | Skype: xleaders | 866-385-8751

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On Leadership and Executive Blind Spots

Executive Blind Spots

We all have patterns, habits, and beliefs that limit us. The challenge is that we generally can’t see how those thought-patterns and beliefs hold us back and what we can’t see tends to sabotage our efforts.

“Blind spots can severely impact an executive’s strategic vision, their course of action, and their rate of success.”

They impact decision-making and creativity (or lack thereof) in solving problems and they act to limit the strategic initiatives we are willing to consider. They even affect how we relate to others – hampering our leadership effectiveness, our political adeptness, and our executive presence.

It doesn’t matter what our experience in life or in business has been, what our background is, our age, level of education, or intelligence.

“No matter who are are, what your credentials may be, or what successes you may have had in the past, all of us are subject to blind spots.”

Executives, like everyone else, acquire blind spots from life. But as leaders, we suffer more blind spots caused by our need to operate within corporate or organizational environments.

Putting on Our Blinders

Blind spots show up in our beliefs, our thoughts, and our actions. These beliefs are self-limiting and are often at odds with the goals we say we want to achieve. Our beliefs are formed – good or bad, limiting or expansive – as we develop from children into adulthood.

We formulate these beliefs from the stories we invent as we seek to explain events. Unfortunately, we view these events through the lens of immaturity and without having all the facts. These flawed stories act to limit us and sometimes even come to define us.

“The key to moving past these limiting beliefs is to replace them with beliefs formed from fresh perspectives.”

When it comes to our thoughts, the same thinking that got us where we are can’t take us further. If we keep thinking in the same way, we’ll keep coming up with the same kinds of solutions. Our thinking becomes stagnant without outside stimulation.

“The only way to expand one’s thinking is to seek out new perspectives…”

This comes from reading and seeking outside input.

Too Much Focus

When we get attached to the process of how we imagine success will be attained, we become blind to other possibilities. And when that happens, we’re like a fly incessantly beating its wings against a pane of glass trying to reach its goal.

It doesn’t matter how hard we try if we’re pursuing success in the wrong way. When we’re not willing to consider other courses of action, we limit our success.

“How does one distinguish between dogged determination and blindness?”

It usually requires input from an outside, unbiased source.

Blind Spots Arise From Two Sources

The first source is corporate culture:

Corporate culture in a general sense as well as the specific “culture” of an organization. We hold beliefs about how organizations should function, how they should be structured, and which behaviors are valued.

“Every organization has its own special culture – either by design or by default.”

And while a corporate culture can be an asset, it often acts to create blind spots with executives.

The second source is the need of leaders to achieve productivity through others:

This executive blind spot often arises in the corporate world. As executives, we run the risk of our thoughts and beliefs being influenced by the thoughts and beliefs of the people under our guidance.

Removing Our Blinders

“Breaking free of limiting thoughts and beliefs is essential for achieving the results we want.”

However, there are some inherent challenges in releasing blind spots. Many blind spots are so deeply ingrained within our make-up, we’re no longer aware that they control us. Without outside perspective, these beliefs appear to be truths.

It’s important to keep in mind that generally these limiting beliefs are YOUR truths and not THE truth.

It is critical that we identify and release the self-limiting blind spots which hold us back if real progress is to be made. To that end, it requires outside perspective and input from someone who can point out what we can’t see for ourselves.

What are your blind spots? Are you receiving outside perspective or input? Or are you so attached to your blinders that you stay stuck in your leadership ditch? What can you do in the coming year to help you expand your vision and enable you to be more effective in leading others? I would love to hear your thoughts!


Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Michael J. Beck is President of Michael Beck International, Inc
He helps leaders improve their personal effectiveness and productivity
Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Blog | Skype: xleaders | 866-385-8751

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Developing People: A Key to Eliciting Excellence

Developing Other People

As leaders, it is important to understand yourself well. It is also essential to know who you are as a person and who you are as a leader.

Knowing Thy Self

It is from this point of knowing your self that you can look beyond the boundaries of your own knowledge, experience, and expertise and see the vast horizon of things you do not know, of situations you have not experienced, and in things of which you have no ability.

In these fruitful plains of wisdom that are outside your present domain, you should venture forth and consume as much as you can so that you can continue to learn, grow, and build other leaders. Doing this will expand your leadership horizons and make you more valuable to the ones you lead.

This will also fortify you to be something greater for those you lead.

Developing Others

As a leader, your true growth begins when you decide that your honorable goal is to look outside of your own appetite for power, control, or recognition and understand that your real job is to help grow other people in their development. It is when you decide to “show up as a giver” to those you lead and take on the responsibility to grow others around you that you start to wield authentic power.

There is tremendous opportunity and satisfaction as a leader in developing others. By effectively developing the people around us, we elicit excellence in a number of impactful and far-reaching ways.

Developing others is an important function of effective leadership.

3 Ways to Eliciting Excellence

It’s About the Other Guy

The first benefit, obviously, is to the person being developed.  When we help someone expand their skill set and knowledge base, we make them more valuable and more versatile, which in turn, instills a sense of pride.  Instilling pride in work and workmanship is a cornerstone of the foundation for eliciting excellence. In addition, we prove our belief in them, their abilities, and their potential.

This in turn nurtures loyalty and responsiveness towards you.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

The next way that developing people elicits excellence is the impact on our team.  When members of a team grow their abilities and stretch themselves, they in turn inspire others to do the same.

Even though you may not have personally worked with each member of your team (although hopefully you will at some point), the people you developed act as examples of what is possible. And if you have the right people on your team, they will act to motivate others to take the initiative to improve themselves for the betterment of their future and the benefit of the organization.

Looking Inside

The third way developing others brings forth excellence lies within us.  By mastering the art of developing people, we become more skilled in our communication abilities, more effective in our leadership, and more leveraged in our efforts.  All of these benefits act to make us more productive, more creative, and more confident, thereby eliciting excellence.

Being the Leader Coach

Given the impact and far-reaching implications of developing others, it is critical to master this important function.  At the heart of this effort lies the leadership style of “coaching”.  Adopting a “coach-like” attitude and way is the fastest and most effective means of developing others.

What does a coaching style of leadership look like?

Being “coach-like” embodies a number of competencies and strategies, all of which interlock and work in conjunction with one another.  The first concept to acknowledge is the power of asking and not telling.  Many of us, to help someone “get it right” (and in the name of expediency), tell others what to do and how to do it.  And while this does get the work done, it does little to develop the other person, their skill set, and their confidence.

The alternative, “coach-like” approach, is to ask. Instead of starting off by telling them what to do, ask them what they would do and how they would do it.

This strategy serves a number of very important functions.

Firstly, it demonstrates that you have an interest in what they have to say.  When you listen to what someone is telling you, it acts as a sign of respect.  It demonstrates that you value what they have to say.

The next benefit of asking is that their answers will give you a sense of how they think.  The answers will show their level of insight and judgment, and will illustrate their problem-solving abilities.

And lastly, listening to the answers to your questions will give clues about how best to help them develop.  It helps you understand which aspects of development they need help and guidance with.

When you choose to develop people this way, it creates the opportunity to mentor them, and not to simply “train” them.

Real Sharing

Training is good for technical matters and knowledge acquisition, but if you also want to develop someone’s judgment, you need to share your insights, improve their thought processes, help them understand better ways to approach problem-solving, and basically give them the benefit of your experience.

In addition to adopting a coach-like approach with people, practicing effective delegation is essential.  Effective delegation consists of choosing the right tasks to delegate, choosing the right people to delegate to, delegating in such a way that the person grows from the experience, and making sure the work gets done accurately and in a timely manner.

Finding the Meaning

In a nutshell, here is what all of that means…

Choosing the right task to delegate

Generally, any task which doesn’t need judgment is a good task to delegate.  Also, if one of your goals is to develop a person’s judgment, then choose a non-crucial task requiring some judgment.

Choosing the right people

The right person to delegate to is dependent upon their present skill set, their level of self-confidence, their openness to growth, and their level of ambition.  Clearly, choosing the right people is an art and not a science.

Helping the person grow from the experience

The success of this is contingent upon using a coach-like approach when delegating.  Once you’ve clearly explained what needs to get done, ask questions to not only find out whether they understand what’s required, but also to see their thinking process as it pertains to the task at hand.

Ensuring an exact and timely completion

It is essential to let someone know when a task is to be completed and to hold them accountable for its completion.  The more important the task, the more critical it becomes to provide ongoing feedback with course corrections.  This, of course,  will make sure that the work is completed in a timely and correct fashion, but also demonstrates your integrity by following through on the things you said were important to you.

By effectively developing others, you elevate everyone.  As people grow and stretch, their value and their sense of pride expand, which in turn, elicits excellence from them and the entire organization.

So what are you doing to develop the people around you? How much real time do you do take in a week to show others how to develop better ways to think, grow, and make better decisions? How are you letting others “take the wheel” and learn by experience? Are you unselfish enough to really make developing people a priority? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Michael J. Beck is President of Michael Beck International, Inc
He helps leaders improve their personal effectiveness and productivity
Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Blog | Podcast | Skype: xleaders | 866-385-8751

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Instilling Pride: A Key to Eliciting Excellence

Lion Pride

Eliciting excellence in others is the essence of leadership. One of the most effective means to do this is to instill a sense of pride in those around us.

Instilling pride has a myriad of benefits – quality of work and workmanship improves, creativity and innovation increases, collaboration is facilitated more easily, and people are willing to “go the extra mile” to do their best. A team or department instilled with a sense of pride will excel simply to prove to others that things can be accomplished that are otherwise thought impossible.

The Tale of Two Stories

Let me illustrate the power of professional pride with two remarkable leadership stories.

The First Story

The first leadership story has to do with the achievement of casting the V-8 automobile engine as a single block. Everyone then acknowledged that manufacturing such a thing couldn’t be done. But Henry Ford was determined to achieve the impossible. He assembled a great team of engineers and instilled a sense of pride in his team.

They worked for six full months with no success. Then they continued to work for another six months with no success.

But Ford’s determination and his team’s sense of pride prevailed. Over the next months they devised a means of casting a V-8 engine as one block, an innovation that revolutionized the auto industry.

The Second Story

The second leadership story was reported in the magazine Fast Company in August, 2003. Mortgage lender Fannie Mae asked more than 550 employees to bring down, move, and start up more than 300 business applications. They had to unplug, wrap, and box 577 computer servers, lay more than 1.8 million feet of copper cable and 35 miles of fiber. Department employees were asked to do their “day jobs” all week and then throw themselves into this new task over 13 consecutive weekends, pulling all-nighters on Friday evenings — without even the promise of extra pay.

They did it flawlessly, without a single interruption to the company’s business.

The leader of the initiative inspired them, fed them, and instilled a great sense of pride in them.

  • She served about 1,600 pounds of chicken wings to her crews for midnight snacking
  • Friday-night themed dinners, ranging from New England clam bakes to down-home southern cooking
  • Full-blown Saturday morning breakfasts with pancakes, eggs, bacon, and sausage.

The leader who spearheaded this task is one of those relatively rare inspirational leaders who is able to get people to do extraordinary things. She is a pride builder: a leader who instills self-esteem in workers and builds unflagging support for remarkably tough assignments through her leadership.

Drawing the very best out of people is accomplished by making the emotional bond every bit as important as the monetary one.

So, How’d Ya Do It?

So just how do we go about instilling pride in people?

As always, I suggest using our own experiences as our best example. In thinking back over the things you’ve done in your life, what kinds of accomplishments caused you to feel proud?

Here is a sampling of the kinds of situations and accomplishments that may have caused you to feel proud:

* Being part of a winning team
* Accomplishing the unlikely
* Being better than the competition
* Doing something successfully for the first time
* Accomplishing something difficult

Having reflected on the kinds of situations and achievements that create a sense of pride in people, let’s examine how our leadership can be used to create those opportunities within our organization. The two most impactful means lie with establishing an appropriate culture and effectively developing people.

A Cultured Matter

Creating a strong, positive organizational culture will attract and retain the right people – people who will be loyal, who will take pride in their work, and who will put forth their best. This culture may be one of success, of excellence, of innovation, of service, or of achievement.

“If it weren’t for eating yogurt, I wouldn’t get any culture at all!” ~Rodney Dangerfield

How does one go about establishing a culture an their organization? It starts with deciding which values you want the organization to be known for. Don’t think of this so much as some written “Mission Statement”, but rather a pervasive atmosphere that takes hold. It will define the organization.

  • When someone is considered for employment, they “get” what the culture is.
  • When decisions are made, the culture is used as a yardstick.
  • When promotions are run, when work is evaluated, and when marketing collateral is created, they each reflect the culture.

This culture will permeate the organization, and people will either identify with it or will move on to other opportunities. The consequence of identifying with this culture – this “thing” that sets them apart from everyone else – will instill a sense of pride and a sort of esprit de corps.

The result, of course, is that an organization filled with people proud of the work they do and the company they work for will put forth their best.

People Development

The other means of instilling pride and thereby eliciting excellence lies in how we go about developing people.

By constructively helping people stretch beyond their current abilities, knowledge, and/or level of self-confidence, we help them become more valuable to the organization and to themselves.

We create the opportunity to allow them to learn new skills they never had, to achieve things they never felt they could, and to feel a renewed sense of accomplishment. Not only does properly developing people achieve all that, but by our very belief and trust in them, it causes them to become more loyal, more responsive, and more willing to accept additional challenges.

In short, our efforts cause a sense of pride to blossom in the individual, which in turn, translates into excellence of effort and organizational effectiveness.

Brining It Home

In conclusion, creating a sense of pride within the people in your organization and within the organization itself will ultimately elicit excellence. The ways in which this gets accomplished are through establishing a culture of excellence and through taking advantage of every opportunity to develop people. Incorporating these two strategies into your leadership style will yield excellent results and establish you as an effective leader.

So how are you doing at instilling pride in the people who work for you? Do you know what is really important to them, or are you assuming it is money and time off from work? How can you readjust your thinking and workplace practices to instill pride within your culture and people-development to get better results? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Michael J. Beck is President of Michael Beck International, Inc
He helps leaders improve their personal effectiveness and productivity

Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Blog | Podcast | Skype: xleaders | 866-385-8751

Image Sources: Boza Ivanonick  © National Geographic

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