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In the topic 'Vision, Values & Purpose'


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Quotes to Note from “The Trifecta of Trust”

Last week’s post, How to Build and Restore Trust, was a review of, and key points from, Joe Folkman’s new book, The Trifecta of Trust: The Proven Formula for Building and Restoring Trust. My copy is full of yellow highlights. Here are a few of the most notable ones: After years of analysis, I discovered […]

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How to Build and Restore Trust

Trust is the currency of leadership. Like money, leaders can earn it, squander it, or leverage it for a high return on investment. Leaders, teams, and organizations have highly variable trust accounts. Some are rich with trust, some are getting by, and some are bankrupt. Trust is easy to talk about. But it’s tough to […]

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Quotes to Note on Purposeful Leadership

As mentioned in my recent post, On Purpose: What Condition is Your Mission In?, spirit and meaning are missing in many organizations. The huge disconnect between our existential search for a deeper purpose and the empty words of mission statements is a major factor behind The Great Resignation.   “Those who are able to inspire […]

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To P or Not to P: Does Your Purpose Provoke Passion?

A recent report by McKinsey and Co. found the pandemic has caused half of employees surveyed to consider leaving their current job. This research also found that 70 percent of workers said their purpose is defined by their work. The Big Resignation is a big pain point for many organizations. Attracting and retaining top people […]

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On Purpose: What Condition Is Your Mission In?

Raise your hand if your organization has a mission statement. When I do that survey during leadership/culture presentations, almost every hand goes up. Mission statements are as common as a logo, website, or budget. Everybody has one. BUT…does it… Define the soul of your organization? Energize and engage? Align with leaders’ and employees’ personal purpose? […]

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Who Are You and What Do You Want?

At a leadership conference years ago, I shared the stage with the CEO of a top-performing company known for its powerful combination of management discipline and people-focused leadership culture. He illustrated the defining role of vision, values, and purpose with a great personal example. He told us he called a friend and got this message; […]

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Do Your Values Pass the Sniff Test?

When he spotted his grandpa asleep on the family room couch, the rambunctious ten-year-old saw his chance. With cat-like stealth, Lucas quietly crept up on grandpa and gently smeared a small bit of smelly old cheese into his moustache. As grandpa mumbled and stirred, Jason bolted from the room. Peeking around the corner, Lucas fought […]

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Mind the Gap: Are Your Values Rhetoric or Reality?

It’s easy to spout motherhood statements about caring for people, teamwork, trust, partnering, we’re all in this together, and the like. Tough times expose a leadership team’s true values. When the pandemic panic set in last year, some executive teams showed their true beliefs that employees are human capital or assets with skin to be […]

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Is Your Team Out of Focus?

I’ve been interviewing senior leaders and reviewing documents to tailor a keynote presentation for the company’s executive strategy session this month. They’re a textbook example of effectively using the COVID crisis to renew and refocus their leadership and culture development. Their “strategic framework” succinctly cascades from vision, mission, and values to strategic goals, key initiatives, […]

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Bee a Purposeful Leader: Build the Spirit of Your Hive

When our daughter Vanessa was a teenager, we hired her to do some after school general administrative support work at The CLEMMER Group offices. She was happy to earn an hourly wage for a variety of tasks. One of her jobs was typing selected passages from articles and book summaries for entry in my research […]

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To Reason Why: Are You Leading on Purpose?

This summer, 181 American CEOs of the Business Roundtable signed a “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation.” For over twenty years, the Roundtable’s Principles of Governance have declared that “corporations exist principally to serve shareholders.” The revised statement replaces the single-minded shareholder focus with “CEOs who commit to lead their companies for the benefit […]

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Are You Managing Human Capital or Leading People?

Is your organization staffed by human capital? Do you talk about head count? Do managers talk about “their people?” Phrases like “head count,” “human capital,” and “my people,” dehumanize and objectify. We could push this further and make the same argument for “human resources.” Managers who see others as an “it” or property, might make […]

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The Purpose Motive: Why Does Your Organization Exist?

The cover article in the latest issue of Harvard Business Review focuses on “Creating a Purpose-Driven Organization.” Business school professors Robert Quinn and Anjan Thakor report “when an authentic purpose permeates business strategy and decision making, the personal good and the collective good become one. Positive peer pressure kicks in, and employees are re-energized. Collaboration […]

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Thriving Companies Pursue Both Purposeful Profits and Profitable Purpose

If the reason for a company’s existence is just profit, they won’t be very profitable. Eventually the company probably won’t exist. The dollar sign isn’t a cause. It doesn’t stir the soul. Operating margins and returns on investment don’t excite and inspire. As an ultimate objective on its own, the pursuit of profits is hollow […]

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Good Companies Are Changing the World and Everyone Profits

In his 1990 book, Creative Work: The Constructive Role of Business in Transforming Society, Stanford’s Willis Harman wrote, “Business, the motor of our society, has the opportunity to be the new creative force on the planet, a force which could contribute to the well-being of many… the modern corporation is as adaptable an organizational form […]

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Character and Culture Build World Champions

In the fall of 2016 the Chicago Cubs ended a 108 year drought to win the World Series. Television ratings soared by 50% as baseball fans everywhere were caught up in this dramatic and engaging story. In their World’s Greatest Leaders rankings, Fortune magazine ranked Cubs president, Theo Epstein, as #1 leader for orchestrating this […]

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Don’t Blame the Frontline, Look at Their Leader

A sign in a diner read, “Customers who feel our servers are rude should see the manager.” How true. Servers often reflect the level of service they are getting from their leaders. Rude or insensitive managers create that culture. As a customer, I’d rather not find out just how rude the manager is! Many organizations […]

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Slow Down or Die

A road sign on a winding mountain highway warned, “Slow Down or Die.” Simple, succinct, and great life advice as well. If day after day of stressful racing around doesn’t manage to physically kill us before our time, it will surely kill our happiness and enjoyment in being here. Here are a few tips for […]

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Webinar: How to Develop Strategic Vision – 8 Critical Behaviors

Alvin Toffler, former associate editor of Fortune and bestselling author of books such as Future Shock, The Third Wave, and Powershift advises, “You’ve got to think about ‘big things’ while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.” This is an update of ancient wisdom from the Roman […]

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Vision, Values, and Mission: Well Lived Trumps Well Written

In preparation for an offsite executive team retreat, the executive organizing the session sent me a draft of the mission and vision statements “we’ve been struggling with.” She included earlier versions and iterations of each statement. She was especially frustrated and confused by the overlap of the two. She was looking for my help to […]

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