Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Getting Smarter – Part 1

Now that our political elections are successfully behind us, I want to take just a few minutes to comment on something that appears to be an ongoing issue in the world of politics. The issue of “getting smarter.”


I hope not. Let me explain. And let me explain exactly how this relates back to business and leadership.

Political ads for “John Smith” often are not focused on what John Smith believes or promises but rather focused on his opponent.

“Don’t vote for ‘Jane Doe.’ Jane once said it was our obligation to protect the Polar Bears at the South Pole. And everyone knows there are no Polar Bears at the South Pole. Jane Doe is bad for our country.”

We could take this conversation a lot of different directions here. We don’t know the context of Jane’s statement. Maybe she was telling a joke and “Polar Bears at the South Pole” was part of the punch line. Maybe the quote is entirely out of context and hearing the whole statement would actually let this statement make sense. Maybe she goofed and just misspoke.

It doesn’t matter.

But, let’s assume for the moment that none of those things are true and that Jane was talking about conservation and really did not know that there are no Polar Bears at the South Pole. The question is: how long are we going to punish Jane for making a mistake? Since politicians (and business leaders) are human, there are some areas where they likely do not know everything. Like everyone else, they make mistakes, misspeak, or find themselves not fully knowledgeable about some issue.

“I reserve the right to be smarter today than I was yesterday.” Abraham Lincoln

In our quest for, and expectation of, perfection from our political and business leaders we often hold them to unrealistic standards. We not only do not allow human error, but we force them into positions where it is worse to change their minds about something than it is to be wrong in the first place. In other words, it’s worse for Jane to “flip flop” on the Polar Bear issue than it is for her to admit that she was wrong and learned something.

In next week’s edition I’ll talk more about how this topic specifically applies to business leaders.

At ECI Learning Systems LLC, we are dedicated to helping companies get the greatest return from their most valuable asset: their employees. We work with you to align 3 key organizational factors:
• Your Company Culture
• The Leadership Styles of your key managers
• The Expectations of your Employees

When these 3 factors are aligned, you create an energy in your company that improves productivity, reduces absenteeism, increases creativity, and positively impacts your bottom line. Contact ECI Learning Systems LLC today to get your free Workplace Evaluation.

Until next time.....

Dave Meyer
ECI Learning Systems, LLC

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