CASE STUDY: A LETTER TO A MENTOR ABOUT APPLYING THE LEGITIMATE LEADERSHIP EMPOWERMENT MODEL
Below is an actual letter written by a mentee to his legitimate leadership mentor – we would like to thank the mentee for it. For obvious reasons, names have been removed. The business is in the printing industry.
I had an incident in my department over the weekend that I would like to run past you in the light of the empowerment/means/ability session (a module conducted by Legitimate Leadership – editor) we had today.
THE CURRENT PROCESS
After a journeyman does a make-ready, he selects a copy which he feels is of good quality and standard and takes it to his shift leader to “pass”.
The “pass” process includes the shift leader together with the journeyman checking the good selected copy versus the work ticket as well as the dummy book/book proof. If the shift leader is happy with both the standard and quality of the book he signs off the copy, and this now becomes the “pass” copy – to which the journeyman can make reference throughout the duration of the run (maintaining an equal level of standard and quality). The journeyman counter-signs the job.
Over the weekend a journeyman ran 80% of the job without a bind-in. The work ticket indicated that the job should have a bind-in, although the dummy book was supplied without the bind-in. The “pass” copy was signed off by both parties (the journeyman and the shift leader) – both missed the bind-in on the work ticket.
A) Who should be held to account for this mistake?
1. The journeyman?
2. The shift leader?
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ARTICLE: INITIATIVE FATIGUE, OVERLOAD AND ANXIETY – THE NEW CORPORATE DISEASE
By Wendy Lambourne, Director, Legitimate Leadership
I once came across a seasoned and experienced operations manager called Rex who was tearing his hair out at the time because, in his words, “there is just no sense of urgency in this place … no one other than me has any get-up-and-go, any drive to change things and make them better.” In desperation, he spent the weekend in his garage making some signposts which he put up all over his plant. The words on each sign were the same: “SO WHAT’S WRONG WITH NOW?” Needless to say, the activity levels in his factory remain unchanged.
SINCE THEN, in organisational life generally, the pendulum has swung the other way. Instead of too little, there is now too much activity. Collective ease has given way to collect a frenzy. The problem is no longer that people in organisations are doing too little, it is that they are doing far too much, and all at the same time.
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CASE STUDY: WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND: CAR DEALERSHIP A VERSUS CAR DEALERSHIP B – A TRUE STORY ABOUT PAYING IT FORWARD
By Gavin Sharples, a South African motivational speaker (who is not personally known to Legitimate Leadership).
NOTE: THIS CASE STUDY HAS BEEN SLIGHTLY EDITED BY LEGITIMATE LEADERSHIP
NOTE: COMMENT BY IAN MUNRO, DIRECTOR, LEGITIMATE LEADERSHIP, FOLLOWS THE CASE STUDY.
You can only skin a sheep once, but you can sheer it for the rest of its life! That is a famous saying in sales and it means “make the customer and not the sale” – the relationship is more important than the sale and if done correctly, will produce many more sales in the future.
This true story is just a fantastic example which clearly illustrates two companies, two dealerships, with two different business strategies. Both are driven by profit, and I am an absolute advocate of making a profit. But one builds relationships and customers for life while the other makes a one-off quick sale and has customers that will never go back or recommend it.
My daughter Lea was 17 years old (soon to be 18), and needed a first car. We ended up at a car dealer. Very nice people and so I purchased not one but two cars, one for me and one for her (but without her knowing it, as it was to be a birthday present).
Bombshell!! Within days of taking delivery of the manual gearbox car, Lea was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis – a devastating event for the whole family but especially for our little girl.
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VIDEO: KNOWING WHY YOU DO WHAT YOU DO
By Simon Sinek, US author on leadership and motivational speaker.
NOTE: THE TRANSCRIPT OF THIS VIDEO HAS BEEN SHORTENED BY LEGITIMATE LEADERSHIP.
NOTE: COMMENT BY WENDY LAMBOURNE, DIRECTOR, LEGITIMATE LEADERSHIP, FOLLOWS THIS SUMMARY.
How do you explain when others are able to achieve things that seem to defy all of the assumptions?
For example: Why is Apple so innovative? Year after year, after year, they’re more innovative than all their competition. And yet, they’re just a computer company, like everyone else. They have the same access to the same talent, the same agencies, the same consultants, the same media.
Why is it that Martin Luther King led the Civil Rights Movement? He wasn’t the only man who suffered in pre-civil rights America, and he certainly wasn’t the only great orator of the day. Why him?
And why were the Wright brothers able to figure out controlled, powered man flight when there were other teams who were better qualified, better funded?
There’s something else at play here. I made a discovery which profoundly changed my view on how I thought the world worked. As it turns out, there’s a pattern. All the great inspiring leaders and organizations in the world – Apple, Martin Luther King, the Wright brothers – they all think, act and communicate the same way. And it’s the complete opposite to everyone else.
I call it the golden circle of Why? How? What? This little idea explains why some organizations and some leaders are able to inspire where others aren’t.
Every single person and every single organization on the planet knows what they do, 100%. Some know how they do it – whether you call it your differentiated value proposition or your proprietary process or your unique selling point.
But very few people or organizations know why they do what they do. And by “why” I don’t mean “to make a profit”, which is a result. By “why” I mean “What’s your purpose? What’s your cause? What’s your belief? Why does your organization exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? And why should anyone care?”
As a result of not knowing this, the way we think, act and communicate is from the outside in – from the clearest thing to the fuzziest thing.
But the inspired leaders and the inspired organizations – regardless of their size, regardless of their industry – all think, act and communicate from the inside (from the “why”) out.
For instance, if Apple were like everyone else, its marketing message from them might sound like this, “We make great computers. They’re beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. Want to buy one?”
That’s how most of us communicate, how most marketing and sales are done. And that’s how we communicate interpersonally.
We say what we do, we say how we’re different or better, and we expect some sort of a behaviour as a result – a purchase, a vote, etc.
“Here’s our new law firm: We have the best lawyers with the biggest clients, we always perform for our clients.”
“Here’s our new car: It gets great gas mileage, it has leather seats. Buy our car.”
But here is how Apple communicates: “In everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?”
Totally different, right?
I just reversed the order of the information.
What it proves is that people don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it.
This explains why everyone is perfectly comfortable buying a computer from Apple. But we’re also perfectly comfortable buying an MP3 player from Apple, or a phone from Apple, or a DVR from Apple.
But Apple’s just a computer company and nothing distinguishes them structurally from any of their competitors
Their competitors are equally qualified to make all of these products In fact, a few years ago, Gateway came out with flat-screen TVs. They’re eminently qualified to make flat-screen TVs, they’ve been making flat-screen PC monitors for years. Nobody bought them.
Dell came out with MP3 players and PDAs, and they make great quality products – but nobody bought them.
Why would you buy one from a computer company? But we do it every day. People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.
The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.
Here’s the best part. None of what I’m telling you is my opinion. It’s all grounded in the tenets of biology. If you look at a cross-section of the human brain, from the top down, it is actually broken into three major components that correlate perfectly with the golden circle. Our newest brain, our homo sapiens brain, our neocortex, corresponds with the “what” level. The neocortex is responsible for all of our rational and analytical thought and language. The middle two sections make up our limbic brains, which are responsible for all of our feelings, like trust and loyalty. They are also responsible for all human behaviour, all decision-making, and they have no capacity for language.
In other words, when we communicate from the outside in, yes, people can understand vast amounts of complicated information like features and benefits and facts and figures. But that doesn’t drive behaviour.
When we can communicate from the inside out, we’re talking directly to the part of the brain that controls behaviour, and then we allow people to rationalize it with the tangible things we say and do. This is where gut decisions come from.
But if you don’t know why you do what you do, yet people respond to why you do what you do, then how will you ever get people to vote for you, or buy something from you, or, more importantly, be loyal and want to be a part of what you do.
The goal is not just to sell to people who need what you have; the goal is to sell to people who believe what you believe. The goal is not just to hire people who need a job; it’s to hire people who believe what you believe.
If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money, but if they believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.
But why is it important to attract those who believe what you believe? Something called the law of diffusion of innovation.
In the summer of 1963, 250,000 people showed up on the mall in Washington to hear Dr Martin Luther King speak. They sent out no invitations, and there was no website to check the date. How do you do that? Well, Dr King wasn’t the only man in America who was a great orator. He wasn’t the only man in America who suffered in pre-civil rights America. In fact, some of his ideas were bad. But he had a gift. He didn’t go around telling people what needed to change in America. He went around and told people what he believed. “I believe, I believe, I believe,” he told people. And people who believed what he believed took his cause, and they made it their own, and they told people. And some of those people created structures to get the word out to even more people.
How many of them showed up for him? Zero. They showed up for themselves. It’s what they believed about America that got them to travel in a bus for eight hours to stand in the sun in Washington in the middle of August. It’s what they believed, and it wasn’t about black versus white: 25% of the audience was white.
Dr King believed that there are two types of laws in this world: those that are made by a higher authority and those that are made by men. And not until all the laws that are made by men are consistent with the laws made by the higher authority will we live in a just world. It just so happened that the Civil Rights Movement was the perfect thing to help him bring his cause to life. We followed, not for him, but for ourselves. By the way, he gave the “I have a dream” speech, not the “I have a plan” speech.
Listen to politicians now, with their comprehensive 12-point plans. They’re not inspiring anybody. Because there are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or authority, but those who lead inspire us. Whether they’re individuals or organizations, we follow those who lead, not because we have to, but because we want to. We follow those who lead, not for them, but for ourselves. And it’s those who start with “why” that have the ability to inspire those around them or find others who inspire them.
COMMENT BY WENDY LAMBOURNE, DIRECTOR, LEGITIMATE LEADERSHIP: The Legitimate Leadership Model aligns absolutely with Simon Sinek’s thesis of “start with the ‘why’”. One of the Legitimate Leadership Advanced Application Modules that we run is Coaching the Why. It addresses the importance of the “why”, or purpose, at the level of both the organisation and the job. It also explores the “why” behind change initiatives, standards, tools and techniques.
In a recent session participants drew up a list of successful and unsuccessful initiatives. The question they had to consider was “why are we doing this initiative?”
For the successful initiatives, everyone knew “why” and their “why” was the same or aligned.
For the unsuccessful initiatives, either people said “I don’t know why” or “the CEO/head office said so”. In other words, clarity and conviction of the “why” was paramount to the success of the initiative.
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