Ideal employee pledge

Today a likeminded friend shared this resourceful article with me.

The article is about the Leadership Pledge that successful CEOs would take for 2013, written beautifully by Lisa Petrilli.

Lisa is the CEO of C-Level Strategies, Inc. Find more about Lisa here.

We continued our discussion to find out what would be the pledge an ideal employee would make for 2013. Here it goes:

Ideal Employee Pledge for the Year 2013

  1. I will develop skills to fit my role or create a role that fit my skills.
  2. If I am not the right person for the job, I’ll convey it to my senior management. I won’t stop here. If I know who is the right person for the job, I’ll direct my management to that person.
  3. Regardless of my title, I’ll work as a Chief Servant of the values that my organization has subscribed in.
  4. I’ll remind myself every day, “I’m the most important part of my organization and I’ll do my best to make it successful.”
  5. When I encounter challenging situations, I will focus on solving the problems rather than defending myself.
  6. I’ll be attentive to the details. I’ll be specific in my communication and I’ll be precise in my expectations from everyone I work with.
  7. If I don’t know something, I’ll be brave enough to admit it. First, to myself and then to an appropriate audience. Articulation is fine but I’ll put in every effort to accept it, learn from it and move forward. I’ll beat my ego if it comes in my way.
  8. I’ll work to make my team and my management successful. I’ll help create the opportunities for learning and facilitate resources with my best capacity.
  9. No matter what role I’m playing presently, I’ll exhibit excellent personal leadership. That also, by example.
  10. I’ll take the ownership of the task that I’m responsible for.
  11. Often times, I’ll extend my help to other teams. Helping others creates great relationships and that’s what I’m up to.
  12. I’ll request feedback, positive or otherwise, on regular basis. I’ll give straight feedback too.
  13. I’ll deeply understand my organization culture, and expand it throughout the industry to help make my organization a model organization for that culture.

Despite the type of your business or the personality you possess, you want to be successful in your business, don’t you?

You might say, “but I’m just doing my job.”

Well, it is good to get clear on this sooner than laterYour Job Is Your Business.

Lisa Petrilli, by whose writing this post is inspired, has written an excellent book on success in business and leadership. You might want to check it out as well.

Let me affirm – regardless of your personality type (introvert or extrovert) – if you are clear about it and remain true to yourself, you can leverage it.

Your to-do list shows who you are

You say that your son matters to you the most but if spending time with him is not all over your list, it conveys something else.

You say that creating a business that is not evil is most important to you but your project manager’s to-do list includes hiding a project risk so that your client will eventually have to opt for buying additional resources from you that otherwise would not be required, it shows something.

Similarly an organization publishes everywhere that their primary value system involves around ensuring about delivering happiness but most of the employees’ work-item backlog includes accomplishing whatever is in their list, no matter what it takes then it highlights a totally different thing.

All of the above events highlight the gap between what is said and what is on the list.

"What you do speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you are saying." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Well, the problem is not with spending no time with your son and creating an evil business or expecting employees to work for long hours but the actual problem lies in saying something and doing something else.

Saying something and doing something else invites people not to believe in you, affects what you intend to achieve adversely and reduces your credibility. That isn’t a wiser act, is it?

Instead, choose to say what you intend to do. Say that for you your son is second priority, earning money matters to you the most no matter how and getting things done by sacrificing anything is what you value as an organization.

Being specific about what matters to you and communicating it clearly would prevent many problems that you encounter otherwise.

Oh, and it’s not a matter of being right or wrong, its a matter of being CLEAR about what matters to you.

Your to-do lists don’t lie, then why do you?


Value Vs. Inputs

Undelivered value and just applauding inputs…is easy compared to delivering something that makes a difference.

Applauding your Service Delivery Manager being online at 2:00 am to handle client escalation is easy. Applauding your VP of Sales traveling to tens of new geographies to initiate new sales tie-ups is easy.

Creating and measuring KRAs to applaud any such activities is relatively very comfortable and easy.

But Business is hard. So are the projects and so is life – it takes creating a service, a product or a result of actual value. It will be replaced by some other mediocrity, otherwise – sooner than later!

Questions that make difference are:

  • What did your Service Delivery Manager do to ensure that a similar type of escalations is prevented in the future? What did he do to ensure that his work-life balance is maintained?
  • What strategies your VP of Sales executed in the past quarter that made sure that constant flow of repeat business is in the pipeline – without even filling her calendar with tons of client visits? Why does she keep visiting tens of new geographies? What is ‘Visit to Valued Relationship’ ratio?

Imagine what value your business will get if your Service Delivery Manager is able to maintain his work-life balance or your Sales VP is able to spend the time to really ‘think’ about creating strategies that will take your business to newer heights, rather than fearing and doing acts of mediocrity?

Wouldn’t your business be able to deliver something that creates tri-way win-win? For the client, for the employees, and for the organization?

Your business is thriving if…10

There are various data-based metrics that tell you if your business is thriving and there are certain behavioral patterns also that tell you the same. 

Here is some light on the behavioral patterns:

  1. Your business consistently gets more leads than your current business capacity;
  2. No matter with which project team your customers interact with, their delight level is almost the same;
  3. You take a 4-week summer vacation and do not get any ‘urgent’ call from the office;
  4. You have happy employees. Their lives are balanced, they are able to produce their best work and enjoy their life at fullest;
  5. ‘Department Wise Headcount’ report is topped by the Operations department (not support departments such as HR, Admin or accounts);
  6. You don’t think to open new geography every quarter – the percentage of your repeat business is very high;
  7. There’s only ONE version of mission statement across the organization;
  8. Consistent Organization specific Enterprise Environment Factors – that extend a sense of predictability in projects execution;
  9. Even if you pay similar or little less to what the market pays, people are thriving to join your organization. Keywords here are culture and experience;
  10. People in the organization prioritize their work by ‘Importance’ not by ‘urgency’.


Are You Limited by Your Own Creativity (Which used to work earlier but now not)?

Though it brings rewards in the end, most of us are afraid of challenging our own thought-patterns as if it were an invasive brain surgery.

We’re designed this way, right?


But yes, we’re conditioned this way.

A few weeks ago I had a discussion with one of my friends who shares a rare frequency and runs a successful design firm.

We talked about building the business, creating A-list teams and providing A-class customer service.

He was discussing with me about customer feedback: designers working with his firm were otherwise very good but lacked innovation. He said that it was true for even their Chief Designer who had experience as little as 18 years in the design industry.

The conclusion was to hire a fresh (but brilliant) design graduate whose job would be to passionately challenge each one of the designs that the design team comes up with.

Last week, I met my friend again to hear the good news that his customer is very happy with the recent design innovations that his team produced.

It worked like a charm. Why?

Because the beginning of the end of any great endowment is: “Falling in love with your own creation”.

Sure, you’ve to believe in yourself, your vision and your abilities. But, at the same time, following the same way of thinking just because that’s the way you’ve always done it, is the sure-fire way to attract devolution at the lightning speed.

The decision of bringing in fresh talent to challenge generated healthy conflict. The conflict was to challenge their designers’ fixed way of being and to ensure that the best comes out in the end.

Sometimes, it’s better to have someone in your team who has eyes to look at the things from a fresh lens.  Maybe it’s good to have ‘No, but, can we not…?’ kind of people rather than yes-men.

Mini Saga – Numbers!

I’ve seen many business heads keeping no stones unturned to chase the numbers.

Generally, numbers are good and keep people motivated however if the numbers do not create the feeling of excitement in your people, its a time to look at the things from a different lens. Maybe the business will do better, then.

Just Numbers?

Profit focused Steve the marketing-head said, “You didn’t meet the numbers this year huh? I really don’t understand why my team is not inspired with the numbers.”  “But how this number madness does any good for me? We still didn’t get last year’s due incentive! ”, said Jack the employee.

Just talking numbers doesn’t work. It needs a totally different level of dedication from all the parties involved!