Good Leaders Produce Good Fruit

Below is a short story on leadership.

Susan Carson answered her phone.  On the other end was an exasperated Diane Smith.  Diane was a mid-level manager that reported to Susan.  Diane had three team members that reported directly to her.  Susan had a gut feeling that Diane’s frustration was stemming from a run in with one of her team members.

“Susan, I just do not know what to do about Jim!  I do not think he is the right person for the job!”, Diane exclaimed.

As Diane continued to give all the reasons why Jim was not the right person for the job; Susan was thinking that I get this call from Diane every couple of months about one of her team members.  Besides, Jim had only been there 60 days.  How could he be so drastically different from the great person Diane described when she decided to hire him?  Susan had supported Diane in her decisions to hire and terminate team members but this was beginning to become a pattern.  When Diane was finished with her diatribe on Jim,  Susan asked her a question.

“What type of fruit do you bear?”, Susan asked.Good Leaders Produce Good Fruit

After a few seconds of dead silence Diane answered.  “What are you talking about?”

Susan answered.  “You can always tell a good leaders by the fruit they produce.  What type of fruit have you produced from the team that you lead?”

Diane paused again.  “What do you mean by fruit”

Susan answered.  “Your job as a leader is to hire, train, and nurture your team.  If you do a good job you will produce fruit.  By fruit I mean highly trained, motivated, productive, and promotable team members.  You have three positions on your team.  Over the last 12 months you have turned over two of those positions twice.  Now you are telling me that another team member you just hired less than 60 days ago is not working out.  As your leader I am evaluating you based on your ability to lead your team.  Based on the amount of turnover you have experienced,  how do you think I should evaluate your performance?”
“I guess I have not looked at it that way.  But what am I suppose to do when people do not do their job?” , Diane asked.

“Diane, I think you have to ask yourself a different question.  Good leaders ask themselves what role they played when things go bad.  I’m not sure if you are not hiring the right people or failing to nurture and train, but there is an issue.  I want you to take the afternoon to think about what role you have played and what you might be able to do differently.  Once you discover what you can do differently we can talk about Jim.”

As leaders it is our responsibility to produce good fruit(highly trained, motivated , productive, and promotable team members).  Think about the last five individuals you managed.   Are they good fruit?

What Does It Take To Have A Magnetic Culture?

Organizations with a magnetic culture attract the best talent and customers. So what is a magnetic culture? It is a culture where team members enjoy being a part of the team. They are more connected to the organization then the paycheck. The culture is so magnetic that it would literally take an offer they cannot refuse in order for them to even consider leaving. Customers are willing to pay more because they love the relationship they have built with the brand, the product, and the people.

MagneticHow can you create a magnetic culture? Well, before you can build a magnetic relationship with your customer there must be a magnetic relationship within the organization. Great organization are built from inside out, not outside in. Here are some common characteristics of organizations with a magnetic culture.

Share A Common Vision: Team members of a magnetic organization share a common vision. As humans we need a destination. We are conquerors. Just as President Kennedy put before our nation the challenge of putting a man on the moon before the end of the decade during his 1961 speech, organizations must set a destination for their team. Magnetic organizations do a great job of putting a clear and precise vision before their team. They create excitement and pride toward accomplishing that vision as a team.

Invest In Each Team Member: Once the vision is set magnetic organizations turn their focus to assembling and training the best possible team to accomplish their goals. President Kennedy ask for 9 billion dollars over 5 years to ensure that their vision was realized. As the leader of this very lofty vision President Kennedy understood that he had to invest in the training and education of the NASA team. In addition he had to provide the resources necessary to accomplish the mission set before them. In order to accomplish the mission organizations must have highly trained and motivated team members. Investing in their continued education and providing them with opportunities to enhance their professional experience will set the organization up for success.

Solve Problems Together: Embrace problems that arise and solve them as a team. Find me an organization without problems and I will show you an organization that is not in business. If there were not any problems guess who they would not need anymore….Y-O-U. Magnetic organizations identify problems that are a threat to accomplishing the mission. Once the problems are identified, set them before the team and work together to solve them.

Celebrate Successes: Organizations with a magnetic culture take every opportunity to celebrate success. If you want success repeated then celebrate when it happens. Magnetic organizations have short-term and intermediate goals. These goals are specific and measurable. Accomplishing these goals will ensure the team is on the path to reaching the overall vision of the organization. As these goals are reached they take time to celebrate the team and individuals for their accomplishments and hard work.

Focus on creating a magnetic culture at your organization and watch performance excel. It all begins with creating a shared common vision through your mission statement.