Posts

Managing Employee Performance – It’s Not About the Forms

This blog is the first in a series focusing on the topic of “Managing Employee Performance”.  This is a hot topic with many organizations because the performance management process they are using often creates more problems than it solves.

Research indicates that many organizations have chosen to abandon what they describe as the “annual performance appraisal” process because of the problems it seems to create.  This blog will address some of the key challenges faced by organizations in managing employee performance. Read more

Leadership & Character – Reacting to Setbacks

leadership and character in business

Many years ago when I was working for Loblaw companies, I remember attending a management conference where a remarkable individual by the name of W. Mitchell did the keynote address. He was a perfect example of an individual with great leadership and character; someone who reacted positively to the setbacks he had encountered in his life. The title of his keynote address was “It’s Not What Happens To You, It’s What You Do About It™ “. Mr. Mitchell had also written a book with the same title. His talk was fairly straightforward and yet incredibly powerful. In a nutshell, he talked about his belief that even in the most difficult circumstances, you have a choice with respect to how you respond to what has happened to you – you can either play the role of a victim and wallow in self-pity, or you can choose to move forward in as positive a manner as possible. What made his message so powerful were his own life circumstances and the degree to which he had followed his own advice. In 1971, at the age of 28, W. Mitchell was involved in a horrific motorcycle accident where he sustained burns to 65% of his body. Four months in hospital gave him the opportunity to think deeply about how to deal with the situation. He embraced a philosophy/theology/ concept called “Morehouse” that advocates taking responsibility for your actions no matter what happens to you. Read more

Important Business Leadership & Character Trait – Perseverance

persistenceIdentifying the traits, values and virtues that are present is a person of good character is a pursuit that has been going on for centuries. Aristotle identified twelve virtues that are present in someone of good character. As you might expect, the virtues are not mutually exclusive and can provide great insights to how good character impacts business leadership. For example, Aristotle included courage, practical wisdom and right ambition in his list of virtues. Many studies of leadership traits identify perseverance as an important trait that successful leaders possess. At the heart of perseverance is the concept of persistence. This is where character comes into play.

Persistence without good intentions or right ambition is problematic. It can lead to someone pushing hard to achieve outcomes that may serve an individual agenda rather to the detriment of others. Persistence without practical wisdom can lead to bad decision outcomes because it involves someone driving others to follow a path that would – under scrutiny – be seen as a poor choice. I think that perseverance is the persistent pursuit of outcomes that are both wise and good. Furthermore, it takes courage to persevere particularly in the face of failure. Thomas Edison invented the light bulb – a great accomplishment – but it took him over 2000 failed attempts to reach success. He certainly demonstrated courage to keep going. He also demonstrated wisdom and right ambition and so his perseverance is seen is a positive light. Read more