The Hidden Value in Your Company is the Key to Your Growth

ceo-mag-logoEvery time I’ve worked with a senior team in the strategy formulation process, we’ve succeeded. Of course, I’ve never heard any group of executives say their strategy failed when it was created. It is in the implementation or execution that strategies falter, because most strategies rely on people in the organization taking action in new or different ways. That doesn’t happen by declaration. And it doesn’t happen when people are sent to training programs, though it is popular to pitch this to HR or Talent Management. If you want your strategy to work, it is up to the CEO and senior leaders of the business to drive it and you’ll need the help of what I call Hidden Leaders to be your exemplars and role models.

Hidden Leaders are the individual contributors, front line supervisors, and middle managers that bring your strategy to life everyday. They are the employees who go the extra mile for your customers, the ones who can be counted on to deliver great results, the ones whose opinions are trusted by colleagues; they are your go to people at every level of the business. I wrote the book The Hidden Leader because we don’t often think of leaders occupying these kinds of roles. Leadership has come to mean position or title in most companies, but there is a tremendous amount of leadership in places we don’t typically look that is lying fallow.

So while it is necessary to have good leadership in the senor management ranks, it’s not sufficient to achieve the growth many CEO’s desire. But, you’ll have few Hidden Leaders if the very visible leaders don’t establish the kind of culture that cultivates leadership at all levels. Since culture is really about the mindset or beliefs that guide behaviors, that is your starting point.

  • Can you identify the people who have the greatest influence on how people in your company, division, or office behave?
  • Does your business provide reinforcement for the behaviors you desire, separate from results achieved? (e.g. Rewards for innovative efforts that don’t work out.)
  • Are there consequences for behaviors that are counterproductive, even if the outcome is a win?

I’ve seen very sound strategies fail, and average strategies achieve strong objectives. The difference in the CEO’s was the creation of an environment that allowed them to rely on leaders at all levels to power the implementation.

You Don’t Need a Position or a Title to be a Great Leader

About.com LogoJohn Quincy Adams, the sixth President of The United States said it best close to 200 years ago. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, and become more, you are a leader.” The sentiment expressed in that sentence succinctly describes one of the primary messages in my new book The Hidden Leader, which is that leadership in organizations, is not tied only to positions of authority and titles. Rather, that leadership can exist anywhere in a company, from individual contributors, front-line supervisors, or middle management—places we don’t tend to look for leaders. Yet harnessing the power of those employees may be your best opportunity to create a competitive advantage in an environment where what you offer, (products or services) is becoming less important than how you offer it. The linchpin for that elusive, but unfair advantage over the competition is your Hidden Leaders.

I’ve analyzed and published performance data on tens of thousands of leaders and had the chance to work personally with hundreds more. Through that experience I’ve learned that leaders come in all shapes and sizes. There is no bright-line test or rule for what makes exceptional leadership. No universal standard or unambiguous objective factors. But the common thread in that tapestry of leadership is that leaders believe that what they do matters. They make a difference. And that has nothing to do with titles, positions, or authority.

In my work with companies from the largest in the Fortune 500 to venture backed start-ups, I’ve been fortunate to see many of these Hidden Leaders in action, committed to making a difference, and this is what I’ve observed.

1. They lead through relationships. With no position or title to wield, the Hidden Leaders rely on their relationships to influence action. Relationships that aren’t just niceness or likeability (though it doesn’t hurt), but those that are built on confidence in their capability or expertise. Relationships that develop trust in decision making, and prioritizing what is in the best interest of the customer or the company. These relationships also create some kind of a connection—that is, they interact as people—not just doing tasks and performing jobs. That connection can include excitement and engagement, or frustration and a desire work together to improve something.

2. They demonstrate integrity. The kind of integrity that has the courage to give feedback or express truthful opinions instead of clouding real issues with corporate speak. The integrity of keeping commitments, and being accountable for their actions. Integrity that shows when someone is willing to speak up when something goes against the grain of cultural values or isn’t consistent with stated objectives. Of course, they don’t lie, cheat, or steal, but that is no great feat, and frankly is just meeting expectations. This kind of demonstration of integrity includes a texture of being reliable, dependable, and consistent. They can be counted on.

3. They focus on outcomes and results. Instead of getting bogged down in checking off tasks or blindly going about their work, Hidden Leaders will take a look to the horizon to understand what the end result is. That desired result could be the completion of a project, resolution of an issue, or implementation of some kind. Whatever it is, they understand what your business needs to accomplish, and allow those objectives and results to guide their actions. Sometimes that means doing something different and setting a standard for new best practices. Other times, times it may mean following the chain of command to get an exception made. Whatever it is, they focus on achieving your goals, not simply trading time for money.

4. They get it when it comes to your customer. Hidden Leaders understand what your customers (the ones that pay the bills), are trying to accomplish. They help to identify unintended consequences, or problems that haven’t been considered. They reveal opportunities that haven’t been considered. They are able to marshal resources across your business—not only in their department, to help in addressing customer needs or desires. I call this being customer purposed, recognizing that these employees had a deep understanding of what customers were trying to accomplish with a companies products and services, versus simply performing their functional role in delivery.

While it is necessary to have strong leaders in senior management roles to create a great business, I contend it is not sufficient. If you want to have a great business, you’ll need to cultivate leaders at all levels of your organization—especially in the places where you haven’t been traditionally looking for them. If you do it well, think of the value you create for your business—with virtually no capital investment at all.

Scott Edinger works with senior leaders of companies like AT&T, Lenovo, and The Los Angeles Times. He is recognized as an expert in helping organizations achieve top and bottom line growth. In addition to The Hidden Leader, Scott has co-authored The Inspiring Leader (McGraw- Hill) and the Harvard Business Review article Making Yourself Indispensable, called by HBR a “classic in the making”. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes and the Harvard Business Review. As founder of Edinger Consulting Group, Scott has worked with leaders in nearly every industry sector, helping them formulate and implement growth strategies, increase revenue and profit, develop leadership capacity, drive employee engagement, and attract and retain talent.

Scott’s interview with Shawn Murphy from Work That Matters

Too often leaders rely on usual suspects—the people they repeatedly turn to for the most important work. Consequently good team members go overlooked. They’re hidden. This episode of Work That Matters looks at this phenomenon, the four facets of hidden leadership, and its impact to the business and people.

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Get Employees To Act Like Owners Of The Business

“I want my employees to act like they own the company.”

I’ve heard senior executives say something to this effect dozens of times over the past few years. The idea that if everyone acted like they owned the place and gave it their all, we could be amazing. However, a few weeks ago, when I talked with a front line supervisor in a call center about what it means to “act like you own the business,” he responded with: “So does that mean I get to do what I feel like, drive a nicer car, and live in a nicer house?” Clearly, most employees in the corporate environment have never owned a business, or been in significantly senior positions to understand what having an equity-stake in a company really means.

So what do CEOs mean when they wish for employees who act like owners? Digging deeper, I hear: “I want people to be more accountable,” or “My employees should work harder and be more committed, not just trading time for money.” “They would be able to understand how we all work together to bring value to our customers,” and “I want them to get the big picture of our business.” These statements start to sound a lot like leadership. But not leadership in the way we’ve been taught to view it.

We tend to look upin organizations to position and title for leadership. But the truth is, leaders can and should be found at every level of your company. James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, writing in the foreword to my new book, The Hidden Leader, put it simply: “It’s not about position or title. It’s not about power or authority. It’s not about being a CEO, president, general, or prime minister. Leadership is not about who you are or where you come from. It’s about what you do.”

Bridget Jay is an individual contributor in program development for a mobile technology company called Q-Stream. Bridget’s job is to translate the client’s business goals into a strategic program plan. But Bridget has gone above and beyond her defined role at the company, by taking accountability for her work, seeking a deeper understanding of the client’s business and by working across divisions of the company to widen implementation of Q-Stream’s product. Thanks to Bridget’s ownership and leadership within her service role, this account has grown from $25K to $1.5 million within two years. Want more people like Bridget on your team? If you do, you have to identify the characteristics and observable behaviors of employees who act like owners:

  • They are enthusiastic and they are not just trading time or talent for compensation. Not enthusiastic in a rah-rah kind of way, though a little bit of that can be nice occasionally. They have passion, positive energy and excitement about the business or some element of the work. These employees have a clear perspective on how the company provides value to customers and specifically how they contribute to that value. This has a contagion effect, bringing others along with them: the lab tech who enthuses to colleagues about aiding in the diagnosis of disease because of accuracy in the team’s specimen processing, or the sales rep whose fervent belief in the product energizes her fellow reps. That’s inspiring leadership.
  • You can count on them to do what they say they will do and act with integrity. These employees are honest, trustworthy and consistently reliable. They should be easy to spot because if there is an important assignment, they get it. A priority client to work with, they are involved. A mission critical project, they are on the team. Because they hold themselves accountable for the results of their efforts, they might even do things outside their job description, like the customer support rep that chooses to come in on her day off to make good on a commitment to finish a team project. They take responsibility the same way successful leaders or business owners are accountable and demonstrate their commitment.
  • These employees have strong relationships across the business, not just within a silo. The strength of their relationships isn’t just about being friendly or collegial, but are based on trust. They develop trusting relationships with team members, colleagues in other parts of the company, and even “higher ups”, through their expertise. It could be a technical expertise like software coding or expertise in a discipline like marketing or sales. This expertise forms a base of credibility and creates confidence in their decision-making. When your company needs cross-functional collaboration to launch a new product or implement a new system, the key to making it work are these employees with influence across divisions and often up and down the chain of command. They help knit an organization together with their leadership.

If you want to create a culture where everyone behaves like an owner, or a leader, seek out and reward the hidden leaders within the ranks of your company. They are the exemplars that will help you to establish standards. Then measure, coach and develop these behaviors and characteristics with the rest of your employees. What is hidden now just may become one of your greatest assets.

Do you know of individual contributors or front line supervisors that display strong leadership? I’d love to hear about them as part of my continuing research on Hidden Leaders and the impact they make, so send me a note about them by clicking here.

The 4-Hour Leader

When I bought the The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss in 2007, I was captivated by the concept of working just four hours a week. I enjoyed Tim’s writing style and I started to apply some of his philosophies to my work life (although I never did achieve a four-hour work week.) A few years later, I heard Tim was writing a follow-up called The 4-Hour Body, which at first struck me as a very odd sequel. Then it hit me that his work was really about rapid learning and how to achieve the greatest results with the least amount of effort. Tim was simply applying the same principles he’d used in decoding work place efficiency to diet and exercise. It turns out that these principles can be applied in many disciplines, if you know precisely what needs to be done and the most efficient way to do it.

I interviewed Tim Ferriss about the principles behind his “4 Hour” series. In order to break down the task to be accomplished to its essence, Tim uses a process of Deconstruction, Selection and Sequencing. Here is how I’ve applied similar principles in my work with leaders.

Deconstruction breaks a complex process or practice in to discreet parts or tasks. For instance, in research for the article I coauthored here in HBR, Making Yourself Indispensable, over 20,000 leaders were analyzed using 360-degree feedback data on dozens of leadership competencies. The goal was to determine which leadership characteristics most often separated excellent leaders from their average and poor counterparts, and 16 competencies emerged from our process of deconstructing great leadership.

Selection is about isolating the most impactful of these essential characteristics to focus on the critical few versus the (more) trivial many. It’s the Pareto Principle or 80/20 rule. When I coauthored the book, The Inspiring Leader, I was able to do additional research to delve deeper and understand which of those 16 key competencies was most valuable and had the greatest impact on the people they lead. In medicine it’s sometimes called the minimal effective dose, (MED). In pharmacological terms it is the lowest dose level of a pharmaceutical product that provides a clinically significant response, beyond which dosing is wasteful, or even harmful.

Finally, Sequencing allows you to test theories in different circumstances and make adjustments based on the results, to ultimately put them in logical order. In other words, to create an optimal progression. I’ve had the chance to apply my research as I’ve coached hundreds of leaders with varied styles in developing these competencies in diverse situations.

Tim is an investor and/or advisor to Uber, Facebook, Twitter, and Evernote, so I asked him about applying these principles to what he referred to as the “somewhat-nebulous area of leadership”. I took some of our conversation, combined it with my own findings, and below is what I’ll refer to with Tim’s permission as The 4-Hour Leader.

Leaders are bombarded with suggestions for improved leadership, and many of the articles, books and lectures on the subject offer ideas that may be helpful on some level. I know from my work with thousands of senior leaders that when you start to identify leadership characteristics, you will have a hard time finding one that you’d say isn’t somehow valuable or useful. But if you want the MED, then throw away those voluminous leadership development plans (that you aren’t following anyway) because here it is, The Four-Hour Leader.

1. Express a clear definition of success for your team, business unit, or company. Don’t equivocate about what you expect the team to accomplish and what the priorities are. This doesn’t mean verbose vision statements, but a well-defined and articulated objective and a few specific and measurable goals that you can communicate in a minute or two. The discipline of focusing on one unambiguous purpose (or Key Performance Indicators, also called “KPIs”) will enable you drive for those results and maintain focus, while avoiding deviation from the course and the distraction of “shiny objects”. We don’t know yet if A.G. Laffley’s plan to shed half of P&G’s brands is a good idea, but there is no question about the focus and direction of the entire company.

2. If you want buy in, then as the leader you have to sell. And be able to sell to a wide range of stakeholders, from board members and investors, to senior managers and front line employees to generate individual and group commitment to your direction. Leaders need people to buy in to your larger vision and be excited about their specific role in contributing to it. Change management guru John Kotter identified this as a vital component for leaders to gain the support needed for their ideas to achieve valuable results.

Ann Mulcahy, who led Xerox from the brink of bankruptcy has said that a good plan is important “But the bottom line is that it’s all about getting your people aligned around a common set of objectives. At Xerox, that was the difference between success and failure.

Leaders sell their ideas about the future by making an emotional connection, because while logic will get people thinking, it is emotion that will ignite passion and spur them to action. In my work studying how leaders inspire, statistically, the number one attribute of leaders who excel in motivating others is the ability to harness the power of emotions to move people to action. Enthusiasm, passion, caring, concern, and even anger have a strong impact on people and can be expressed in myriad ways.

Think about leaders you’ve observed. From Richard Branson to Herb Kelleher to Indra Nooyi. When they talk to people from small groups to large audiences, they are expressing emotions and it is anything but simply conveying the facts. They are excited about achieving great things, or concerned about the consequences of not taking action. They create a sense of deep commitment.

3. Demonstrate your integrity and make it visible. One of my clients recently delivered a restatement of earnings to Wall Street. That restatement could have been avoided because cash reserves were considerably higher than what was needed to deal with the change. The CEO took the position that it was necessary to disclose this difference in earnings, despite the attention and cost of doing so, because it was simply the right thing to do. When communicated to shareholders and employees, a sense of pride and belief in the future of the business was obvious because “this is the kind of company we work for…a company that does the right thing.” When I ask people about important leadership characteristics, an interesting thing happens on the topic of integrity (or character, honesty, etc.) They tend to rank it first, or they don’t mention it at all. Through discussions, I’ve concluded it means the same thing, which is that it is fundamental to leadership. As I highlight in my new book The Hidden Leader, it is viewed as the primary trait, or it is table stakes to even have the chance to lead. Either way, integrity is vital to leadership success.

That’s your MED for leadership and the prescription for accelerating your leadership ability: toss all the leadership competencies in a pot and they boil down to this. Many of the leaders I work with have a sense of massive overload, so Tim’s technique of narrowing one’s focus to a few things that make a huge difference is very appealing. The best part is that you can do each of these three things without much, if any, additive time. In fact, I bet you can do it in less than four hours per week.

Scott’s interview with RainToday Editor Michelle Davidson

Listen to Scott’s interview on the qualities required for sales leadership with RainToday Editor Michelle Davidson. Discover why sales leadership is the toughest job in business and why having great selling skills is just part of the equation.

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The Leadership Resolutions That Work Best

TSE 1 copyake a look at my article, originally published by Harvard Business Review, in Switched On Leadership magazine. The publisher presented it really well. The article is also available on this site or by clicking the link in the magazine.

Click here to download PDF of The Leadership Resolutions That Work Best article…

To access the entire magazine available exclusively on the Apple Newsstand, from your iPhone or iPad click this link, and use Subscription Bonus Code “LeadersAreReaders” (without the quotes) to get a three month free subscription.

In the Spotlight: Leadership Speaker Scott Edinger Helps Companies “Move the Needle” and Achieve Their Goals

So you’re looking for leadership speakers for your next meeting or conference. No problem:

Turns out finding leadership speakers is easy. Finding the right leadership speaker for your people and your company — that’s a little more challenging.

After a while, all the videos and bios start to run together. But what if you could actually sit down with the speaker candidates and ask them point blank: Who is your ideal audience? What results can I expect when I hire you? Do you customize for our company and our people?

Of course you don’t have time to do that, but no worries — we’ll do it for you! We call it putting our speakers “In the Spotlight” — where we ask them some of the key questions on your mind (and then you can listen in).

Today, we’re shining the light on one of our leadership speakers, Scott Edinger, co-author of The Inspiring Leader and the The ASTD Leadership Handbook (along with Ken Blanchard, John Kotter, Jim Collins, Patrick Lencioni and others).

Below are some excerpts* from a conversation between Scott and Shawn Ellis, founder of The Speakers Group

Shawn: You’re a bit different from a lot of leadership speakers in that you don’t just talk about, say, “five keys to great leadership.” What you really talk about is how organizations can achieve their goals through their people, and of course that involves putting people in the right environment to succeed. 

Scott: Right. I think what’s important to recognize is that there is, I guess, what you’d call the classic motivational speaker. I sort of smile when I say that because when I first started doing this my friends would haze me a bit and say, “You’re kind of like Chris Farley, you know? You tell people that you’re living in a van down by the river or something.” That is the poor stereotype of the motivational speaker – which is essentially nothing but a bunch of rousing kind of cheerleading versus the way I approach things which is really to use my expertise in a few different areas.

The broad umbrella as you described is leadership. Within that there’s a very clear connection to the business outcomes and results an organization is trying to achieve and needs to achieve. Underneath that there are a handful of things that I really have great expertise in because of the background that I’ve had. I’ve spent a lot of time focused on sales organizations, specifically sales professionals who interact with clients and the sales leaders; those who manage them. That’s one area of leadership that I specialize in.

Then another area of leadership that is in the area of strategy formulation and implementation – vision and implementation being a critical element of leadership. How do you determine where the organization is going, and how do you get it there? Those would be two of the categories I guess, that I put under the broad topic of leadership, and of course in the overall sea of leadership there’s a handful of components to that. Whether it be how leaders inspire, how you get the most out of leaders at the front lines of your business or people who are individual contributors. Of course most importantly, individual leadership and how does one develop their unique strength, and develop those strengths in a way that is different than fixing weakness.

Shawn: I know the first time we spoke, you said that you’re a great speaker for a client who’s looking for someone not just to entertain the crowd, but to really move the needle and to make a real change. How do you move the needle, as you said, from the stage where you’re speaking to a large audience?

Scott: Well I think if you consider those topics — leadership or strategy or sales effectiveness, sales leadership – all of them can be spoken about in an entertaining and philosophical kind of way. Unfortunately, too many times that’s like the sugar doughnut of a motivational or conference speaker because it’s entertaining while it happens, but there’s no real benefit from it. Usually when I have seen that happen it is because the speaker has failed to make things pragmatic.

One of the things, regardless of what the topic is, is to understand what the organization is trying to accomplish. What’s the real change or difference they’d like to see following that event? Then to figure out connected to the message, what are the pragmatic things that people can immediately begin to do differently?

Sometimes it’s reorienting their thinking. Sometimes it’s a specific action, but I find it really important to provide people with practical, tactical things that they can do immediately that start to change the way they approach things. There’s limited things that you can do within an hour or an hour and a half, but certainly helping people with pragmatic things that they can begin to do differently, and a context for why they need to do it is a really powerful and a tremendous way to use that very valuable time.

Shawn: What types of organizations or industries are in the sweet spot for you? 

Scott: I’ve worked across 22 different industries between my individual consulting with specific clients or speaking. Hundreds of different clients from Fortune 10 companies to companies with 30 employees. I’ve seen a wide range and I’m able to relate many of those areas of expertise to how they specifically apply to a given company — because it’s hard to say that leadership or strategy or sales effectiveness isn’t important for “a company like this” or “in this industry.”

Figuring out how it applies — that’s my expertise. I take those bodies of work – stuff that I’ve written and worked on, and provided clients with – and translate them to a real clear way to apply it.

Shawn: So that covers the organizations and industries. What types of audiences do you typically speak to within those organizations?

Scott: I typically end up with three different types of audiences:

First would be… call it the sales meeting. National Sales Meeting or Sales Manager Meeting. A couple of years ago I did a huge sales meeting for a standard chartered bank in Singapore. Four hundred people from 18 different countries, and we had six different interpreters in the back. That’s one kind of audience, a sales meeting.

A second kind of meeting would be a managers meeting. Companies do this with all different levels. “Managers Meeting” — whether it be mid managers, senior leadership. Last year I was doing some work with Lenovo when I spoke to their top 100 leaders.

Then the third kind of meeting where I do a lot of speaking is conferences. That could be industry conferences representing a specific industry, and the leaders of the companies within that industry who share a common set of issues. That’s an interesting kind of audience to speak to as well because you don’t have the company examples for your content, but you have the industry examples and that’s kind of fun.

Strategy, Plans, And Running With The Bulls

I’m on a flight back to the USA from Spain, where a few days ago on July 14th, I was running with the bulls in Pamplona. The running of the bulls is part of theFestival of San Fermin, which has been held annually since the middle ages, honoring the patron saint of the city. I ran on the last day of the festival with a small group of friends. On the return flight home I couldn’t help but reflect on the experience, and some parallels to my work with clients designing and implementing successful strategies. Here they are.

1. Clearly define your strategy in specific detail. We wanted to complete the run safely by:

  • Holding off on our start until the bulls ran by. Nobody can keep up with a bull running 22-24 mph and we wanted to run with the bulls (behind them really,) not in front of the bulls.
  • Running as close to the left side of the street as possible. (In our observation of the run on the previous day, and video footage of past races, it seemed that because of the turn before the area of our starting position, they tended to drift to the right side).
  • Sticking together in pairs. We used the buddy system to look out for each other.
  • Finishing the run by breaking left toward the 9 o’clock position of the bullring as soon as we entered.

Defining the outcomes with specificity is much harder than it seems, and good strategies are clarified so that they are easily understood. They are precise and specific as it relates to objectives, and how those objectives are going to be achieved. This is the most difficult part of executive work, as it requires patience, making tough decisions and judgments, as well as a lot of critical thinking. Because of that, leaders are often in a rush to just get this work done. It is much easier to read and respond to emails, attend meetings and focus on the tactical work that doesn’t require as much thought.

2. Be prepared for your strategy not to go according to plan. How many projects or initiatives in your business have turned out exactly as they were planned? My experience has been that it is rare. On the morning of the run there was a light rain, which made the streets a little more slick than usual. Instead of the bulls running together in a pack (which is the best case) they got separated as they came around one of the turns. On this day, they were running closer to the left side of the street.  Despite your best efforts and research, you will never be able to rely completely on it, and you will never have all of the facts. For example, we learned only on the morning of the race that the Miura Bulls, renowned as Spain’s largest and fastest bulls, were reserved for the final day. Imagine how that made us feel.

Even if the assumptions we make in formulating strategies are incorrect, it is critically important to go through the progression of doing so. In the process you become keenly aware of different alternatives, capabilities, and scenarios, and if necessary can adapt quickly and make adjustments in real time. As Dwight D. Eisenhower famously said, “plans are nothing; planning is everything.”

3. Getting everyone in your company to understand and behave consistently with your culture is the most important thing you can do to get your strategy implemented.  Most of the runners in Pamplona shared the same goal—to finish without being punctured, pierced, or steamrolled. While there are always a few with different goals (some want to touch or run in between them), the vast majority shared that objective. But as soon as the rocket to start the race went off, things got pretty chaotic with runners of different speeds getting in each other’s way, and often hindering one another in their own rational self-interest.

Even when people in an organization have the same overall goals for the company to succeed, individual approaches can vary greatly. This tends to reduce quality of work and productivity, as well as create conflict. To prevent this, people must understand what is expected of them in your culture, and how they fulfill your strategy. Further, they need to have exemplars to look to as role models, and appropriate rewards and consequences.

4. Take time to evaluate your performance. For the entire day following the run as we traveled from Pamplona to Madrid before heading home, we relived every moment. The emotions leading up to the run, what happened during the run, what others saw from their vantage point and so forth. We only ran once, and in your organization the run is continuous.

My most successful clients are unquestionably those who review their strategy at regular intervals, make adjustments, and keep it dynamic. It doesn’t sit on a shelf in a binder. They work hard to integrate strategic a perspective into all of the work they do and for any projects or initiatives.  They ask the question “how will this help us to achieve our strategy?”

The running of the bulls is an extraordinary and unique experience. While I’ll never do it again, I found valuable insights from the run that illustrated what is critical when creating and executing a strategy. Done well, you can still succeed even when everything doesn’t go as you expected. All 8 of us completed the running of the bulls, unscathed.

English: Running of the bulls during Sanfermin...
English: Running of the bulls during Sanfermines in Iruñea – Pamplona, Spain. Español: Encierro con toros durante los Sanfermines de Pamplona, España (Photo credit: Wikipedia)