The Coach's Corner

Archive for December, 2012

Do you really believe what you say?

December 17th, 2012 // Tom Doescher //

I just read an article about Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant entitled “Japan Utility Says Nuclear Crisis Could Have Been Avoided”. I then went to the Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s (TEPCO) website, and this is what it says: “TEPCO strongly wishes to be a nuclear power plant operator which has the world’s highest level of safety awareness, engineering capabilities and risk communication ability with society”.

Before I make my point, I want to stress two things: First, I realize the company may have added this wording to their website in response to the accident that occurred in March of 2011; and second, my intention is not to pick on TEPCO.

However, the wording on the company’s website hit a nerve with me. As businesspeople, do we really believe what we say, or are we willing to stretch the truth strictly for the purpose of looking good? My experience tells me that you can’t answer this question with any certainty until you are really tested.

The other day I was talking with a business owner who told me he needed to remove one of the senior executives because of some unacceptable behavior that had violated the company’s values. The owner told me that several years earlier, the expelled executive had been warned about his behavior.

The owner went on to say, “I hated to let him go, since this executive ran a very profitable division and we really need him right now. But it was the right thing do.”

This is where the rubber hits the road. Do you have a situation like TEPCO, where you know there are problems and you should act, but are not? Do you have a senior member of your team who violates your principles, but you look the other way because he makes your company a lot of money? Do you really believe what you say, and live by your principles and values?

Are you holding your team accountable?

December 3rd, 2012 // Tom Doescher //

One of my favorite books is Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance?, by Louis V. Gerstner Jr. In his closing comments, he says, “People do what you inspect, not what you expect.” I was reminded of this thought-provoking advice when I read “What happened to accountability?” by Tom Ricks in the October 2012 issue of the Harvard Business Review. Instead of me attempting to summarize a great article, the following is a link to a 13-minute interview of Ricks about his book.

Listen to the interview and read the article

As a leader/business owner, would you say you’re more like General Marshall or General Taylor?

The Advisor’s Corner

Tom DoescherYou’ll find stories from the trenches, business lessons, and pertinent questions to help you find inspiration, professional growth, and leadership savvy.

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