Click on the different category headings to find out more. You can also change some of your preferences. Note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our websites and the services we are able to offer.
These cookies are strictly necessary to provide you with services available through our website and to use some of its features.
We provide you with a list of stored cookies on your computer in our domain so you can check what we stored. Due to security reasons we are not able to show or modify cookies from other domains. You can check these in your browser security settings.
These cookies collect information that is used either in aggregate form to help us understand how our website is being used or how effective our marketing campaigns are, or to help us customize our website and application for you in order to enhance your experience.
If you do not want that we track your visit to our site you can disable tracking in your browser here:
We also use different external services like Google Webfonts, Google Maps, and external Video providers. Since these providers may collect personal data like your IP address we allow you to block them here. Please be aware that this might heavily reduce the functionality and appearance of our site. Changes will take effect once you reload the page.
Google Webfont Settings:
Google Map Settings:
Google reCaptcha Settings:
Vimeo and Youtube video embeds:
The following cookies are also needed - You can choose if you want to allow them:
A Great Place to Work “For All”/in Nuggets and Encouragement Regarding Strategy and Focus/by Tom Doescher
“A Great Place to Work for All” could hardly be more timely. When I ask clients and other business owners what their most significant business problem is today, nine times out of 10, their response is that it’s getting qualified people to join their company. After two decades of managing the Fortune List, Bush and his team at Great Place decided to dig deeper into their findings to determine whether there was any disparity in the answers in four employee categories: Job Level (executives vs. line workers); Generational (baby boomers vs. millennials); Gender; and Racial/Ethnic Groups. It may be surprising, but it turns out that even the greatest companies have employees who rate their experiences differently. For example, executives rate the company higher than line workers.
One of the reasons I like Great Place is that they correlate all their findings to financial results — stock value is analyzed for public companies, and revenue growth is considered for all companies. They take into account the size of the gap between executives’ and line workers’ job satisfaction, and look at whether the companies with the smallest gap outperform those with larger gaps financially. (Yes, they do.)
As I read Bush’s book, I had flashbacks to Frank Moran speaking to the entire firm at our annual conference and praising Arne, a second-career office assistant/Jack of all trades, and Joanne, the switchboard operator. He talked about how Arne had done something to serve the rest of our team, and made the connection between that and how Frank thought we should take care of our clients. When it came to Joanne, he told us that she was often the first Plante Moran team member with whom clients, prospective clients, and referral sources would interact. Then he reminded us that you only get one chance to make a good first impression. How do you think the rest of the administrative/support staff felt when Frank told these stories? He was doing what Bush recommends in his book.
An example of executives being out of touch occurred years ago when I learned that senior executives at Detroit-based auto companies parked their vehicles in a separate parking structure from the rest of the employees. During the day, auto mechanics would routinely check out the execs’ vehicles and fix any problems. At the end of the day, the executives would return to their vehicles and drive them home. Surprisingly (yeah, right), their vehicles never had any problems.
How aware are you of the daily struggles of your line workers? Do you interact with the team members on the lower rungs of the ladder, or do you have a system to get reliable feedback from them? I could say more, but I think you get the point.
One last story, and then I’ll stop preaching. I was with my millennial-aged son the other day; he’s an extremely successful, hard-working business owner who serves his clients like Frank Moran would. I can’t remember exactly what we were talking about, but he blurted out, “Dad, I’m not like you. I have a lot of other interests besides my business that I want to pursue.” It got me thinking. My own son, of whom I’m very proud, may not rate my business experience as highly as I would.
Hopefully, these last few stories have whet your appetite to read “A Great Place to Work for All” by Michael Bush. I truly believe that he and his team have unearthed some valuable nuggets, and by adopting their recommendations you just may be able to find and retain the employees you desperately need to serve your customers.
Small Giants: Companies That Choose to be Great Instead of Big/in Nuggets and Encouragement Regarding Strategy and Focus/by Tom Doescher
Burlingham comes at the subject from a different point of view than me, but it still applies to my clients. Although his book isn’t based on extensive, empirical research like the work of Jim Collins and his Stanford MBA students, he provides some interesting thoughts. For almost two decades, he was the editor of Inc. magazine, so obviously he had access to a lot of great companies. From those, he selected 14 for the 2005 first edition of the book. (Sadly, three of them had been sold when he updated the book in 2016.) One of the companies he covers in detail, and had previously written about in an Inc. magazine article, is Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor, Mich., which is about a half-hour drive from my home. It’s not a huge company, but it is a great company. He also talks about Danny Meyer, a restaurateur and CEO of the Union Square Hospitality Group in New York City. I had the privilege of hearing Meyer speak a few years ago about his passion: the intersection of hospitality and humanity.
As I was reading “Small Giants,” I visualized Frank Moran, Sam Walton, Steve Jobs, and J. Willard Marriott — or think about one of your own favorite business legends. Their incredible attention to detail was of great benefit to their clients and customers, and the special treatment and care they gave their teams was unbelievable.
Here’s my thought: If you’re like one of my three clients, I would highly recommend getting the book. Don’t feel guilty about not wanting to build a $100 million business. Don’t let someone else set your goals or agendas, or steal your joy. Bigger isn’t always better, and Burlingham shares some great stories that will be encouraging to you.
Do You Want Well-Rounded Leaders On Your Team? NO!/in Sharpening Your Personal Leadership Skills/by Tom Doescher
In analyzing his leaders, who were performing similar functions, he discovered that some were hitting it out of the ballpark (these leaders have “it”) while others weren’t. He and his leadership team then came up with eight pairs of leadership traits. His most successful leaders possessed one or more of these traits. And not only did they possess a trait, but they were an extreme. Groeschel’s team defined these as a Leadership Paradox (contradictory leadership qualities that, together, create a synergy of undeniable leadership impact). He went on to say that he doesn’t want well-rounded leaders; he wants leaders who are living in the extremes.
Here are the eight pairs Groeschel identified in his best leaders:
Who knows if Groeschel’s list is correct? Whether it is or not, I believe it’s a great checklist for leaders to use to help them determine whether they have a high-level leader(s) who possesses each Leadership Paradox trait. I would encourage you to do a self-assessment of your company.