Op-Ed Columnist for the NY Times, Thomas Friedman, wrote a piece called Secrets of a Pollster. In it he talks about the big missteps of political leaders and how they recovered from these problems. The conclusion is that to be a great leader: “You can’t be too honest in describing big problems, too bold in offering big solutions, too humble in dealing with big missteps, too forward in re-telling your story or too gutsy in speaking the previously unspeakable.”
When you think of Jim Collins’ Good to Great, this has a familiar ring. The notion of being open and truthful about problems and showing humility apply to business leaders and politicians alike.
What we at Launchpad Partners have been saying is that if you want to have a great problem solving and innovative company, the leadership must install three key components of culture: Trust, Engagement, and Empowerment (TEE, think golf tee). Trust is king. It includes the passion for truth telling, facing hard problems head on, being honest, and acting with as much openness as the law allows. When a company achieves the full measure of TEE, then it is a problem solving, innovative powerhouse that’s on the path toward taking the leadership role in its industry.
Launchpad Partners help companies through periods of stress. Once the company is through the stress, and once it is eager to become the competitive powerhouse in its industry, we then partner with the CEO and Board to create an environment of Trust, Engagement and Empowerment. We apply certain key tipping points which germinate this environment without disrupting the day to day operation of the humming machinery we’ve just helped install.