|Business Advisors Network
Creating purpose; Building trust; Seeing the whole picture.
Long-term is the true measure of success
In this economy, many organizations are under pressure to take immediate action to
survive the short term. But true prosperity is never won in the short term. In fact, the
current economic crisis happened when too many leaders managed only for short-term
Taking the long view is by no means a luxury. Given the choice, most stakeholders would
not sacrifice long-term success for short-term gain. Customers want products they can rely
on; employees want job security and to know that pensions will be there when they retire;
suppliers want stable business relations. Even investors, burnt by market gyrations, seek
predictable long-term results. The key to sustainable performance is to be mindful of the
short term, but focused on the long term.
Purpose motivates people and drives performance
A well-articulated purpose creates an environment where people feel connected to the
organization’s values. And when individuals respect that purpose, they can be at their
best. It is impossible to motivate people who do not care; individuals who feel they must
leave their personal values at the doorstep of their workplace also relinquish their sense
Having a sense of purpose frees individual initiative, which then raises the organization’s
potential. When human values and the organization’s purpose come together, everyone is
rowing in the same direction. That is what builds long-term success. Purpose and dignity
are higher, more effective motivators than greed or fear.
Trust is the catalyst for change and new ideas
Change is invariably uncomfortable, at least at first. It is usually surrounded by anxiety
and a perceived loss of control. It is a time when people’s dignity is easily offended and
when resistance (whether passive or outright) is readily triggered. To respond
constructively to change, individuals need to feel that they matter, have a voice or at the
very least know that their interests are truly taken into consideration. In short, they need
to trust their organizations.
In the new economy of accelerated change, trust is a key to success. As Stephen M. R.
Covey demonstrates in his book The Speed of Trust, trust is actually a competitive
advantage; high trust organizations, reports Covey, outperform their low-trust
counterparts by a factor of three. If trust has such an out-sized impact on an organization’
s ability to adjust and succeed, what are the implications for leadership?
Every leader should remember that trust is a delicate asset to manage. As we all know
from experience, it takes time to build trust just a moment to destroy it. To promote a
culture of trust, leaders must demonstrate it in their daily words and actions.
What is the “Whole Picture?”
Today’s accelerating pace of change has forever altered the role of leadership. No longer
can the leader be the person who has all the answers and orders subordinates to carry
them out. We live in a time when everyone has access to more information than ever, but
paradoxically no one individual can process or integrate the sheer volume of information or
understand its complexity.
Instead of more information, organizations need more “wisdom”; and the best way to find
it is by tapping all stakeholders to think about their common future.
The challenge is to integrate all aspects of the organization, (both tangible and intangible)
into a coherent picture, giving proper weight to the factors that escape the accountants’
tally, such as trust, culture and values.
Our system approach is to bring the entire group together to focus on the whole picture
for the long-term success.
|Where Short and
Long Term Meet
|Business Advisors Network │ 617 475-0775
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