leadership incorporated blog

June 5, 2011

Inspired to Succeed: The Most Powerful Effectiveness Tool

This is the true (if oversimplified) story of two divisions in a manufacturing company.

There’s been powerful movement in the organization toward using statistical tools to increase accuracy and reliability.

Doubters dominate one division. They believe data can be manipulated and while they are following the requirements they continue to put their trust in past experience and knowledge, the way they’ve been doing it for over 30 years.

True believers lead the other division. They are committed to the process. They are engaged and energized. They talk about it, collaborate, problem solve. They are interested in the outcomes. They take pride in the results. They are open to learning, open to being wrong, open to making mistakes and corrections.

Both divisions are using the tools. However, the doubters use them superficially, simply going through the motions to meet the requirements. The true believers, on the other hand, are excited and in a constant process of discovery and amazement.

The doubting group spends much of its time trying to get a handle on the reasons behind all their field failures.

The true believers have no field failures.

Truly. None.

5 observations from this story that I want to share with you:

  1. Belief is the most powerful of effectiveness tools (and disbelief is the most powerful of underminers). People who believe in what they’re doing will do it more deeply, more thoroughly, more effectively.
  2. There is a huge difference between doing something just to check the box and having authentic energy for it. 
  3. There is no absolute and forever right way. Grow along with the body of knowledge or fall behind.
  4. Protecting your position is no protection at all.
  5. Open minds have more fun.

We are all in change/growth situations at all times, whether we know it or not. We all have places where we don’t see that we have become stuck or attached to doing things a certain way that no longer serves us. Some business and leadership coaching — check in with yourself.

  • Where are you going through the motions just to check off the boxes?
  • Where are you protecting obsolete ways of being?
  • Where might becoming a true believer make a real difference in meeting your objectives?
  • Where could you open up your mind and more possibilities?

Perhaps you see other valuable lessons here? If so, I’d love to hear from you.

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