Monday, June 29th, 2015


Let that thought sink in and then walk around your organization— virtually or real body, real time.  This is what you have created. You are the ultimate role model for your company as CEO.  Of course, there are other forces at play, but—- don’t minimize your impact.

The real issue (and why I write every week) is about how you can actually “see” your company and your culture and your impact on it when your top position keeps you blind.

l. The toughest and easiest way to begin to know your impact is to ask–at least 5 direct reports.  Performance review or developmental conversation time is the most normal, non-dramatic time.  Three questions: A. What should I do more of?  B. What should I do less of?  C. What is an impact I make that I’m not aware of?

2. Look for symptoms. Start with your regular meetings?  Are they dull beyond  belief?  Rote?  Do you model “Don’t surprise me”?  Are your meetings tense but quiet?  Do you model “Cross me and I’ll shun you?”  Are your meetings comfortable and loose and non-productive?  Do you model “Let’s keep it fun with no conflict?” This is your highest impact environment and the most likely to model behavior to others.  Examine it.

3. What do people tease you about?  Can they tease you?  What gets a big laugh that you don’t understand?  These are hints about impact. One CEO I worked with didn’t show much anger. He would get quieter and quieter. Someone once said, “Oh, oh we’re in the calm before the storm”. That sort of thing. Later the CEO admitted to me that the comment hurt her feelings and she “got it”.

4. What makes you go back to someone in order to course correct?  Is it a funny but caustic remark?  Is it an angry response to disagreement?  Is it not having a 
reasoned response?  Is it leaving an issue unresolved that now has to be faced?
What is your “go back and fix”  pattern that emerges looking back?  (I do hope you “go back” when it is needed. I assumed it.)

5. As it is at home, so at work. When I do formal instrumented assessments, leaders often will say, “My spouse would agree with this, or my brother or my kids or my best friend. Sorry, but they are a good source of information about your impact. Translate it to leadership impact.

6. Excellent leadership development can help you know your impact.  Good ones are hard to find. Look for  “real life” combined with “real feedback” in an atmosphere of a disciplined design for learning.  

And as this title suggests; what you do, others do and others do and others do.
What is within, does indeed, surround you”.


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