Mindfulness Helps You Become a Better Leader

29 08 2013

By: Bill George. Ever since the financial crisis of 2008, I have sensed from many leaders that they want to do a better job of leading in accordance with their personal values. The crisis exposed the fallacies of measuring success in monetary terms and left many leaders with a deep feeling of unease that they were being pulled away from what I call their True North.

As markets rose and bonus pools grew, it was all too easy to celebrate the rising tide of wealth without examining the process that created it. Too many leaders placed self-interest ahead of their organizations’ interests, and ended up disappointing the customers, employees, and shareholders who had trusted them. I often advise emerging leaders, “You know you’re in trouble when you start to judge your self-worth by your net worth.” Nevertheless, many leaders get caught up in this game without realizing it.

This happened to me in 1988, when I was an executive vice president at Honeywell, en route to the top. By external standards I was highly successful, but inside I was deeply unhappy. I had begun to focus too much on impressing other people and positioning myself to become CEO. I was caught up with external measures of success instead of looking inward to measure my success as a human and a leader. I was losing my way.

My colleague, Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen, addressed this topic in his HBR article, How Will You Measure Your Life? Clay observed that few people, if any, intend at the outset of their career to behave dishonestly and hurt others. Early on, even Bernie Madoff and Enron’s Jeff Skilling planned to live honest lives. But then, Christensen says, they started making exceptions to the rules “just this once.”

At Harvard Business School, we are challenging students to think hard about their definition of success and what’s important in their lives. Instead of viewing success as reaching a certain position or achieving a certain net worth, we encourage these future leaders to see success as making a positive difference in the lives of their colleagues, their organizations, their families, and society as a whole. The course that I created in 2005, Authentic Leadership Development (ALD), has become one of the most popular elective MBA courses, thanks to my HBS colleagues who are currently teaching it. It enables second-year MBAs to ground their careers in their beliefs, values, and principles, following the authentic leadership process described in my 2007 book, True North. More recently, ALD has become a very popular course for executives of global companies.

With all the near-term pressures in today’s society, especially in business, it is very difficult to find the right equilibrium between achieving our long-term goals and short-term financial metrics. As you take on greater leadership responsibilities, the key is to stay grounded and authentic, face new challenges with humility, and balance professional success with more important but less easily quantified measures of personal success. That is much easier said than done.

The practice of mindful leadership gives you tools to measure and manage your life as you’re living it. It teaches you to pay attention to the present moment, recognizing your feelings and emotions and keeping them under control, especially when faced with highly stressful situations. When you are mindful, you’re aware of your presence and the ways you impact other people. You’re able to both observe and participate in each moment, while recognizing the implications of your actions for the longer term. And that prevents you from slipping into a life that pulls you away from your values.

I don’t use the word “practice” lightly. In order to gain awareness and clarity about the present moment, you must be able to quiet your mind. That is tremendously difficult and takes a lifetime of practice. In 2012, I had the privilege of presenting my ideas on authentic leadership to his Holiness the Dalai Lama. When I asked him what it took to become an authentic leader, he replied, “You must have practices that you engage in every day.”

My most important introspective practice is meditation, something I try to do for twenty minutes twice a day. In 1975 I went with my wife Penny to a Transcendental Meditation (TM) Workshop. Although I never adopted the spiritual portion of TM, the physical practice became an integral part of my daily routine. Meditation has been a godsend for me. As an active leader who has held highly stressful roles since my mid-twenties, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure in my early thirties. When I started meditating, I was able to stay calmer and more focused in my leadership, without losing the “edge” that I believed had made me successful. Meditation enabled me to cast off the many trivial worries that once possessed me and gain clarity about what was really important. I gradually became more self-aware and more sensitive to the impact I was having on others. Just as important, my blood pressure returned to normal and stayed there.

In recent years, medical studies have found evidence of meditation’s many benefits, includingprotecting against health problems from high blood pressure and arthritis to infertilityreducing stress, improving attention and sensory processing; and physically altering parts of the brain associated with learning and memory, emotional regulation, and perspective-taking — critical cognitive skills for leaders attempting to maintain their equilibrium under constant pressure.

While many CEOs and companies are embracing meditation, it may not be for everyone. The important thing is to have a set time each day to pull back from the intense pressures of leadership to reflect on what is happening. In addition to meditation, I know leaders who take time for daily journaling, prayer, and reflecting while walking, hiking or jogging. I also find it extremely helpful to share the day’s events with Penny and seek her counsel.

Regardless of the daily introspective practice you choose, the pursuit of mindful leadership will help you achieve clarity about what is important to you and a deeper understanding of the world around you. Mindfulness will help you clear away the trivia and needless worries about unimportant things, nurture passion for your work and compassion for others, and develop the ability to empower the people in your organization.

Bill George is professor of management practice at Harvard Business School and former chair and CEO of Medtronic.

Source: http://blogs.hbr.org/hbsfaculty/2012/10/mindfulness-helps-you-become-a.html





Listening with Your Heart

28 08 2013

Are you listening with your Heart ?

by Ananya Das

Guess what is the first Rule of  Leading ? Authority ? Knowledge ? Sympathy ? Empathy ? Vision ?

No. All these are incorrect.  

The first rule of leading or managing is Listening. Not just hearing. Listening with a heart. Believe me, it is a really tough task! The true leader is a listener. The Leader listens to the ideas, needs, aspirations and wishes of the followers and responds to them appropriately and adequately within the boundaries of her own beliefs.

Leadership begins with listening. Usually we are so excited about speaking and expressing ourselves so explicitly that we do not even listen to the responses. When someone responds, our minds are so  busy and pre-occupied with our own thoughts that the inertia of motion of our thoughts overrides our listening capabilities. Inevitably, we miss out on vital clues inside the mind of our teams and this hampers the basic output or consequences.

These tips will help us improve our power of listening:

  • Stop Talking: You cannot listen when you are talking. You will only be thinking about what you are going to say next ! Try to focus your attention to the speaker.
  • Put them at ease:  Specially when  you are in a position of authority, put the speaker at ease. Smile. Look at the speaker.  Lean towards him. Look interested. Remove distractions.
  • Listen with your eyes: Research says that  55% of the message is nonverbal, 38% is conveyed by the tone of the voice and only 7% are conveyed by words.  So try to understand the true feelings behind the words.Listen for what is not being said. Usually people hesitate to speak the most crucial points!
  • Patience- Do not interrupt: Be polite and courteous and give ample time to the speaker to convey the full message. Interruption sometimes diverts the moot point.
  • Walk in their moccasins: Empathize. Sometimes just listening to the person helps him vent out his emotions. Remember , as a leader, you will not have ready-made solutions to all the problems.But just listening emphatically sometimes clears the clouds and the silver lining becomes visible !
  • Hold your own emotions at bay: When emotions are high, there is a tendency to become defensive or give unwarranted advice. So, hold your temper, do not argue. You will lose your credibility as a leader by doing so. Even if you win , you will lose !

I have been in many situations where just by virtue of listening, solutions to problems emerged, from the person himself who had come to speak to me. There have been  numerous instances when I could hold my emotion and kept quiet, but the other person cried and the tears made him lighter and he could face the situation in a better way.

Your team or followers should believe that you really want to listen. And when they say something you will feel it with your heart and take it in the right spirit. They should feel that their point of view is important to you.
It is in the province of knowledge to speak and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.

Open your eyes and  heart  to listen.  Ignite the leader in you !





Human Knots

27 08 2013

As a lifelong soccer player, coach, and fan, my attention was caught by a news story about a referee for a youth recreational league in Salt Lake City who died after being punched by a player.  This is only months after a linesman in the Netherlands was beaten by two teenage players as his son looked on.  Fortunately, the reason that something like this would make the news is because it is rare and shocking.  However, it does point to a consistent truth – each of us is capable of responding to our circumstances in a way that does harm.

I work with people who are committed to forming and maintaining kind and helpful relationships.  Despite this commitment, every one of these people can identify moments when they have treated themselves or others poorly.  Why?  Because there is no escaping the fact that we are human.

In order to find some acceptance for your humanity, I think it is helpful to know a bit about how your nervous system operates.  Taking in a small amount of information from the external environment, your nervous system compares this to past patterns that it has stored, and meaning is assigned to the events going on around you.  Whether an event is evaluated by your nervous system as a threat, an opportunity, or neutral depends upon variables outside your control such as genetics, current networks in your brain, and past experience.  This process of perception happens completely outside of your conscious awareness.

Efforts to resist or avoid certain thoughts and sensations often make them more frequent, intense, and/or prolonged.

Based upon this perception, your nervous system prepares your body to respond by increasing activity in some systems and decreasing activity in others.  This change in activity results in sensations that you can feel.  A sensation is often accompanied by a thought that you experience as an internal conversation.  The thought is a linguistic translation of the sensation, and it allows you to forecast your perception onto imagined futures as well as communicate your perception to someone else.

This gift of abstract thinking has allowed human beings to create ever increasingly innovative works of art, architecture, poetry, literature, music and technology.  The sticking point occurs in those moments when language, sensation, perception, and the reality they are supposed to represent get tangled into one solid knot that we will do almost anything to hold onto or get rid of.

At any given moment, the perception, sensations, and thoughts that you experience are largely outside of your control.  Further, the research is very clear that efforts to resist or avoid certain thoughts and sensations often make them more frequent, intense, and/or prolonged.

Awareness is the tool that allows you to untie the knot so that you can choose a wise and purposeful response to whatever thoughts, sensations, and external events show up.  Awareness creates space.  If we fill that space with acceptance for what is actually happening, then we can access the calm, clarity, connection, and confidence that we have been seeking all along.

Try this:
Listen to your thoughts as if you were listening to the radio.  You can listen to the thoughts that you hear in your head and you can listen to the thoughts you speak out loud.

You will notice statements of fact – “the car is red” or “Joe is looking at my shirt.”

You will notice descriptions, judgments, and conclusions that are passed off as statements of fact – “that car is beautiful,” “Joe is a jerk,” “I shouldn’t have worn this shirt,” or “I never know what to wear.”

You will notice language of limitation such as “I have to,” “I can’t,” “I must,” or “I have no choice.”  You will notice that limitations are easily projected onto others with a quick pronoun change – “you have no choice,” “she has to,” or “he can’t.”

When you become aware that your language is judgmental, rigid, and limiting, practice bringing your attention to the area of your body between your hips and chin.  Look for any sensations of tension, fullness, emptiness, or movement that indicate unease.

Smile,
Breathe a gentle, deep breath
Accept that these sensations are part of being human, and
Connect to the inspiring principles, purposes, and relationships in your life.

After a moment or two of this, check in on the sensations and look around you to see if there are possibilities you could not perceive before.

The more you practice this, the more skilled you will become.

Dave Mochel teaches his clients the skill of Mindful Self-discipline.  He will teach you how to focus your attention, reduce stress,perform at your best, and reshape the quality of your life in spite of all the daily distractions. Dave studies and applies the latest scientific research on brain function and performance. Simple, practical techniques can help you channel your attention and achieve results. You learn to meet challenges with persistence and resilience, regulate your emotions, choose healthy behaviors, and build fulfilling relationships.

Source: Applied Attention: Coaching and Consulting; http://www.appliedattention.com/1/post/2013/05/human-knots.html





How to Make Your Employees Smile

25 08 2013

Paul Spiegelman, the founder and CEO of Beryl, a call-center company in Bedford, Texas, has built a unique, people-centric culture, which he chronicled in the book,Why is Everyone Smiling? His next book, co-authored with Beryl employees, is titledSmile Guide: Employee Perspectives on Culture, Loyalty and Profit. Here, Spiegelman shares tips on how to keep your workers happy.

1. Give People a Voice

“Listen to what your employees say,” says Spiegelman. “And don’t just listen – implement the ideas that they have, and give them credit for those ideas. As entrepreneurs, we might in our gut know the right answers to certain questions, but it is often better to let workers tell you what the answers are and give them credit.”

2. Pay Workers Fairly

“You must have the basics of compensation and benefits in place or else all your efforts to build a great culture will be looked at as disingenuous,” Spiegelman says.

3. Recognize and Reward

Do you point out and celebrate your employees’ good work? This is an easy way to make people smile. “Making your employees happy doesn’t have to cost a lot of money,” Spiegelman says. “People want to feel valued.”

4. Create a Career Path

Employees value a sense of progress. “Virtually everybody in an organization wants to feel like they have room to grow, whether your organization or team has two people or 2,000,” Spiegelman says.

5. Create Playful Titles

“Titles are cheap,” Spiegelman says. “Our receptionist is Director of First Impressions. We have somebody devoted, full-time, to our culture. Her title is Queen of Fun and Laughter. That’s her actual title.”

6. Make Room for Fun

Spiegelman is an advocate of wacky team-building exercises. He once staged a murder mystery on the call-center floor and gave teams eight weeks to solve it. “Do little things that make people step out and enjoy what they do,” he says. “I don’t care what the setting is.”

7. Walk the Talk

As a leader, you have to play by the same rules as everyone else, even when it is inconvenient. “It’s important for us as leaders to bring ourselves to the same levels as everyone else, because we are at the same level. We are no different,” Spiegelman says.

8. Send Hand-Written Notes

“Every employee on the anniversary date of their employment at Beryl gets a note from me sent to their home. I get a spreadsheet from HR that tells me how many years they’ve been with us, and also tells me something personal about them. It might say that their son won the Little League championship. So I’ll say ‘Hey, congratulations on five years with Beryl, and I heard about Joey, isn’t it wonderful that he won the championship this summer?’ Don’t forget the personal touch.”

9. Create Traditions

“You have to create traditions, says Spiegelman. “For example, Beryl has an annual talent show with judges and this past August was the sixth year it was held. People look forward to it in a big way, to participate in these traditions.”

10. Manage From The Heart

Ultimately, your culture is a reflection of your personal values, Spiegelman believes. “Make people understand your compassion and your empathy for their lives as a whole.”

Source: http://www.inc.com/ss/10-ways-make-your-employees-smile-by-paul-spiegelman#10.





How Happy Is Your Organization?

24 08 2013

by Susan David. Today, March 20, 2013, marks the first ever International Day of Happiness. This was decreed last year by the United Nations following a meeting on well-being attended by government officials, economists, scholars, and business and spiritual leaders from around the world. It was hosted by Bhutan, a small but visionary country which famously uses Gross National Happiness (GNH) instead of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to index its progress.

The King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar, has described GNH as “the bridge between the fundamental values of kindness, equality and humanity and the necessary pursuit of economic growth.” He’s talking, of course, about the well-documented connection between well-being and productivity — an interplay that should interest business leaders as much as it does political ones. As this issue of HBR makes clear, happy, engaged employees are good for the organization. Research shows they have better health, are more creative, produce better results, and are willing to go the extra mile. What’s more, happiness is contagious; it creates a virtuous spiral that leads to further engagement.

So how can leaders create happier organizations?

Perhaps the first step is to clarify what we mean by “happy”. Psychologists typically identify happiness by three distinct pathways. The first is the pleasant life, which involves positive experiences including contentment, hope, and sensory enjoyment. This kind of well-being is often referred to as hedonia, based on the Greek term for pleasure. The second is the engaged life, oreudaimonia. The ancient Greeks believed in a “daimon”, or guardian spirit, that would guide you toward your destiny; the word also means genius. The engaged life thus refers to a person’s ability to deploy his personal genius — to use his unique strengths and talents in a way that engages and absorbs him. The third pathway is the meaningful life, which relates to the desire to be part of something bigger than oneself — to belong and contribute to an institution that has purpose.

All three of these pathways — pleasure, engagement, and meaning — are important. And business leaders can use this knowledge to ask some important questions about their organizations:

  • Do my employees enjoy their relationships and their environment at work?
  • Do they laugh?
  • Are my people in the right roles — ones that fit their skill sets and offer appropriate challenge?
  • Do they get to use their genius?
  • Do they understand the purpose of the organization?
  • Do they feel they’re a part of something that matters?

On this first International Day of Happiness, it’s worth pausing to consider what contributes to happiness in your organization — your own happiness, as well as that of the people around you. I hope you will share what you discover.

Susan David is a founder and co-director of the Harvard/McLean Institute of Coaching and a member of the Harvard faculty. She co-edited the Oxford Handbook of Happiness (Oxford University Press, 2013) and directs Evidence Based Psychology, a leadership development organization and management consultancy.

Source: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/03/how_happy_is_your_organization.html





Why Sharing Power at Work is the Very Best Way to Build It

23 08 2013

by Patty Azzarello. Good leaders build a powerful team by sharing power, not by building themselves up (falsely) by imagining they can hoard power personally.

I see leaders who imagine that they have more power than they actually do, and don’t really distinguish between the fact that their role has power vs. that they are powerful personally. A telling behavior to decide what camp an executive is in is to see how they treat people when they meet them. Especially, people in lower level jobs (or waiters). The most common types are:

False-power people
I have met many of these power executives, but I am thinking of one in particular who exemplified this ugly behavior. He was a C-level direct report to the CEO of a Fortune 50 company. He was meeting me and my peers, who were at the time C-level direct reports to the CEO of a Fortune 2000 company. It was immediately clear that he saw us as way below him on the food chain. I remember thinking when I met him: Wow, you are trying really hard to come across as a big, scary executive. I wondered if it was because:

  • You are insecure and need to make people feel like you are more powerful than they are?
  • You were taught, or believe this is the way a big executive is supposed to treat others to gain their respect?
  • You are self-involved to the extent that you don’t even realize that you are so thoroughly dismissing people?
  • You actually believe that you are a superior life form?

Shared-power people

The leaders that inspired me the most were the ones who did not get caught up in this personal power. They were the ones who would sit across the table and make people feel like equals. We are both people, and have different roles in this business, but we share the business challenges as people. Let’s talk.

The problem with treating role power as personal power is this: Since the personal power is not actually real, you need to spend an awful lot of time and energy reinforcing it and protecting it. That is time taken away from effectively leading. Not to mention it destroys trust and loyalty, which also degrades real power.

Real power

If you take the higher road of sharing power, and building a powerful team beneath you, you actually gain real power. Because you end up with an army of people who will support you and do great things to make the business succeed. Isn’t that more, actual, useful power than trying to claim false power for yourself? I’d rather have 1,000 peoples’ positive power, genuine support, and forward momentum in my business, than to try to build my own power by keeping 1,000 people down. It is exhausting to even think about!

Here are some practical ways that I have seen the difference play out.

1. Human vs. boss
If the thinking starts with “We’re both humans,” vs. “I’m the boss and you are the worker,” you create an environment where everyone feels acknowledged. If you flaunt special privileges that only the boss gets, everyone else feels resentful and will not bring their best to the business. You’re shooting yourself in the foot on running an effective organization.

Spending personal time with people in the trenches, on the assembly line, on the help desk, or literally in the trenches (if your business digs trenches), shows that you understand and value all the jobs in your organization and you are not “above it all.” It builds tremendous loyalty because when you ask someone to do work for you, they know you appreciate what you are asking them to do. It is hard to over-estimate the value of this as a leader.

2. Curious vs. right
People protecting their power need to be right and to stay right. So it’s not just that they are not good listeners, they actually need to not listen.

Leaders who are genuinely curious invite new ideas and are always learning. They learn what is really going on in their organization and therefore know what is causing inefficiency, frustration, and suffering–so they can fix it.

The “right” executive doesn’t want to hear it. They are right often enough that they can succeed to a certain extent, but they miss the opportunity to recognize breakthroughs that others might contribute.

A PLAYERS HIRE A+ PLAYERS, B PLAYERS HIRE C PLAYERS, AND C PLAYERS HIRE IDIOTS.

3. Promote others vs. inflate yourself
Leaders who take credit for their organizations’ work are again, trying to hold on to false personal power. Leaders who promote and elevate their stars build a much higher value organization.

This is well said in the book Five Frogs on a Log by Mark Feldman and Michael Spratt: “A players hire A+ players, B players hire C players, and C players hire idiots.” Insecure leaders who hire weak players so no one threatens them, make the whole organization weaker. A players (leaders who share power) hire people better than themselves and give them support to excel. Then they give them recognition and help them move up. The whole organization gets stronger.

4. Open vs. secret
People protecting personal power are secretive. They believe that if they know more than everyone else, they will remain more important.

Real leaders communicate a lot. They make it a point to share as much information as possible with everybody.

They see additional power in having a well-informed team that can contribute more because they know more.

Effective leaders win people over by building an open environment of trust and respect. They create meaning for people so they can feel proud of their work. They offer personal recognition. They go out of their way to make the work matter to people the people doing it.

I was very fortunate early in my career to meet a mentor who showed me that you could be a very successful business leader by respecting people and sharing power.

There are many examples of executives that go the other way. They hoard power and treat people like crap. I might have believed that was necessary without a good role model.

You can certainly succeed as a power hungry asshole (there are plenty of examples!), but please know, it’s not a requirement. Building a strong team is a much more reliable approach to achieving success–and it gives you more real power in the end.

–Patty Azzarello is an advisor to CEOs and the author of Rise: 3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, and Liking Your Life. Follow her@pattyazzarello.

Source: http://www.fastcompany.com/3004867/why-sharing-power-work-very-best-way-build-it





How Compassionate Leadership Results in a More Innovative Culture

22 08 2013

Ironically, in the recipe for creating and sustaining a highly innovative culture, compassion might just be the most important ingredient.

It’s well known that as organizations continue to grow, it becomes increasingly difficult to attract and retain highly innovative people. Most large organizations become increasingly bureaucratic as they grow, and nothing will drive away highly innovative people more quickly than lots of bureaucracy. As a result, most organizations gradually become less innovative over time.

There are, of course, exceptions to this general trend. It is possible, even in large companies, to create a culture that attracts and retains highly innovative people and, perhaps more important, helps people who are not natural innovators to be more innovative as well. The key ingredient for creating and sustaining such a culture is being committed to serving and caring for our employees.

Two excellent examples are Google and the software giant, SAS, which are among the most innovative companies in the world. Every year, these two companies are also both highly ranked among best companies to work for. On the 2013 list of the Fortune Magazine Best Companies to Work For, they were listed as numbers one and two, respectively.

The examples of how Google works to care for employees are almost legendary. They include free, on-site haircuts; gyms; pools; break rooms with video games, ping pong, billiards and foosball; on-site medical staff for easy doctor appointments; and the option to bring one’s dog in to work.

But Google didn’t invent this type of incredible workplace culture. They actually emulated the culture at SAS, a company that has produced absolutely phenomenal business outcomes. SAS has posted record earnings for 37 consecutive years, including $2.8 billion in 2012. CEO Jim Goodnight often says that the secret to their success is taking care of their employees.

One reason serving and caring for our people is so effective for building and sustaining a highly innovative culture is that when we truly care about our people and are committed to helping them grow, we don’t stifle innovation by worrying about our own position. Instead of thinking that we have to come up with all the good ideas to look good as leaders, we are happy when our team has great ideas. Also, leaders who are more focused their own performance than on leading their people often tend to micromanage, which erodes trust and crushes innovation.

When we truly care about our people and are committed to helping them grow, we are also much more likely to trust them and give them high levels of autonomy. Providing high levels of autonomy is one the most important elements of attracting and retaining those rare, highly innovative people who abhor bureaucracy but can add so much value to our organization.

Serving and caring for our people can also help employees who are not natural innovators to become more innovative. According to the research of the Perth Leadership Institute, most people have a fairly strong cognitive bias called the status quo bias. As a result of this bias, most people are much more comfortable doing things that don’t buck the status quo. They would much rather fit in. In other words, most people are unlikely to suggest and act on ideas that are contrary to the status quo – i.e. ideas that are innovative – because of their fears of rejection or not fitting in and, in the case of the business world, their fear of being fired.

When we are focused on serving our people and consistently caring for them, those fears are alleviated. With consistent care and trust, our people trust us more, and they know that we will not fire them for taking appropriate risks and making mistakes. The more secure people feel, the more likely they are to suggest and act on innovative ideas. We are essentially removing the status quo bias by removing the status quo.

Jim Goodnight of SAS offers a great example of just how powerful this can be. In the fall of 2008, the Great Recession was imminent and many companies in the industry started laying off large numbers of employees.

But Goodnight’s response to the recession was dramatically different, as Mark C. Crowley, author of Lead From The Heart: Transformational Leadership For The 21st Century, describes in an article he wrote for Fast Company:

In early January 2009, Goodnight held a global webcast and announced that none of its 13,000 worldwide employees would lose their job. He simply asked them all to be vigilant with spending and to help the firm endure the storm. “‘By making it very clear that no one was going to be laid off,” Goodnight told me, “suddenly we cut out huge amounts of chatter, concern, and worry – and people got back to work.” What likely will be astonishing to many is that SAS had record profits in 2009 even though Goodnight was perfectly willing to let his then-33-year track record of increased profit come to an end.
At 70 years old, Goodnight holds the conviction that “what makes his organization work are the new ideas that come out of his employee’s brains.” He therefore holds his employees in the highest esteem. So while he fully anticipated that the recession would constrain the firm’s short-term revenues, he instinctively knew that his team would produce breakthrough products while his competitors were cutting costs. And even four years later, his commitment to his people has paid off handsomely. Said Goodnight, “new stuff we’re rolling out this year is going to take the market by storm.”

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-tenney/