Scott Friedman

4 Ways to Bring More Celebration to Your Organization (Scott Friedman)

Winning Well Connection

Scott has a special place in our hearts as he’s been an incredible encourager and friend both personally and professionally–and was actually on our first date (unbeknownst to him at the time). Scott is the founder of Together We Can Change the World with whom we’re on tour with during our second half of the Asia trip. TWCCTW is also our partner for our Winning Wells initiative bringing clean water wells to Cambodia.

When doing research for Celebrate! Lessons Learned from the World’s Most Admired Organizations, we asked our survey respondents: “What is essential in making celebration work in any organization?” The top for answers were: inclusivity, gratitude, play, and surprise.

Inclusivity – Making sure that everyone feels a part of the team. Everyone wants to feel a sense of belonging … it’s giving everyone a voice and the feeling that their voice matters.

Gratitude – A grateful feeling, emotion, or attitude of acknowledgment of the life we have and those that we share our life with. It’s the ability to count our blessings even when we’re feeling the pressure of daily responsibilities. It’s being thankful and showing appreciation for those that make a difference in our lives.

Play – Living in the present moment. It’s the ability to let go of anger, resentment, and emotions from the past and truly bring our best self to the task at hand. Being in this state of flow will allow humor, spontaneity, fun, and play to flourish in the present moment. How much fun is that?

Surprise – Honoring people through the element of the unexpected – surprising them with what is highest on their joy list. It’s catching people doing the right things and recognizing them on the spot. The reason celebration fails in most organizations today is that it becomes stale. There is a lack of creativity or conscious thought that is needed to make a celebration special. By learning more about what motivates employees and what brings them great joy, we can creatively add the element of surprise to their lives, and what a nice surprise that is!

Winning Well Reflection

In Winning Well we encourage recognition and celebration – after all, you get more of what you encourage and celebrate. But what really stands out about Scott’s approach to celebration is that it is more than an isolated response to something that’s happened. For Scott, celebration is a way of life. All of us can do with more appreciation of the good in our lives, our teams, and our work. You can follow up and incorporate more celebration into your life and work because Scott is graciously providing two free e-books to our readers.

Click on the images to download the books. Thank you Scott!

 

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S. Chris Edmonds

An Exclusive Culture Leadership Charge for Symposium Readers (S. Chris Edmonds)

Winning Well Connection

Despite living only a few miles apart for several years, I (David) only knew Chris online. We first met in person when he was sharing tips from his fantastic book The Culture Engine with a group of tech leaders committed to building healthy business cultures. The three of us finally met in person at a gathering of the Colorado Chapter of the National Speakers Association. Chris offers one of the clearest, practical guides to creating a positive corporate culture that you will ever find. If you’ve never built an organizational constitution that transforms values to daily behaviors, give Chris’ book a close look.

Here is Chris Edmonds’ Culture Leadership Charge video episode made exclusively for the 2017 Winning Well Symposium. In this concise video, Chris shares how his culture clients leverage two of the Winning Well principles, results, and relationships, to craft purposeful, positive, productive work cultures.

Winning Well Reflection

“Trust, respect, and dignity in every interaction…” – that sounds like Winning Well to us (not to mention the foundation for a phenomenal culture that achieves lasting transformational results). Well said, Chris!

Click on the image for more information about Chris’ book.

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Five Ways Leaders Unintentionally Sabotage the Team and One Way Forward (Alli Polin)

Winning Well Connection

Click on the image to visit Karin’s store and download the book she co-authored with Alli free.

Ever since I met Alli online, I’ve considered her a kindred spirit in the leadership space. Also a former executive, a mom, and a leadership writer and consultant, we’ve shared so many common challenges and values. Alli and I really got to know one another through our collaboration around two projects: the Energized Leadership book and our e-book A Parent’s Guide to Leadership (available for free download here). I’m grateful for our friendship and continued support on our leadership journeys. 

You want to be a good leader. Heck, why stop at good? You want to be a great leader, and that means keeping a lot of plates spinning. If it doesn’t get done and get done right, it’s your head. That could be why you may have adopted some less than helpful behaviors along the way.

Many years ago, I worked for a manager who told me, “Your job isn’t to make me look good, it’s to do your job to the best of your ability. My job is to make you look good and help you stretch to be your best.”

I remember the conversation nearly 20 years later because she was the first person I’d ever worked for who put maximizing my contribution at the top of her list. She cared not only about her success, but ours. Not to mention, she was invested in our relationship and as a result, so was I.

Many of the other people I worked for had an underlying drive to prove themselves as worthy leaders. It was as if they alone were the ones to get it done, make things happen, and create success. It never quite felt that we were on the same team.

Don’t get me wrong. I learned a lot working for them too. They just picked up some bad habits on their quest to get things right. They were sabotaging the team by taking on sole responsibility for team success. Truth is, they were sabotaging their leadership too.

Five Ways Leaders Unintentionally Sabotage the Team and One Way Forward

Taking all the meetings

Bet you know leaders who go from meeting to meeting with little time to even go to the bathroom let alone do their job. Moreover, the team can’t reach them for help or insight because they’re always in meetings.

Speaking for other leaders

Most senior leaders are asked for details about issues that are happening on the front line. While you, the leader, have an understanding of it, you’re not the one closest to it. Still, the temptation is to know everything and have every answer, so you speak for the leaders who work for you and hope you’re getting it mostly right.

Giving detailed directions all the time

How else can you get exactly what you want if you don’t tell them exactly what to do? (Hint: lots of ways) The trouble is that you have smart people who work for you that can and want to figure things out. Also, when you dictate the details, you miss out on creativity and alternative paths and solutions.

Treating the team like Tinker Toys™ 

When results are less than optimal, there are leaders who jump in and make changes to team structure, process, and incentives to stimulate increased (and immediate) success. Always tinkering to find the magic combination, the team never has enough time with any one approach to acclimate and determine what’s possible.

Taking your bad day out on the nearest body

A culture of fear may get results, but it won’t get the best from employees or a good reputation in the market. We all know what it feels like when stress reaches a breakpoint; however, blame and raised voices only serve to give people a reason to leave, not to stay.

The Way Forward: If you don’t want to unintentionally sabotage your team (who would want that?) you have to talk to them to get their input and support to make a positive change. It may feel painful and be intimidating to let yourself be vulnerable but never forget, change starts with a relationship.

Schedule a series of 1x1s and ask the following questions:

What do you need from me? Where do you need to grow? (Here’s what I see, what do you see?) Where do I need to grow? (Here’s what I see, what do you see?) How can I best support you?” It’s not too late to change. The key is to do it.

Winning Well Reflection

What a great list from Alli! Look back on our careers, we can see places where we committed some of these self-sabotaging maneuvers. As we reflect on these items, we’re reminded of the need to trust your people. Train them and trust them. Give them power (including the power to get it wrong – within healthy limits) so they can grow.

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Mary Kelly

When Confidence Turns to Arrogance (Mary Kelly)

Winning Well Connection

Why Leaders Fail

Click on the image for more information about Mary’s book.

Mary has been an amazing supporter of David’s from early in his professional speaking career and an amazing friend. As she said on David and my engagement, “I feel like I’m gaining a sister.” 

There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance. When leaders are confident, they have a deep belief in their ability to make a difference in the world. Confidence is an important competency in leadership, and it is critical to a leader’s success. Confidence is motivating and inspirational to others. Confidence empowers people to take risks, be innovative, and pushes the team and organization further ahead.

Arrogance crosses the line of confidence. Arrogant people believe they no longer have a need to learn, grow, or change. They wholeheartedly believe they are right and others are wrong.

Arrogance destroys the valuable, and absolutely essential relationships a leader has with other team members. Even more devastating is the feeling arrogant behavior creates in others. People have no desire or motivation to follow an arrogant leader. Sometimes the arrogance is so repugnant that people cheer when arrogant people fail, even if it means they suffer as well.

If other people agree with arrogant leaders, they are considered by those leaders to be smart and are often favored. If people question an arrogant leader’s decisions or recommendations, they are often labeled as unintelligent or punished. For an arrogant leader, disagreement equals ignorance and disloyalty. When this happens, subordinates and peers learn not to challenge the leader, even when he or she is clearly wrong. Not only do arrogant leaders belittle those who disagree with them, but they often do so in the most condescending and patronizing way possible.

It is difficult to work for an arrogant person, but it is also difficult having one work for you. When people believe they are the smartest, most competent person in the workplace, they frequently fail to follow directions, refuse guidance, and ignore feedback. This destroys both teamwork and productivity.

How can leaders be both confident and humble leaders? From our book, Why Leaders Fail and the 7 Prescriptions for Success, great leaders:

1. Admit and accept when they make mistakes, and they apologize to the team for letting them down.

2. Demonstrate accountability and take responsibility for the actions of their team. They know that “the buck” really does stop here. They give the team credit for the wins while they take responsibility for the failures.

3. Communicate and act in a respectful manner at all times. To everyone. Always. Great leaders are not rude, and they treat others with grace and dignity.

4. Be open-minded and willing to learn something new. Great leaders know they need other people’s wisdom and abilities, and they appreciate the knowledge around them.

5. Show gratitude. Great leaders give praise and recognition to the right people at the right time. Humble leaders habitually recognize great contributions that make a difference. At home, at work, and in their daily routines, great leaders find it easy to say “thank you” and recognize someone for how they make a difference.

6. Practice forgiveness. People make mistakes. If people are not making mistakes, they are not innovating. Great leaders know that they have to learn from mistakes and move on.

7. Ask for honest feedback, and act on it. Great leaders welcome 360 leadership assessments. They want to improve and they seek ways to become even better.

Leadership is not easy. Being a humble and confident leader takes heart as well as ability.

Mary Kelly and Peter Stark are the co-authors of Why Leaders Fail and the 7 Prescriptions for Success. They can be found at Mary@ProductiveLeaders.com and Peter@PeterStark.com.

Winning Well Reflection

Mary has provided such a fantastic list of ways to keep your confidence from bleeding over into arrogance. Most leaders who struggle with confidence worry that they’ll be perceived as arrogant. You won’t – more likely, you’ll be perceived as trustworthy. Thanks, Mary, for the great examples of how to combine confidence and humility to increase your influence and credibility.

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Justin Maust

Refuse to be Offended (Justin Maust)

Winning Well Connection

Justin and I were introduced to one another through a common connection who just knew we needed to know one another based on our values-based approach to leadership. One thing led to another, and in a few weeks, I’m delighted to be keynoting at his  Lead USA event in South Bend, Indiana and simulcast (learn more about the event here).

I’m impressed by Justin’s confident humility–executing on an impressive vision for a rock-star event that grows each year, along with the humility to find new ways to serve.

One simple tactic to give your team an edge.

Sometimes a leader needs to be the hammer. You strike a nail to put it in its proper place so that it can hold a structure together for decades. Other times you need to be the nail. Allow the hammer to strike you so that you can effectively support the structure. It’s impossible for the hammer to hold the structure together alone…the nail is his only hope. It’s also impossible for the nail to have any real impact or value to the home without being struck. Bad hammers ruin good nails. Bad nails get bent over the smallest swings.

Refuse to be offended today. Great leaders must strike the issues that disrupt progress and great team members need to be mature enough to receive the strike. When nails leave their place, the house falls apart. When hammers refuse to swing, nothing gets built. A bent nail eventually gets thrown away. A hammer that refuses to be swung is simply a paperweight.

The Brutal Truth

Taking offense or not taking offense is a choice. Each time a comment is directed at you or each time someone sends an email…you have a choice. We forget that fact. Offense is a choice. It’s a decision to allow yourself to become angry, bitter, resentful, hateful, etc.

What does it mean to take offense? You allowed another human being to get underneath your skin.

Here are the synonyms of the word “offense”:  annoyance, anger, resentment, indignation, irritation, exasperation, wrath, displeasure, animosity, vexation, ill feelings, disgruntlement, rage.

The problem with taking offense is that we think it will make us feel better about the situation. Or that being offended allows us to get back at that person. But the simple truth is this: We are the ones that are harboring all this negative energy.  It’s bottled inside of you. When you allow yourself to become offended, you begin to let anger, resentment, wrath, animosity, indignation to live inside your body. Carry “OFFENSE” inside you long enough and you are sure to show some physical & emotional symptoms due to the stress and pressure that it brings.

The Antidote to Being Offended

When you are offended, you are thinking and focusing on yourself.  When you are offended, you feel as though someone is attacking you personally and it’s easy to let your emotions take over.  The root of offense is PRIDE.  Offense happens because you are thinking too highly of yourself. The ROOT problem of getting OFFENDED by others or being OFFENSIVE to others is PRIDE.

Humility is the antidote that will cure your disease of pride.  In Good to Great, Jim Collins writes about the Level 5 Executive.  Extreme Humility is one of the two character traits of leaders that take their companies from Good to GREAT.  Pat Lencioni writes about humility in his book, The Ideal Team Player.  He says there are three virtues that create the best team members:  Humble, Hungry and Smart.  Out of the three, he says that being HUMBLE is the most important virtue of the three.  Proverbial wisdom even tells you that God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble.

Pride kills team chemistry.  Pride creates silos.  Pride is what causes leaders to think too highly of themselves.  Humility changes your perspective.  Humility causes your focus to go from ME to WE…..from “WHAT DO I THINK IS THE RIGHT STEP?” to “WHAT DO WE THINK IS THE RIGHT STEP?” from “WHAT DECISION WILL MAKE ME LOOK GOOD?” to “WHAT DECISION WILL MAKE US ACHIEVE OUR GOAL?”

A simple “Google” search definition of humility:  A modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness.  As you practice the virtue of humility, you will become less and less offended by others and more and more concerned about helping others and your team succeed.  While this may not be a quick fix, humility allows you and your team to build a dynamic culture that will improve your team’s level of trust, transparency, and ability to solve complicated problems with others.

TAKE ACTION TODAY:

  • What can you do to live and lead with more humility at work and at home?
  • What relationships are at risk due to bitterness and offense?
  • What specific actions using humility can rebuild these key relationships?

Refuse to be offended by choosing to live with humility each day.

Winning Well Reflection

In Winning Well workshops, as leaders lower their guard and begin to discuss the real issues they face every day, one that inevitably comes up is what to do with people who get angry, upset, or offended when you truly haven’t done anything inappropriate. We appreciate Justin’s answer here:  humility. We frequently invite leaders to remember that you are not the center of anyone else’s universe. People’s behavior is generally about them, not about you. The exception, of course, is when you have treated someone inappropriately, broken your word, or hurt someone. Having the humility to own your behavior and apologize is just as important to build trust and enhance your relationships.

Development

Frontline Festival: Leaders Share about Growth and Change

Welcome back to the Let’s Grow Leaders Frontline Festival. This month’s festival is all about growth and change. Thanks to Joy and Tom Guthrie of Vizwerx Group for the great pic and to all our contributors! Next month’s Frontline Festival corresponds to the Winning Well International Symposium. We will run the Frontline Festival as our closing post for the symposium, the week of May 22.  Please share your best blog post that correlates with one of the four Winning Well principles: Confidence, Humility, Results, or Relationships.  Submit your item here by May 15.

Susan Mazza of Random Acts of Leadership shares that understanding your typical personal style of leadership can help you grow as a leader, by guiding your approach to the three fundamental acts of leadership  Speaking Up, Stepping Up, and Standing Up Follow Susan.

Lisa Kohn from Thoughtful Leaders Blog practices Positive Psychology, and is working to be more consistent in its application of the tools and mindsets, and also more equipped to guide clients through it. Get Serious About Your Growth  Follow Lisa.

John Hunter of Curious Cat Management Improvement gives us ways to focus on growing and changing. Our culture seems to encourage the superficial and new even when, as it so often does, it mainly amounts to fooling oneself.  The Road Not Taken    Follow John.

The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.  Ray Kroc

Rachel Blakely of Patriot Software, LLC  advises that as a small business owner, your company will experience huge benefits when you develop leadership skills. Eight Tips for Growing as Leader in Business.  Follow Rachel.

David Grossman of The Grossman Group is focused on leading with respectful authenticity. The Secret Respectfully Authentic Leaders Know. Follow David.

Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership says leading change in an organization is a lot like pouring coffee in a restaurant. You can learn a lot from a professional waiter. Change and the Gentle Pour.   Follow Wally.

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.  John F. Kennedy

Skip Prichard of Leadership Insights is focused on growth to increase my creative side. Many of us don’t think of ourselves as creative – not only are there many types of creativity – but all of us can use hacks to increase our creativity. 23 Hacks to Boost Your Creativity.  Follow Skip.

Chip Bell of ChipBell.com comments: After watching Will Smith in the new movie Collateral Beauty I want to pay more attention to and value the details of my experiences and be more in the moment.  I am an overachiever (a trait I like) and try to maximize productivity (a trait I also like).  But I too often miss the beauty of the cardinal outside my office window or the amaryllis starting to bloom or the pain on the face of the guy who picks up my garbage each week.  I need to remember to ask him a question about his life and thank him for his work.  Follow Chip.

Beth Beutler of H.O.P.E. Unlimited provides a list of 10 Apps, Tools and Resources for Your Professional Development and Inspiration. Follow Beth.

Hold yourself responsible to a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself.  Henry Ward Beecher

Shelley Row of Shelley Row Associates suggests walking a labyrinth to learn leadership discipline. Follow Shelley

According to Sean Glaze of Great Results Teambuilding leaders have a tremendous impact on their organization because the phrases they share with their teams can either produce distrust and apathy or ignite passion and commitment. Follow Sean.

Visme.com contributed the following leadership infographic by Gordon Tredgold of GordonTredgold.com which provides a compilation of 20 Habits of unsuccessful leaders.  Follow Visme.  Follow Gordon. 12 Exalting Phrases Good Leaders Share with their Team.  Follow Sean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Power of Community: Introducing the International Winning Well Leadership Symposium

Southeast Asia is one of the world’s fastest growing regions, yet nearly two-thirds of its executives say their organizations can’t develop leaders fast enough to capitalize on growth. To help bridge the gap, David Dye and I are taking our Winning Well message on tour to Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, and Thailand from late April through late May (more details here).

Highlights include our partnership with Thriving Talents for a L.E.A.D. Mastery Winning Well Masterclass; working with  C-level leaders and keynoting and presenting a C-level forum at the HR Summit & Expo Asia 2017; presenting at the  Asia Professional Speakers Convention 2017 in Singapore, the continent’s premier convention for professional trainers and facilitators; and philanthropic work and visits to our Winning Wells with Together We Can Change the World.

The Winning Well International Symposium

While we’re there, we’ve invited thought leaders from around the world to share their unique Winning Well insights in our Winning Well International Symposium hosted on Let’s Grow Leaders Blog.

What Is The Symposium?

Every weekday for five weeks, well-established thought leaders, award winning authors and speakers will be sharing their perspectives on the fundamental Winning Well principles of Confidence, Humility, Results and Relationships–in the form of blog posts, tools, and videos. We’ll also be including video interviews with Winning Well leaders we meet in Asia, as well as Brian Tracy who will also be keynoting at the HR Asia Summit.

We’re delighted to include thought leaders who’ve become dear colleagues and friends throughout our Winning Well journey. We open each post by sharing a bit about how we know each thought leader, and conclude with additional reflections on how their work aligns with our Winning Well approach to blending the bottom line with the human spirit.

How Do I Sign Up?

The symposium is FREE. If you’re already an LGL subscriber you will receive your normal Tuesday newsletter with links to all the Symposium posts for that week. However, if you would like to receive the insights “hot off the press” each day as they appear, sign up on the sidebar and you will a daily post every weekday for five weeks.   And if you have written a blog post that relates with one of those four themes, our May Frontline Festival is your chance to contribute!

The symposium offers a great exercise to do with your team.  Why not ask them to read each day’s/week’s post and when you next meet, share their favorite points and how they might be applied in your dynamic? Take a photo of your discussion group, send it to Beth@letsgrowleaders.com, and you may see it on our social media feeds!

We encourage conversation and dialogue as we continue to spread our mission of blending the bottom line with the human spirit around the world!

Four Questions to Keep Your Team Focused and Working on What Matters Most

When I look back on my career at Verizon at the times my teams truly knocked it out the park–the times we increased results exponentially and led the Nation in results or had a major turnaround pulling a team out of the abyss, there is one common characteristic. We had the team laser-focused on the one or two critical behaviors that mattered most at the frontline– and they were doing them consistently.

Seems so basic and easy? Right? And yet it’s so easy to get distracted–focusing on the 27 other “critical” metrics on your scorecard, or the merger, or some special project, or…

4 Questions to Keep Your Team Focused on What Matters Most #MindTheMIT

If you’re looking to get your team FOCUSED on what matters most… it starts by IDENTIFYING what matters most. And then, consistently reinforcing those behaviors (as my teams would descirbe “Like a maniac”) through every means possible.

What Matters most?

  • What do our customers really need from us–consistently? (Not 37 things. Pick one or two.)
  • What values have we committed to?
  • When we walk away from our work, what will we be proud to have accomplished?
  • Win or lose, how will we know we’ve done our very best?

Which actions have the most Impact?

  • What are the critical behaviors that drive your results?
  • If we could only do one thing, which behavior would have the greatest impact?
  • What invisible behaviors might we forget? (eg: sleep, time with others, fun)

Where Do I / we need to say No?

  • What are we choosing to do instead of our MIT?
  • How can we make a different choice?
  • What are silly, creative, impossible ways to do things differently?
  • Where do we need to have tough conversations?

How Will I/we stay Disciplined?

  • What are my/our biggest distractions?
  • How can we ensure they don’t derail us?
  • How will we keep the MIT in front of us all the time?
  • How will we hold ourselves accountable for maintaining focus on the MIT?

To make it easier for you to use this tool, you can download it for free here. 

Executive Leadership: One Temptation Most Successful Executives Resist

If you’re an executive (or aspiring to be one) this time I’m writing for you. Not my usual M.O., I usually write for your teams (and how to help them deal with you 😉 But today, I write to you. Why? Because when senior leaders practice winning well behaviors, the culture shifts that much faster– and results not only go up, they stay up– and teams feel excited about what they’re up to.

The Temptation

In a recent conversation, “Mary” a senior leader at a Fortune 15 company shared the moment she “Got it.” That moment when she realized the easy temptation that was holding her back from being the best she could be in her role.

“I had five key functional areas I was responsible for, four of which I understood inside and out because I’d grown up in the business. I was confident in those arenas and showed up strong. But in a National Operations role, I also had responsibility for ‘fleet’–yup, the trucks.”

I thought, “Well, I don’t have to pay too much attention there.  I’ve got people for that. I’ll just concentrate on the aspects of the job where I can truly add value and trust my team to do what needs to be done with the fleet.”

And then one day, my boss, Carl, asked me to come with him to visit one of our garages. He opened the hood and said, “Mary is this oil supposed to be black?” I had no idea. “Mary, do you know why it matters?” Nope. “Mary, what’s the number one priority for the fleet department?” That I knew, thank God, “Safety, ” I shared confidently.

Carl continued, “I need you to go find out and understand the impact black oil has on safety. And, Mary, you can’t avoid learning about parts of this role just because you don’t like them. You’ve got to know enough to be able to inspect what’s going on.”

5 Things You Must Know About Every Functional Area You Oversee

As an executive, your job is all about strategy and execution across a large scope and scale. And like Mary, you likely have five or so functional areas you oversee. And if you’re like most execs we work with, there’s one area you particularly dislike. Yes, it starts with what Jim Collins calls “Getting the right people on the bus.” But to really rock your role as an executive, you also need to know every aspect of your role enough at least well enough to discern the following:

  1. What the data is really saying.
    When you’re not close to the business it’s easy to look at a good metric and say “Hmmm, looks great.” Take the time to dig past the averages and look at the outliers to know what’s really going on.
  2. What’s possible.
    The folks on your team who’ve been doing this forever may overlook new approaches because of they’re comfortable with the way things have always been done.  More about my experience with that here in my executive sales role at Verizon.
  3. Who’s crushing it.
    A key part of your role is ensuring the right people are recognized and rewarded for their contributions. See also: 5 Reasons Your Recognition is Backfiring
  4. The right questions.
    Asking the right questions will serve you well for two reasons: they encourage your team to think more strategically and come up with more creative solutions; AND, the better questions you ask, the more you’ll learn.
  5. Where the business is most vulnerable.
    If you’re not well-versed in an area, it’s easy to miss the “black oil.” Be sure you’re having the “own the ugly” conversations in every aspect of your business.

Are you (or do you work for) a Winning Well executive?

We would love to interview you as part of our Winning Well research. Please let me know if you (or an executive you know) would be willing to chat. 443 750 1249.