Mandatory Greatness: One Sentence Is Worth A Thousand Meetings
NOTE: This is a book excerpt with minor edits from Mandatory Greatness: The 12 Laws Of Driving Exceptional Performanceby J.T. O'Donnell and Dale Dauten. One sentence is worth a thousand meetings. “I saved for last a line that’s just right for you. There’s a simple sentence that can guide a department. You remember I told you about Prometric, the company that does professional qualification testing around the world?” “I remember you told me the story of a star employee, Holly Dance.” “Exactly. I also met at Prometric an inspired young man, James Lee, who told me of the time he took over Prometric’s help desk – the people who get the calls whenever there’s a problem with administering a test, anywhere in the world. The tests are almost all on computers, so Lee’s staff was seen, in his words, as ‘tech geeks solving problems.’ "But Lee redefined the group. After all, these are people taking tests like the CPA exam, something they’ve spent months or years preparing for. Every technical problem was a matter of people taking-or-not-taking an exam, one that might determine the course of their professional lives. So he started saying, ‘We save the candidates.’ Then, he started calling the people in the department ‘guardian angels.’ “So he gave the people who worked on the help desk a new choice: Which would you rather spend your days doing, solving tech problems or saving candidates? Being a geek or a guardian angel? “He didn’t say so, but I’ll bet there were people who didn’t want the new label, who didn’t want the pressure of working at the ‘angel’ level, people who didn’t understand that ‘pressure is a privilege.’ And I bet they found new jobs. Meanwhile, speaking of new jobs, I just heard that James got a major promotion, heading a larger group and got a VP title to go with it." Yvonne sat up straighter and I knew she was set to deliver a juicy comment. “And here’s where it gets really good: When you redefine the group and its work, you take leadership and give it out, give it to everyone on the team. The team is pre-led because the thought-process has been pre-thought. And that’s how this becomes true: One right sentence is worth a thousand meetings.” I loved that idea. Pre-led. Mandatory Greatness is presented as a conversation between a high-powered business coach, Yvonne Wolfe (described as having “skirts of steel”), and a young manager who won a day of her coaching in a charity raffle. She observes him in his work, then offers a stark and startling analysis of him and his approach to his job: By imitating other managers he is making himself “a commodity product” destined for “inadvertent mediocrity.” She then teaches him to remake himself into a highly-valued teammate and a true leader using The 12 Laws of Driving Exceptional Performance.

Watch This Webinar!

Watch this special presentation on these 12 Laws of Driving Exceptional Performance. Presenters: J.T. O'Donnell and Dale Dauten, authors of Mandatory Greatness: The 12 Laws Of Driving Exceptional Performance.   WATCH NOW ►   Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Get Some Leverage
Sign up for The Work It Daily Newsletter
Follow
Woman talks to her boss about resetting work expectations
Bigstock

In my last article, I talked about an example of someone who was working 60 hours a week and then went through a big life event (like having a baby) and now only wants to work 40 hours a week. If you're in the same boat, how can you reset work expectations with your boss and still get a good performance review?

Read moreShow less
Manager conducts a work training
Bigstock

How do you know if you understand something?

I am a non-technical person working in an IT company. My colleagues will often tell me something technical. Sometimes I understand what they are saying. Sometimes I have no idea what they are talking about. Sometimes I think I understand what they are telling me when they are telling me, but then later I realize that I don’t understand it at all.

Read moreShow less
Featured