High On Value, Low On Ego

Greatness appears in many forms. It’s attractive, it has presence and power. It sharpens your senses and makes you focus. It’s too precious to miss. I experienced such alertness when I interviewed a successful executive this week. Here is what he told me in response to the question: “how were you able to overcome and remediate the ‘blame culture’ you inherited along with many other organizational challenges and lead your organization through such rapid growth and breakthrough achievements?”

“We cultivated a simple management mindset: the business is first, our people are second and we, the managers, are last. We are here as managers to facilitate the business, to enable our teams do the job we ask them to do, and to respond to what the business demands. We are high on value and results and low on ego. The environment that I like to work in is one where if I say something stupid you should be prepared to tell me so. Don’t let the business suffer because I happen to have a title. You can influence and lead without a title. The need of the business is the leader.”

He added: “When I came in I had two options: to do it right or to do it right now. I have chosen to do it right. It has taken time. As managers, all we do is align action. We align that action through communication. Excellence is in how we communicate, how we make ourselves understood, how we provide feedback and reveal disconnects. We have chosen to put the business first, to be high on value, low on ego.”

Greatness is always nearby, it is inside you and in the person next to you, if you can identify it.

© Aviv Shahar

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