The Project Notebook

Leadership Quotes – Part II (10/23)


Leading at a higher level is therefore a process. We define it as the process of achieving worthwhile results while acting with respect, care, and fairness for the well being of all involved.

In high performing organizations, everyone’s energy is focused on not just one bottom line, but three bottom lines — being the provider of choice, the employer of choice, and the investment of choice.

Ken Blanchard, Leading at a Higher Level

These three bottom lines are the trifecta for success. For some, they also become the triple constraints of success. Master all three and you will be successful. Master just one or two, and the journey to success will be longer and more difficult.

If you are the provider of choice and the investment of choice, assuming you are not within a very small and limited market, you will not have to worry about revenues or investment unless you cannot deliver the products or services because you are not an employer of choice and have difficulty keeping staff.

You may have the best staff in the work and have incredible business partners, but unless there is investment or sales, you will not be able to sustain them.

Here are a few simple things one can do to increase success in each of these areas.

Employer of Choice
I’ve always found that when seeking employment, if all other factors are equal, prospective employees will tend to join companies and work with teams where there are clear roles and responsibilities, and specific goals they know they can achieve. This gets them in the door. To maintain them, you need to develop a means by which you involve them in increasingly more challenging work so they can learn and grow. This will require some support of professional development in addition to ongoing mentoring and coaching. Obviously people are looking to be fairly compensated, so maintaining compensation around the norms for your industry and positions is important.

Provider of Choice
I’ve found another book from the Blanchard Group, Raving Fans has some of the best advice here — find out what your customers want, then deliver plus one — in other words, meet their needs and exceed their expectations.

Investment of Choice
Just as specific details help secure employees, a strong and detailed business plan, followed through, and supported by transparent reporting is one of the best ways I know to attract investors.

If you are the average company, it will be important to focus on all three. Obviously if you excel in some area (e.g. you’ve invented the next generation iPhone and everyone is going to need it), you may be able to garner more benefits in some areas which you can use to manage and invest in the others.

Through a cycle of continuous improvement in each of these areas, you will be able to take your project team or company to a higher level.

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© 2010-2012 Ray W. Frohnhoefer, MBA, PMP, CCP