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Pascal Dennis

Pascal Dennis: Character & Competence = Breakthrough

By Pascal Dennis, - Last updated: Saturday, November 6, 2010 - Save & Share - Leave a comment

Respect for people entails core mental models that are something like:

·         People are basically decent and, treated with respect, will do the right thing.
·         Everybody deserves a chance & most people have valuable, knowledge, insights & experience.
·         Leaders are responsible for building capability – of machinery, methods, material streams, and most of all, people

As Orrie points out so well, you can’t fake it.  Eventually, people sniff out phonies & tune out.

Respect for people, therefore, reflects the ethical quality of leadership.

Respect for people is also good business — it creates the bond that drives continuous improvement.

The unspoken bargain in companies that practice respect for people goes something like this:

Team member: “I will show up for work on time.  I’ll work to our standards (and raise my hand when I can’t.)  And I’ll help you to improve.

Why?  Because I trust you to do the right thing by me.”

Leader: “I’ll give you the tools, training and time to do your work, to help us improve, and to help you develop.  I’ll also do everything within my power to provide stable, satisfying employment.”

Here’s another expression of “respect for people” – in the context of strategy & Purpose.

Leader: “I’ll connect our company’s activities to a broader humane & noble purpose.

Why?  Because this will give our lives meaning.”

Steve Jobs defines Apple’s purpose as follows:  “To make a ding in the universe…”

A vivid hoshin, in my view.

Is he thereby showing respect for people?  Yes, I believe he is.

And is it good business?

Consider Macintosh, MacPro, Ipod, Iphone, Ipad….

How else has he been able to motivate his team to such heights?

For what it’s worth, my peak work experiences have always coincided with the above conditions.

Other data points (e.g. companies we’ve worked with over the years) reinforce the hypothesis.

Respect for people is the engine of continuous improvement

Cautionary note: respect for people is necessary, but not sufficient.

You also need to develop simple, effective management systems that express it.

Steve Jobs is a visionary — and a consummate manager & designer.

Character & Competence = Breakthrough?

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