It’s the perennial leadership question. There is something different about some organizations, something that helps them outperform others and even exceed their own goals.
What does it take to be an extraordinarily
In his book, Building the Bridge As You Walk On it, Robert Quinn says that these “extraordinarily positive” organizations can be called highly “productive communities.” In these communities, people find that they can contribute and excel.
What makes highly productive communities different?
During a visit to one extraordinary organization, a group of managers described the impact of several extraordinary people. These were people who had influenced the organization very significantly. They had inspired others to achieve at higher-than-dreamed levels.
“So what do they do?” the researcher asked. Quinn says that there was a long silence. Finally one director said, “That’s the wrong question.”
I like that. To ask first about what they do is to ask the wrong question. That question points us to look for behaviors, techniques, practices, and habits. It’s the dream of everyone concerned about leadership. “Tell me what I need to do!” We want the three-point short-list, the seven-part formula, the 87 irrefutable keys to successful leadership, the “formula” that we can apply. If we could only find out what these extraordinary people do we could then capture it, teach it, and through imitation gain that same performance advantage for ourselves.