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Inspired Leadership by Kevin Gaskell

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Chapter 9Be Better First, Then Bigger

Figure explaining the term “CONNECT” that includes three parts: 1.Prepare for success; 2. Everyone creates change; and 3. Sustain momentum. First part indicating the term “BEGIN AT THE END” by connecting your vision to how you behave as a team by describing success in 360 degrees. First two parts are indicating the term “A SIMPLE PLAN” by focusing on the projects and priorities that make your vision real by creating your 1000-day plan. Third part indicating the term “DON'T BE A GENIUS, MAKE A GENIUS” by uncovering creativity that you team did not know they had by creating ways for bright ideas to flourish. Last two parts indicating the term “BE BETTER, THEN BIGGER” by inspiring a world-class team by emphasizing quality, not profit.

Companies often chase an arbitrary number when they think of their plan for the future. They try to grow sales to $100 million, or earn net profits of 12%, for example. I tell the teams I lead not to do that. Instead, focus on being better, and bigger will follow.

The dream of being world class at your job, whether that job is running the company or answering the telephone, has meaning and power for everyone. But you can't inspire a team just by targeting profit or market share or ROCE or RONA or any other management buzzword, because for most team members those are meaningless, abstract ideas that make very little difference to how they live and work.

So far, we have emphasized that inspired teams work best when they are striving to be the best. But, what is “best”? We might assume that everyone we work with shares our idea of terms like quality and world class.

In this chapter, I'll explain a little about the dimensions of quality that I experience. At the end of it you can apply those ideas to your team, because defining what “better” means to you can fundamentally change how team members view work. Being the best you can be should not be an abstract goal, but an inspiring way to live and work.

Being Better is a State of Mind

Chasing market share without improving quality is less than a zero-sum game. You sell harder, offer discounts ...

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