First Among Equals

by Don Frick

By 1991, George SanFacon was weary of mediocrity and isolation in the workplace. He had worked as a cook, mechanic, custodian, engineer, trainer, teacher, painter, and consultant. Everywhere, he saw a lack of community and few efforts to meet human needs. “Mediocrity not only sabotaged the desired outcomes of organizations,” says George, “but created a killing field of the human spirit.”5

Now he was director of Housing Facilities at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, a department with several hundred employees, and he felt even more isolated. His people did their jobs well but were reluctant ...

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