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The Art of Strategic Leadership by Stephanie S. Mead, Steven J. Stowell

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Chapter 13The Art of Strategic Leadership

The Rest of the Story

“It's not for the faint of heart,” Alex said to his team as they looked back over their three-year campaign to reshape the Dallas plant. “Every one of you has invested thousands of hours and untold quantities of emotional and physical energy in this endeavor. But I think we all agree: the results have been worth it.” By every measure, Dallas exceeded everyone's expectations: Market share increased, customer loyalty was near 100 percent, the quality and safety programs were working, a money-making recycling system significantly reduced scrap, and attrition improved. Most importantly, profitability, the metric that carried the most weight with headquarters, was way up.

To be fair, Chicago made progress, too, but it seemed that Dallas was outperforming its Midwest counterpart. Sara occasionally passed on reports that her former colleagues in Chicago shared with her, but these were always too general for Alex and the team to draw meaningful conclusions from them. Regardless, the quarterly corporate reports broke the numbers out by region, and Dallas consistently led Chicago in total volume, orders, customer satisfaction, safety, and other critical benchmarks. The strategy Alex and his team had put in place was paying off. And although they knew that there was more untapped potential in Dallas, Alex was sure that Melissa and Victor were taking notice. Three years in, Alex was cautiously optimistic that what Dallas had ...

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