Michael Canic is the President of Making Strategy Happen, and Bridgeway Leadership, a strategy and execution consultant, speaker, and author. His book, Ruthless Consistency: How Committed Leaders Execute Strategy, Implement Change, and Build Organizations That Win, is a practical guide to implementing an intuitive yet comprehensive model for success in any organization. He joins Marcel Schwantes to discuss his book and how to apply its principles to your business in these unprecedented times.
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- Michael talks about the experience of winning the college football National Championship with the University of British Columbia in Canada. “Having a group of people with that intense shared focus on a common goal, and ensuring that, as coaches, we aligned everything to support achieving that goal was a tremendously gratifying experience,” he shares, “and that can be applied to any organization.” [3:01]
- Marcel asks Michael what happens when leaders are inconsistent. Michael responds, “It’s when leaders trumpet excellence but tolerate mediocrity, or when they say we’ll fly to the moon but don’t give their teams the resources to get there,” he says. The mixed messages kill leaders’ credibility and undermine efforts. [5:45]
- Strategic planning often focuses more on the planning part, and less on putting the plan into action. Michael says leaders should focus on executing the plan to get the desired results. [8:08]
- Many people often confuse confidence with arrogance. Confidence is good and healthy, but arrogance is a detriment to your leadership. The antidote to arrogance is realizing and accepting that you’re not the purpose, you only facilitate it, Michael notes. “If you’re leading but no one is following you, you’re just going for a walk,” he quotes. [11:26]
- Michael defines culture as “a byproduct of the processes we create, the practices we employ, and the interactions and conversations we have.” He describes the effects that inconsistency has on employees. [14:04]
- Leaders must be coaches and not managers. “The difference is that coaches take responsibility for the performance of their people,” Micheal states. “Managers just say ‘Here’s your job, do it,’ and then come back to evaluate performance a year later.” Leaders need to make sure they are regularly giving people meaningful feedback and guidance about their performance. Additionally, leaders help create the right environment by holding people accountable. [17:09]
- Valuing people is about respect, trust, and care. You engage people at a deeper level when they feel as though you respect them, trust them, and care about them as individuals. “[Now] more than ever, it is critical that leaders consistently convey that they value their people as human beings and not as objects of productions,” Micheal adds. [20:03]
- While having skills and experience is the ideal, we need to look at people’s traits as well before we hire them. Having the traits to be successful make up for lack of experience or skills. [22:44]
- “Right now, we have a great need for leadership at all levels and in all kinds of institutions,” Michael observes. “I implore people to be aware that the higher calling of leadership is not just for today, but for the future as well.” [26:18]
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