Too often we measure everything and understand nothing. The three most important things you need to measure in a business are customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and cash flow. If you're growing customer satisfaction, your global market share is sure to grow, too. Employee satisfaction gets you productivity, quality, pride, and creativity. And cash flow is the pulse""the key vital sign of a company.
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Shareholder value is the result of you doing a great job, watching your share price go up, your shareholders win, and dividends increasing. What happens when you have increasing shareholder value? You're delivering better employees to their communities and they can give back. Communities are winning because employees are involved in mentoring and all these other things. Customers are winning because you're providing them new products.
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There are only three measurements that tell you nearly everything you need to know about your organization's overall performance: employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow...It goes without saying that no company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it...
Celebrating creates an atmosphere of recognition and positive energy. Imagine a team winning the World Series without champagne spraying everywhere. And yet companies win all the time and let it go without so much as a high five. Work is too much a part of life not to recognize moments of achievement. Make a big deal out of them. If you don't, no one will.
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Public hangings are teaching moments. Every company has to do it. A teaching moment is worth a thousand CEO speeches. CEOs can talk and blab each day about culture, but the employees all know who the jerks are. They could name the jerks for you. It's just cultural. People just don't want to do it.
In order to lead a country or a company, you've got to get everybody on the same page and you've got to be able to have a vision of where you're going. America can't have a vision of health care for everybody, green economy, regulations - can't have a bunch of piece-meal activities. It's got to have a vision.
There are advantages to being the chairman. One of my favorite perks was picking out an issue and doing what I called a "deep dive." It's spotting a challenge where you think you can make a difference one that looks like it would be fun and then throwing the weight of your position behind it. Some might justifiably call it "meddling." I've often done this just about everywhere in the company.
Innovation is not a big breakthrough invention every time. Innovation is a constant thing. But if you don't have an innovative company [team], coming to work everyday to find a better way, you don't have a company[team]. You're getting ready to die on the vine. You're always looking for the next innovation, the next niche, the next product improvement, the next service improvement. But always trying to get better.
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What's important at the grocery store is just as important in engines or medical systems. If the customer isn't satisfied, if the stuff is getting stale, if the shelf isn't right, or if the offerings aren't right, it's the same thing. You manage it like a small organization. You don't get hung up on zeros.
I am often asked if leaders are born or made. The answer, of course, is both. Some characteristics, like IQ and energy, seem to come with the package. On the other hand, you learn some leadership skills, like self-confidence, at your mother's knee, and at school, in academics and sports. And you learn others at work-trying something, getting it wrong and learning from it, or getting it right and gaining the self-confidence to do it again, only better.
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The quality of an idea does not depend on its altitude in the organization...An idea can be from any source. So we will search the globe for ideas. We will share what we know with others to get what they know. We have a constant quest to raise the bar, and we get there by constantly talking to others.
Some think that it is cruel or brutal to remove the bottom 10 percent of our people. It isn't. It's just the opposite. What I think is brutal and "false kindness" is keeping people around who aren't going to grow and prosper. There's no cruelty like waiting and telling people late into their careers that they don't belong - just when the options are limited and they're putting their children through college or paying off big mortgages.
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Too many people believe that one big, public success will solve their self-confidence problems forever. That only happens in the movies. In real life, the opposite strategy is what works. Call it the small victo-ries approach. In time you will discover that all failing really does teach you something you needed to know- so you can regroup and stretch again, with ever more...nerve.
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We know where most of the creativity, the innovation, the stuff that drives productivity lies-in the minds of those closest to the work. It's been there in front of our noses all along while we've been running around chasing robots and reading books on how to become Japanese-or at least manage like them.