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Apr 10 14

Get Stuck Leaders Above The Line

by The Authors

We all fall Below The Line—on issues, tasks, projects, Key Results or even in relationships—usually more often than we’re willing to admit. No, it’s not wrong to fall Below The Line; it’s human nature. However, it is also totally and completely ineffective to stay there. One individual stuck Below The Line can negatively impact the performance of an entire team. One leader stuck Below The Line can negatively impact the performance of an entire organization for years.

We recently worked with the CEO of a midsized financial services company who allowed himself to get stuck Below The Line in the middle of a culture change effort. At the very time he was asking his direct reports to take greater ownership for developing innovative solutions and achieving new levels of results, he was amplifying his highly directive, often dictatorial, management style. The obvious contradiction seemed apparent to everyone but him despite repeated attempts at counseling and coaching. Not surprisingly, the culture change effort languished until the CEO finally recognized and corrected his Below The Line attitude and behavior. Even then it took months before the CEO’s direct reports began to cautiously emerge from their “command and control” response stations to embrace the risk-taking, critical thinking, candid communication, and creative problem solving that was required to change the company’s culture and future. Today the company is making slow, but steady progress.

Getting stuck Below The Line produces only one outcome: undesirable results. When a leader gets stuck Below The Line, the breadth and depth of those undesirable results become magnified and even entrenched. If you are the leader of a team or organization and want to “Change the Culture” and “Change the Game” in your company and industry, make sure you stay Above The Line and model the specific changes you want to see in your direct reports and everyone else in the organization. Culture changes one person and one team at a time—so begin with yourself and your team. To learn more about how to not be stuck Below The Line and help others get Above The Line, join our Accountability Community at

Below The Line, Above The Line, and Accountability Community are all registered trademarks of Partners In Leadership.

Apr 3 14

Creating Customer Experiences

by The Authors

The beliefs your customers hold shape the purchasing decisions they make, and those beliefs won’t change unless you create new experiences for them. Customer experiences shape customer beliefs, customer beliefs determine customer buying decisions, and customer buying decisions favor your organization or its competitors.

Here’s a case in point. The CEO of a client organization in the healthcare industry approached one of his disgruntled customers with a simple message: “I know you’ve developed some rather negative beliefs about us over the past few months, and I’m here to find out exactly what those beliefs are so that we can change them.” After the surprised customer delivered a detailed description of her beliefs and the experiences that had created them, the CEO surprised her again by saying, “These are not the beliefs we want you to hold, so we’re going to create a whole new set of experiences for you—experiences that will change your negative beliefs about us.” For the next several minutes the CEO discussed the new experiences that he and his organization planned to create in a determined effort to change the customer’s beliefs. What ensued in the weeks that followed was a dramatic, positive turnaround in the customer’s beliefs.

Is there a shift in beliefs that you need to make with one or more of your customers? If the answer is yes, then begin by identifying the result you’d like to achieve with your customer. Write it down. Next identify the beliefs your customer currently holds that might prevent you from achieving your desired result and ask yourself, What are the beliefs I want my customer to hold? This step may require one or more in-depth discussions with your customer. Then identify the new experiences that you will need to create for your customer in order to shift his or her beliefs. Finally implement the new experiences and test for movement.

Creating new customer experiences is the key to shifting or changing customer beliefs—and customer buying decisions. To learn more about how to change the beliefs of people inside and outside your organization, we invite you to join the Accountability Community where you can review actual client case studies.

Accountability Community is a registered trademark of Partners In Leadership, Inc.

Mar 20 14

Measure It—To Improve It

by The Authors

What gets measured gets done. Whenever you set personal, team, or organizational goals and objectives, make sure the results you expect to achieve are crystal clear for everyone involved. Once your desired results are clearly identified, measure progress toward achievement of those desired results on a regular basis. Of course, progress toward some results is easier to measure than others—tracking revenue or profit is easier than tracking customer satisfaction or employee engagement. Nonetheless, the principle stands: if you don’t measure it, you won’t improve it.

In our work with clients on Accountability Training, Leadership Development, and Results Achievement, we often deal with questions such as: How do you measure accountability? How do you measure alignment? How do you measure commitment and engagement? How do you measure empowerment? or How do you measure the culture stuff? To find our answers, go to our Partners In Leadership website to find out how we help clients establish Key Results for increasing revenue and profit or achieving strategic initiatives, such as customer satisfaction and employee engagement. Then click on Assessments or click on this link to discover how we help clients measure progress toward building greater accountability, alignment, and commitment for achieving those Key Results.

We offer complimentary assessments on our website to help you determine how well you, your team, and your organization demonstrate the principles and best practices of accountability as presented in The New York Times bestsellers The Oz Principle; Change the Culture, Change the Game; and How Did That Happen? You can use these assessments to find out how well your team or organization is practicing the principles of results-focused accountability by selecting the assessment you want, sending a link to all of your team members, and then viewing the results. You can also compare your team’s score to other teams or to the general population of assessment respondents. Yes, desired results such as building greater accountability can be measured, so start measuring it today.

Accountability Training is a registered trademark of Partners In Leadership, Inc.