15th June 2015
A very tired cliché from a dead European philosopher or an Eastern sage is a sure sign that the owner of a tedious presentation is grasping at the coat tails of gravitas or desperately trying to find a candle in the dark. So I’m in dangerous territory as I attempt to draw your attention to a quote from Mahatma Gandhi which I think you may know. And, no it’s not the tedious one about being the change…….
“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.”
I am drawn to the emphasis on positivity but more interestingly the sequence which he delineates. It is that “your habits become your values” that intrigues me. Often in my work with leaders the sequence is more likely to be something like get clear on your values, get clear on how they should play out in the business, clearly communicate these and engage with purpose. We are emphasising the expression of values as the start point but what Gandhi is emphasising is a different sequence that concludes with values and ultimately destiny. The key steps being ….behaviour to habit…….habit to values.
So there is a big question to reflect on here :-
If we gathered up the examples of our actions with staff, with customers, with suppliers what would they say to others? In the process of such a reflection it makes me think that there are a small number of actions that define our values and the these take on the importance of moments of truth. So what could be the actions you could take in the coming weeks that would speak volumes and embody such values as a willingness to go the extra mile, to stand shoulder to shoulder and to act with great integrity? This is a much more challenging road to walk but very probably a richer one – in more ways than one.
“This isn’t an initiative, this isn’t a programme. Eric has helped us create our own unique way of raising the bar on service and keeping us ahead of the competition.”
Greig Brown, CEO, Europa Bilfinger Services.
“This was the first time a newly formed senior leadership team had taken time out to consider strategy, leadership and developing the company. Everyone benefitted from the straight forward and focused approach taken by Eric. OES is a privately owned SME and Eric was chosen specifically for his background in working with this business sector. There was no ‘business school’ terminology nor did Eric try to make us into something we are not. He was there to facilitate, assist, guide, prompt and instruct when required. The open approach worked extremely well across a diverse team with varying levels of leadership experience. The outputs of a strategic plan, leadership actions and longer term goals are now being actively pursued.”
Euan Lockhart CEO of OES Oilfield Services
Unlike other consultants, you can actually see Eric’s effect! It’s real and it improves not only the service but the business performance as well. He also has the ability to engage with people at all levels in the company and that was a major impact in helping to make the connection between their behaviour and outstanding service.
Chris Nugent, Managing Director, Palmaris
The work we did on sharing our leadership agendas was a massive step forward. We would never have done this ourselves. You enabled us to look at ourselves and each other. We were then much more able to communicate openly and comfortably about the way ahead for all of us. You didn’t theorise about it but brought it back to individual experiences and applications.
Everyone values the personal and private nature of the one to ones – they have helped enormously.
Lindsay Campbell, Managing Director, Grant Management
I have known and worked with Eric for many years. He intimately understands the challenges and realities of achieving growth and change in small to medium sized businesses.
We particularly value his perspectives on the need for organisational change if you are to achieve successful strategy implementation – and, of course, on how to make that change happen. The nub of the issues is, of course, leadership and the strategies and tactics that management teams need to adopt in order to achieve successful change. Eric excels in working with boards and senior management teams to plan and implement strategic change – making a positive impact both on how the team operates and the leadership behaviour of individual team members.
Bill Loch, Strategic Development Director, Asco Ltd
Created over many years and continually updated these programmes are unique. Unique because they help you to create your distinctive way of operating, delivering value for your customers and leading your people.
The most challenging aspect of any business is making strategic changes. That’s what Eric Flannigan supports and excels at, he has helped scores of company leaders make change happen.