Brutal Facts and Tribes

I cannot believe how quickly I have immersed myself back into the day-to-day routine since being back from my sabbatical. The good news is I do not find myself getting as anxious about all that I have to do. It is amazing how fast I got back into the swing of things. I call it plunging…ha-ha!

Our quarterly and 2010 planning meetings, held a couple of weeks ago, were successful on many levels. It was interesting to listen to each of the division managers dissect their historical data and come up with questions debated by our management team. There were robust discussions as we developed tactics for new strategies. We believe through the process of rigorous review, we will address the needs of our customers, all the while, recognizing that the current economy and health care reform debates have created a level of uncertainty that will impact our company and clients…good or bad. Who knows what will happen at this juncture, however, we hope that in the end, the right decisions will be made to get our country back on track.

In reflection, I am finding that leading in these uncertain times is a little tricky. Leaders must have tremendous resolve, yet be willing to face the “BRUTAL FACTS” of their current situation. This line is a favorite of mine in Jim Collins’ book, Good to Great. If you are a believer of his research findings, you realize how important it is to understand the relevance of these two words. I feel strongly that as leaders, we are tasked with this responsibility to face the BRUTAL FACTS. As we developed business strategies, the outcome we wanted to achieve was one that would provide opportunities for growth and avoid missteps that could take us in directions that were not consistent with the resolve to remain viable.

I have come to realize over the years, that in remaining optimistic, I also must be realistic. I have to find ways to paint the picture and provide the vision for our company’s future so that our employees remain focused and committed. All the while trying to push forward, find the right answers and take the right next steps in order to keep our Work Tribe together. I use the word Tribe intentionally after recently viewing a YouTube video of Seth Godin talking about his new book, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us. He identifies the three key Tribes that have remained constant over time–Church, Work and Community. I agree with this philosophy and found it interesting listening to the countless examples of how Tribes function, especially in respect to how it relates to messaging and branding your company. He details in his book has a short historical overview on how TV was used to create brand awareness in the past and how social media is changing all this overnight. Given that I find myself struggling with all the new ways to reach our customers and position ourselves in both our messaging and branding, I thought it would be worthwhile to attach this link for those of you who might be interested in hearing what he has to say. Click here to view the video. Enjoy and keep dreaming!