Category Archives: Leadership

Just a Stack of Coins …

41 Cents Leadership – The placing of a quarter, dime, nickel, and penny in your pocket as consistent reminders of the importance of expressing appreciation to and appreciating expression of the individuals on your team.  Transfer one coin to the other pocket each time you meaningfully connect with someone on your team through expressing appreciation or appreciating their individual expression. The goal … to transfer each of those coins at least once each day!

Now, on to a leadership principle …Take a look at the quarter, dime, nickel, and penny. Stack them with the largest on the bottom, then the next largest, the next, and the final coin. Obviously you would have the quarter on the bottom, then the nickel, the penny, and finally the dime on top.

There’s a few takeaways with this simple picture …

The quarter is the most valuable contributor to the total 41 cents. It supports the rest of the team. But it’s on the bottom! Often times our strongest contributors aren’t necessarily the people you see at first glance. You have to look a little deeper to see the real picture. Who are those people on your team that are key strengths to the entire organization? Take some time today to appreciate their contributions!

Think of that stack of coins as your organizational chart. Arranged by size, the coins do not align with actual value. Just because someone is in a certain layer of the chart or has a certain title on their name placard, doesn’t necessarily indicate their overall contribution to the organization. Right now, you can probably identify people that are higher on the organizational chart, but contribute very little to the health and productivity of the organization. And conversely, you can readily identify people lower on that same organizational chart that contribute significantly more than their role would indicate. Don’t allow a job title to be your filter of assessment. Look more closely at each individual – their strengths, their uniqueness, their character. Take some time to appreciate their contributions – regardless of where they are on the organizational chart!

One final thought and I’ll let you go …

The most stable structure for these coins is in the arrangement you are looking at right now. Imagine if the dime stack were reversed … Now consider the pressures that an organization faces in today’s economic climate. There are the ever-increasing pressures to produce more with less, to beat last year’s metric by a strong 10%, and to properly position the organization for the next round of changes. Our people in the right places on the team is integral to our success! If you place those same pressures on a team where several people are not in the right fit, it is likely you will see failure or underachievement at best! Take the time needed to appreciate the expression of individuals on your team. Are they in the right places? If they are, continue to grow them there. If not, it’s time to make some strategic shifts.

Go! Lead! Be bold in your leadership! This world needs difference makers!

I would love to hear what thoughts you might derive from this simple illustration. I’m sure there are some great thoughts out there! Thanks for checking in …


Fit Trumps Size

You’ve got the quarter, dime, nickel, and penny in your pocket.  They are consistent reminders of the importance of expressing appreciation and appreciating expression (individuality) in your team.  As you go to transfer one of the coins after a meaningful exchange with one of your team members, you reach into your pocket and grab the quarter.  Take a look at that quarter and consider this …

The quarter is just 13.5% larger than the nickel but is a whopping 500% more valuable!  And what about comparison to that penny? It is only 21.5% larger than the penny but a staggering 2500% more valuable.  People’s “size” of value to the organization may be quite similar.  People may have a similar position, similar educational backgrounds, even similar career histories.  But one may be an exponentially better “fit” than the other for a particular task, project, or role – that person may, like the quarter as compared to the nickel or penny, bring the organization considerably more productivity.

I will explore this principle further in future postings, but FIT trumps SIZE all day long in our organizations!  Get to know the people around you and how they are wired.  Move them into the best fit possible so they can do what they do best everyday!  The organization will benefit exponentially!

What are your thoughts?  I would love to hear some examples of how you’ve seen this principle play out!  Thanks much for checking in.