In his new book, author Stan Slap calls upon years of experience with industry-leading companies to show how adherence to integrity and values builds great leaders at all levels.
One of the most persistent myths of corporate life is that pursuing the bottom line inevitably means compromising integrity or values. In Bury My Heart at Conference Room B: The Unbeatable Impact of Truly Committed Managers, author Stan Slap argues that this kind of sacrifice is not only unnecessary, but counterproductive. True leaders, Slap contends, are not just intellectually and financially committed to their work, they are emotionally committed as well - and they inspire this commitment in others.
This is not simply Utopian philosophizing. Slap illustrates his points with concrete examples from his years of consulting experience with clients such as EMC, HP, Rhino Records, SAS, Quad/Graphics and others, and then goes on to enumerate a step-by-step process to bring integrity into the workplace.
The process begins with recognizing the values that are most important to you personally. Slap outlines a series of exercises, such as listing and defining 50 values you hold, then winnowing those down to 10, five and, finally, three that are most aligned with your organization's goals. The next step involves selling these values to the staff and, if necessary, other executives.
To implement your program, you need to develop a performance-based compensation structure that rewards behaviors and attitudes that support your primary values. By appealing to the deeply held values of her subordinates, Slap argues, a manager can ignite the deep loyalty and vital energy necessary to enact her vision for her team.
If there is a single message conveyed by the book, it is this: Lead your own life first. Leadership, Slap contends, happens when you know your own values and enroll others in supporting them. "The sooner you start to practice leadership," he writes, "the sooner your personal values will start to be realized."
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