Fix Workplace Attitude Problems by Focusing on Values

Do you or someone you work with suffer from a case on the Mondays…all week?  Do they have a disruptively negative attitude? Have they “checked out”?

Here at Cleaver, we help leaders work with what is ubiquitously known as “attitude problems” (their own or their team’s) quite a bit in our development coaching.  While sometimes it seems silly to worry about attitude problems when dealing with adults in business, the truth is that attitude – though hard to quantify – has very real consequences on individual and organizational success.

But instead of focusing on attitude, we focus on Values.

Not values in the intangible, aspirational sense.  But instead as a measurable concept we call Motivating Values.

Motivating Values are a core part of the Cleaver DISC Profile.  While the Cleaver DISC measures behavior as it relates to work, our Motivating Values tool – which draws on the values research done by Allport-Vernon – helps quantify what we call the six primary values for any individual.

The six primary values we utilize are: Theoretical, Economic, Social, Political, Regulatory, and Aesthetic. Our tool requires an individual to force-rank these values through a series of questions, and the resulting report tells us not only the priority of these values for the individual, but also the relationship the values have to each other.

We administer our Cleaver DISC assessments with the Motivating Values tool because of the strong link between behavior and values.  If behavior is the “how” of the things we do in the workplace, then the values can be seen as the “why” we do them.

When it comes to success in the workplace – as a leader, a manager, a salesperson, or any other role – understanding our values and the values of those we work with can be critical to impactful action development and effective change. After all, if we understand “why” we do something, can’t we understand how to frame growth in the most motivating light for ourselves and other?

However, understanding values can also provide the key to managing attitude, an arguably more powerfully pervasive element of our workplaces.

Attitudes can be defined as positive or negative feelings toward people, events, things, or environmental circumstances.

At their core, attitudes are based on values, and for the most part are either positive or negative, depending upon what is seen as having worth by the individual. Some simple examples are if a man values music his attitude toward music will be positive, if he values independence, his attitude towards restrictions and interference will be negative. Our attitudes may be favorable or unfavorable; specific or general; temporary or permanent; public or private; and common or individual.

Thus in order to fix those frustrating workplace “attitude problems,” we start by working to understand the values that are in play and educating the team around the impact of values.  Because once you understand the “why” of where someone is coming from, you can help reframe and re-communicate aspects of their roles, relationships, goals, etc. in the context of that why, which in turn can impact how they feel toward those situations or people.

So the next time you hear someone talk about having a case of the Mondays, ask them if they have 15 minutes to take a Cleaver DISC profile.

Attitude problem: solved.


Leadership Game Changer: Getting Comfortable with Uncomfortability

Imagine trying to sleep suspended thousands of feet off the ground on nothing but a metal frame suspended by ropes.  This is how big wall climbers do it when attacking multi-day rock climbing ascents.

Now imagine needing to do that as part of your job in order to drive leadership success.

Because you do.

OK, well not literally.  But you may be surprised at how much successful leadership and sleeping in metal mountain climbing cradles have in common.  Most notably: they both require a comfort with uncomfortability.

Getting Comfortable with Uncomfortability

Uncomfortability is the ability to manage and continue to progress forward in spite of trying or anxiety-causing conditions.  For rock climbers, uncomfortability might be sleeping mid-climb or slowing down the rate of progress to find the right footing.  For those of us in leadership positions, uncomfortability may occur when we are asked to manage outside of our strengths or deal with organizational uncertainty or transition.

An area many people struggle with is uncomfortability around growth and development.  Climbers and leaders alike set goals for themselves and become demotivated when it takes longer or is a less straight route to accomplishing them. In short: development can often be an uncomfortable process.

But what we know is that growth occurs at about 4% beyond our current ability – whether our ability is scaling a mega cliff or motivating a team. So being able to develop a process for continually pushing ourselves – and pushing ourselves through uncomfortability – will allow for our optimal development and in fact be a game changer for our success.

Cultivating a Mindset for Uncomfortability

When it comes to examining uncomfortability and how we approach development, looking at our mental approach is paramount. Carol Dweck, a leading researcher in the field of psychology, has spent extensive time researching and highlighted two differing mental approaches when it comes to skill acquisition and development. These are the fixed and growth mindset.

What she found was that the most successful individuals have a key difference in their approach to development. They have embraced the growth mindset, which is a belief in that skill can be developed over time, rather than the fixed mindset, which focuses on believing individuals are imbued within innate talents. Those that held the growth mindset were seen as to embrace challenges more than their counterparts, and more importantly, were continually willing to take more risks in terms of seeing their capabilities.

Due to this, those with the growth mindset have two key advantages over those with a fixed mindset. They understand their limits more and they’re willing to push beyond those limits to illicit growth. What the growth mindset gives us is a different perspective on development. It allows us to view challenge as an opportunity to grow, rather than an opportunity to fail. Those climbers can sleep on that wall because they view it from that perspective. When we see those photos we think, “I could die” – we’re focused on the failure. They instead see an opportunity for another challenge that will lead towards growth.

Building a Tolerance for Uncomfortability

Here at Cleaver, we’ve coined a term for describing what the best developers have imparted in their development process: we call it a tolerance for uncomfortability, and it’s an ability to essentially learn to feel comfortable in situations where we don’t feel comfortable.

To tip the challenge/skills ratio (e.g. the balance between a challenge we’re facing and the skills by which we have to overcome it) in favor towards growth, we need to be consistently hitting that “4% more than current ability” window. That is the zone just past what we know we can do, but not so far as what we know we can’t do. We’re being strained to do just a bit more than we currently can, but not so much as to overwhelm us. To foster continual development, we need to hit this range as frequently as possible.

So, we can leverage the growth mindset to provide the motivation to face more challenges, and through trying to habituate a tolerance for uncomfortability, we’ll become more and more comfortable with pushing our current limits, so much so that it becomes part of our everyday routine. This is when our development will blossom and sleeping on the wall of a mountain will illustrate how far we’ve come, rather than how close to failure we may seem.

Photo by TMSean courtesy of Flickr

Make Professional Development Changes Last By Finding Your “Movement”

We here at Cleaver know how hard it can be to create effective change in our lives. We all have things we want to change about ourselves and development goals that we set out for ourselves, but every year we fail to meet our New Year’s resolutions. One of the key elements that can often be overlooked in our failed attempts to create change for ourselves is the power that finding your movement, so to speak, can play in getting change that sticks.

A movement is a group of individuals who share a set of values towards a desired goal or goals. Two key aspects of a movement that an individual can benefit from is that a movement has its own force and momentum, which like a river, will pull an individual along with the rest of the group. A community of like-minded individuals has a power that cannot be matched on an individual level.

Cleaver leverages this fact in a variety of ways. When we work with top executives, we aim to impart the value of continued development in the success of business. When these top executives adopt that value as part of their approach within their company, it helps to create a culture of continued development that can spread throughout the entire organization. We also strongly believe in the value of group work, and work with entire teams of people as opposed to individuals whenever possible to leverage the power of the group.

While there are is an extensive list of benefits that finding your movement can have, here are five powerful aids that can be leveraged towards creating lasting change:

Group Habits
Like every person, a movement will develop their own set of habits, which can have a positive effect on us if their goals and values are aligned within the group. Attending church on Sundays would be an example of a group habit.

When we try to create change, discouragement naturally ensues at some point. Being able to continue pushing forward is essential to create change. When we have a community to reach out to for support, encouragement, others who can relate to our struggle, and others who can provide guidance to advance past setbacks it can help us to stay on course.

Just as common as discouragement are days when we simply don’t feel we have the energy or motivation to take on the challenges we set for ourselves. Being accountable to others on those days to get off the couch and go to the gym because we know others are expecting us can be the push we need at those times.

Shared Knowledge
We all need a certain amount of guidance to create change as well, or else we would’ve already done it. So, whether it’s how to get started or how to tackle certain obstacles, the group can provide insight and motivation.

This may be the most important of the five. When we belong to a movement, we feel validated in our beliefs, we feel supported, and it taps into an essential human need that we have to feel connected to others.

So, let’s get out there and find our movement. We can’t just read that guide to being a better salesman, we must go out and find others looking to improve in the same way. Let’s go to a conference and network. Whatever our goals are, we need to establish a network around us that can form our personal movement and then follow the river’s flow.

Photo by Ken Douglas courtesy of Flickr

To Lead Others Effectively, Articulate Your Legacy ASAP

When it comes to those ubiquitous motivational posters you see in so many offices around the country, my favorite has always been the ones that deal with legacy. The poster’s image, often an open stretch of beach, is usually captioned with a question that reads something like:

“What will your footprints look like when you move on?”

Now I realize in our modern, cynical world it might be strange to admit I have a favorite motivational poster. But the reason the ones on legacy have always stood out to me is because in all my working experience I have found few things more powerful when it comes to leading and growing others. In short: legacy is not just how you are remembered, but how you lead every single day.

For the first thirty years of my career, thoughts about my legacy would disappear as quickly as they came to mind. It took a confluence of three events within a period of 5 months in 1991 to help me grasp the powerful influence the concept of my own legacy would have not just in how I was remembered but how I worked with my people (and still do) on a daily basis.

The first event could be described as routine: a cardiologist on our staff, “Dr. Z.”, met with me to lobby for the incorporation of a new approach – then called “alternative care” – to caring for heart and cancer patients. It included Eastern medicine approaches, like yoga, meditation, Reiki, and other methods, to be encouraged along with traditional Western medicine. It sounded interesting, so I approved the creation of an exploratory team of hospital leaders to examine the feasibility of such a program.

The second event was much more dramatic: five months after Dr. Z approached me about bringing alternative care to our hospital, my wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

At the crossroads of these two events, I found myself starting to reflect on life and our individual impact on it. It was at this time that I also found myself noticing those “footprints in the sand” posters and lingering on their imagery, although the word “legacy” hadn’t become articulated in my mind.

It was the third and final event that sparked my legacy epiphany: one month after my wife’s diagnosis, the exploratory team researching alternative care convened for a three-day conference to review their findings.

One of their findings on alternative care revolved around the importance of legacy articulation for severely ill patients as a healing tool. On the second day of this conference, the meeting facilitator demonstrated its impact by asking all of us present to write down our “legacies” in three distinct categories:


After we had a chance to get some thoughts down on paper, each one of us had to present our answers to the group while sitting in a rocking chair at the head of the room.

To this day, more than twenty years later, that experience was the most powerful event of my business career. For it was in that moment I connected not only to my own living legacy, but also heard about the living legacies of those I worked with. It brought an entirely new perspective to how I interacted with and led the individuals in that room, as well as how I managed my own behavior.

One month later, in December of 1991, we integrated the legacy as an integral part of our Leadership Development program. And against the odds, my wonderful wife is by my side and enjoying our family, twenty three years after a terminal sentence.

Now I am retired from my role as a hospital CEO, but I still integrate legacy articulation in those three areas – professional, personal, and societal – into my work with individuals and teams as a Cleaver Resource Executive. No, articulating a legacy doesn’t replace the value and insight some of our other diagnostics provide, like the Cleaver DISC, but in my experience it can become a capstone to the process.

If you are a leader, I highly recommend you carve out some time today to jot down some ideas about your own legacy in these three areas. Once you have had a chance to do that, encourage your people to do it as well and create an environment where those legacies can be shared. You might be surprised at how it changes your own behavior, and the success of your team.

Here are some examples of Legacy within those three categories:

Professional: Inspirational leader who made a positive difference for his company, his team & his peers.

Personal: Dedicated loving son, husband, father, grandfather, & friend who loved & cared about people in his life & made sure they knew.

Societal: Honest, committed, determined man who made a difference & stood up for his beliefs, even in the face of significant opposition.

Photo by Christine Mahler courtesy of Flickr

When It Comes to the Workplace, Should We Forget IQ?

Traditionally IQ, Intelligence Quotient, was viewed as the measure for assessing an individual’s capacity to be successful in life. It was assumed that IQ was the predictor of being successful in the work world.

Yet this belief kept running up against the reality that many people with high IQ’s struggle in the workplace.

Deeper exploration of IQ indicated that it was primarily a measure of acquired facts and skills taught in schools and universities. So, as a predictor it was more effective in identifying those individuals who would perform well in an academic setting. However, academic settings are quite different from the work world: academic environments are well controlled; the workplace is not well controlled.

The workplace is a multi-disciplined, multi-dimensional environment requiring the ability to respond to ever changing demands. Success depends upon the flexibility to respond in practical ways to what occurs, whether anticipated or not.

This is why our Cleaver system focuses not on IQ but instead on Mental Agility. Decades ago, John Cleaver identified the importance of the fluidity with which one can apply her/his forms of intelligence to changing situations and conditions. He defined Mental Agility as ‘The range and flexibility of one’s ability to think, strategize, plan, problem solve and create new ideas necessary to effectively perform the critical tasks and responsibilities of a job position.’

Notice it is not the capacity; it is the ability to apply one’s mental capacities to changing job situations. Success requires the appropriate talents, the requisite skills to utilize the talents, and the motivation to apply them. Among these dimensions are the capacity to think under pressure, the ability to communicate thoughts and the need to translate ideas into action. We continue to explore how the many dimensions of mental capability surface in the workplace and how they map to different job tasks.

It is not IQ, it is Mental Agility that counts in the workplace. The ability to flexibly and fluidly apply one’s mental capacities to varying situations and circumstances in practical ways to meet the needs of the organization and the individual is critical. It is this fluidity that managers and executives seek in their fellow employees.

Photo by Ricardo Justus

Why You Experience Too Many Mis-Hires (And What To Do About It)

We all know that getting the wrong person in the wrong job is costly all around: on the company side, it costs money, time, and productivity while on the incumbent side it costs time, confidence, and engagement.

So then why, after all the effort your organization has put into attracting talent and creating a great company culture, do you experience mis-hires?

The answer is simple: your interview process is focused on the wrong information.

Most Interviews Have Become Contrived

The sheer amount of information available on hiring best practices ­on both the organizational and candidate sides ­ has made most interview scenarios feel contrived and superficial. The candidate’s resume typically serves as the script from which the interviewer draws questions and candidate responds with prepared answers.

Even seemingly edgy or unconventional interview questions, such as hypothetical scenarios and logic problems, have lost their ability to rattle the carefully prepared candidate, thanks to a world of online resources and spotlight features on companies that utilize unique screening tactics (think Apple).

The truth is I believe that on some level, most of us know that interviews have become less about fact finding and fit assessing and more about auditioning for the opportunity to actually audition: hiring managers and candidates alike realize the real interview process will happen once they are in the job and performing Šonce the polite facades created by the artificial nature of hiring are removed.

Of course, this is the very reason why mis-hires are so costly Šbecause we’ve become complacent in our expectation that the interview process will help us truly determine fit in a significant way, meaning mis-hires are only caught after they¹ve started in the role.

If that seems as unacceptable to you as it does to me, I¹d like to turn your attention to the concept of setting Job Standards before you interview any candidates.

Catching The Mis-Hire ŠBefore It Actually Happens

My good friend and founder of Cleaver Company, John Cleaver, once asked if I ever experienced the pain of a “mis-hire” in my 30 years as bank CEO.

He then immediately followed that question by asking which interview questions had failed to inform us that the candidate was a mis-hire: did it have to do with education, previous work experience, personal projection, or any of the other dozen or so things interviewers ask about?

It was a trick question: mis-hires almost never have to do with any of those dimensions individually.

They have to do with all of them together in the context of the Job Standard.

In the simplest terms, a job standard is how the requirements of a job are weighted in importance and how each candidate measures against them accordingly.

Job standards help interviewers and hiring managers prevent mis-hires by focusing on the information that really matters in the application process and prevents them from 1) getting distracted by cool but irrelevant credentials and 2) changing their ideas of what they are looking for mid-application process.

John Cleaver taught me how to use the Job Standards tool 25 years ago, and I can honestly say it transformed the interview experience. Today, I am working to pass on the methods Cleaver taught me about Job Standards and so much more through the Cleaver Management School, a three-day intensive leadership program. Because from where I sit, in our modern economy, no company, regardless of how big and resourceful it is, can afford a mis-hire.

To learn more about the Cleaver’s concept of Job Standards tool, click here, and click here to learn more about the Cleaver Management School.

Never Underestimate the Power of Teams

Could working with a team make the difference between hitting your development goals and almost accomplishing them?

Just ask a marathon runner.

On April 21, a record number of spectators (including me!) watched the 118th running of the Boston Marathon, one year after the Boston Marathon attacks. Guess what the biggest story of the day was: not the grueling 26.2 mile run, not the terrorists, but the supportive environment built by the spectators, fellow runners, and Massachusetts community.

Even many of the elite athletes, individuals who run in several marathons a year, attributed their notable finish times to the support of fellow runners and spectators and team-like atmosphere.

But why?

Why Teams Matter

I started thinking about what we know at Cleaver about the power of teams in helping individuals achieve their goals. Some individuals we work with can achieve all they set out to, and sometimes even more, simply by committing to the process and working hard with the ongoing support of their coach.

But for the majority of people, commitment, hard work and a great coach is not enough. Creating a support structure, even for something as personal as individual development, can often be the one thing that ensures that someone is successful in achieving their stated targets and ultimately, greater professional and personal success.

In our work with individuals in a coaching relationship, we are continually reminded of how impactful the added team component can be. Coaches will be the consistent presence, keeping people on track, suggesting alternative approaches when something isn’t working, and providing ongoing expertise and encouragement.

But the team component reinforces two of the most important factors that contribute to successful personal development: support and accountability. When any of us set out to do something challenging, we typically jump at the opportunity to connect with and learn from someone who has had the same experience. And having to then keep that person updated on how we are doing in pursuit of our goals is often incredibly motivational.

We Bring Our Own Meaning To the Idea of “Teams”

What we also know, as do marathon runners, is that what we mean by a team can vary greatly by the individual and situation. A runner can get to the starting line because of a training group that ran together through a grueling winter, and that same runner who decides to walk after 23 miles can begin to run again because of something as simple as heartfelt words of encouragement from a complete stranger.

While we encourage companies we work with to consider adopting a team-based model for development if possible, if a formal structure is not in place, people often create their own teams, even with a single partner, to provide the much-needed support they need to achieve their goals.

The bottom line is whether your team is formalized amongst your office peers or organically formed by your running buddies, you can never underestimate the power of teams in driving your goals to success.

Photo by John Cooper Courtesy of Flickr

This Simple Strategy Can Stop You From Sabotaging Your Professional Growth

Are you sabotaging your own development goals?

If you’re not keeping those goals present and visible on a daily, chances are good that you are.  This is why we utilize a simple but powerful strategy with all of our clients called Declarations.

Understanding The Power of Declarations

Declarations are simple statements of commitment or promise that act as powerful tools to help guide, shape, and sustain your development goals.  You can think about the relationship between declarations and goals like this:

A declaration is a statement of commitment and intention to work toward and achieve a goal or development target.

Declarations are powerful because they add a layer of action, connection, and commitment toward achieving a goal.  For example, if you goal is to run the Boston Marathon, your Declaration might be something like “endurance.”  When the temptation to ditch your workout arises, thinking of running 26.2 miles might not be motivating…in fact, it might demotivate you! But thinking of your Declaration of “endurance,” you are connecting yourself to the commitment you’ve made to run, as well as layers of emotional meaning that “endurance” has for you.

It is easy to see why many of our program participants tell us that the process of making declarations in and of itself is an impactful experience that allows them to positively adjust their perspective and find clarity of purpose.

How To Make Declarations Effective

Unfortunately, our psychology is working against us when it comes to maintaining Declarations. Studies have shown that the very act of saying Declarations out loud satisfies our self-identity enough to reduce achievement motivation. A message is sent to our brain that we have already accomplished what we stated we’d accomplish, or we have already taken a huge step to accomplishing them.

This means we can’t rely on our mind to keep our Declarations present and close – we need to find other ways, external ways, to maintain them and preserve their power.

Here are some effective ways we’ve found (and heard from our participants) that work to make sure your Declarations are more than just hot air:

  • Share Them With Your Team or Resource Executive: One of the core tactics we use in our coaching and team programs is to have individuals share their Declarations with their team members or Resource Executive. Stating a Declaration in the presence of other people can be a very helpful accountability measure…
  • …But Only When You Know They Will Hold You To Them: That sense of accomplishment you get just from making a Declaration is compounded by the positive reaction you receive from others when you share it with them. So we recommend only sharing your Declaration with people who you know will hold you to it and provide support to keep you on track.
  • Utilize Sticky Notes: Write Declarations out on sticky notes and keep them someplace you will see them daily, like a mirror, the car dashboard, or your computer monitor.
  • Create Visual Clues: If you don’t want to have your Declaration on public display, scratch the sticky note and find an image that reminds you of your Declaration. Disguising it as a piece of art can keep it present without making it everyone’s business.
  • Take Advantage of Technology: Set reminders, calendar notifications, or alerts on your computer and Smartphone to periodically ping you and remind you of your Declaration.

So today, as you move through your work tasks and struggle to keep your larger goals in sight, ask yourself: “Am I keeping my Declarations close enough for them to help my development goals?”

Image by JaneandD courtesy of Flickr

Behavior vs. Personality: Determining The Best Workplace Assessment

For many leaders, effectively working with coworkers, supervisors, subordinates, and teams can be a persistent and confusing struggle. This struggle can arise from varying factors including lack of role clarity, responsibility overload, and misaligned values. But there is one aspect of effectively working with others that can (and should) be quantified and concretely addressed to increase productivity: behavior.

In our experience, many people confuse the concept of behavior with the concept of personality. The challenge is that personality – while popularized through assessments like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator – is a relatively subjective and broad concept. However behavior, which is often considered an aspect of personality, is measurable and more easily applied to leadership development and the world of work.

This is why at Cleaver Company, we believe behavior matters more in workplace profiling than personality. By understanding behavior, we are able to understand how we (and others) respond to our environment and make adjustments to that response that improves our leadership and ability to effectively work with others.

The Difference Between Behavior and Personality

While personality has a subjective definition that can encompass everything from cognition to emotion to human intangibles, behavior is narrowly defined as our response to our environment. This broad interpretation of personality is why assessments like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator have come under criticism for their effectiveness, especially in the workplace.

The study of behavior, on the other hand, is based on binary elements of perception and response, which makes it easier to quantify and study. Our ability to effectively assess behavior is due in large part to the work of William M. Marston, an early 20th century psychologist and researcher. In addition to creating the Wonder Woman comic, Marston was responsible for trailblazing the study and research of normal human behavior and laid the foundation for our Cleaver DISC Profile tool. From his research, Marston proposed that all individuals will view any situation and/or environment as either favorable or antagonistic (unfavorable), which in turn will yield an active or passive response. Or, more simply stated, that our behavior represents “how” we approach and complete various tasks, like meeting a deadline.

The Value of Understanding Behavior

The challenge is that each individual will respond differently to his or her environment, and often times do not have the self-knowledge or insight to predict how he or she will behave. For example, under the pressure of a deadline, we may lash out or we could shut down. Depending on whether we perceive the deadline as favorable or unfavorable, we may also feel excited or negatively energized by it. This myriad range of behavioral differences impacts how we will complete tasks and also how we will interpret the behavior of others related to task completion. Thus, conflicts and inefficiency emerge and – too often – are the norm for leaders, even at the best organizations.

However, by utilizing behavioral profiling tools like the Cleaver DISC Profile, we can begin to better understand our own behavior as well as each other’s, and in turn lead and work more effectively. And while it might be valuable to understand all the intangible and subjective elements of our personalities, there is no doubt that in the world of work our behavior – how tasks get completed – is a more immediately valuable and actionable focus for leaders.

Photo courtesy of David Andersen via Flickr

Balancing Stewardship and Innovation in Established Companies

When I took over the Cleaver Company in 1992, I felt a keen responsibility to steward the decades of work that had preceded my tenure. Since the mid 1950s, this firm had been producing, validating, and implementing a diverse range of management diagnostics that were (and still are) used in thousands of companies around the globe. All the products we feature have been built in business, for business.

The commitment to high quality, effective, and easy to utilize diagnostics stemmed from the company’s founder; John Cleaver, also known as “Clipper” to his friends, was a Princeton educated industrial engineer. He approached management challenges at client sites with the precise and incisive eye of an engineer, and the company’s reputation was built on the back of the integrity of his non-subjective assessments.

So what became my question as I took the reins here is how to honor and preserve that reputation. This engineering-inspired approach to people development is what drew me to Cleaver Company in the first place, but I also wanted to innovate and expand on what we did here. My own background in counseling and entrepreneurship has provided me a with development-focused perspective: while diagnostics are essential to identify challenges and take the temperature of where things might be, they are really the starting point of a larger dialogue about growth, change, and advancement. I wasn’t just interested in analyzing the data and feeding it back to clients, I was interested in helping them develop and increase their results because of the analysis.

My goals centered around one core vision: people, teams, and organizations have the power to improve – where they are today isn’t the end of the story or the only story about their potential.

The process of taking the helm at an established company really highlighted for me the tension leaders can feel between stewardship for what has been and innovating what will be in an organization. I still feel that tension today, as Cleaver Company continues to evolve and work with clients in new and exciting ways: does where we’re going have integrity to Clipper’s foundation? Does it have integrity to what I have done with the organization thus far? Does it lay a foundation for future innovation and the right legacy?

As much as I don’t want to be bound by the past, I realize that this tension between stewardship and innovation keeps me focused on creating consistency in our client experiences and brand presentation.

How do you address the tension between stewardship and innovation in your organization?

Contact us to learn more about how Cleaver Company can help your company and teams succeed.

Photo by Mark Robinson courtesy of Flickr