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  • Writer's pictureMartin Harshberger

It's Time To Re-think Everything

Let me start by apologizing for not posting any articles for the past 10 months. A lot has happened on a personal level. I’m not one for sharing personal business on LinkedIn and I won’t go into details, but I lost two people in the space of 6 months that were extremely close to me. I decided to clear my head, so I took a 6-month contract engagement with a Pharma company in the UK that extended to 9 months and that was really a blessing. I got my mind engaged in something other than an empty house.

I’ve taken a month off after that ended and now, I’ve decided to post again.

With so much happening currently it’s hard to step back and prioritize on what’s important. As business leaders we sometimes have to put our personal concerns aside to keep the company and our employees on track and focus on the critical needs of our customers. Being human, that’s not easy to do.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past months prioritizing and discovering what’s really important personally and that moved to thinking what’s missing in our culture overall.

We’ve lost a good portion of what’s made western culture great. We’ve lost sight of the basics. That affects our personal life and that spills over to our professional life.

Basic things that we took for granted in the past are now looked at as weaknesses. Things like morality, hard work, honesty, looking out for less fortunate, meritocracy, are being driven to the background in the pursuit of “equity.”

No one can argue that equity is everyone’s ultimate goal, but it cannot be achieved by mandate, only by equal opportunity and equal and shared effort.

In my mind equal opportunity starts with a shared responsibility between the company and the employee or potential employee. The employee must prepare themselves to take advantages of opportunities when they are presented, and management has to create the environment where opportunities exist.

That only happens when companies are growing and profitable. Those two facts are dependent on the basics mentioned above. These basics are the foundation of leadership.

I’ve worked with many business leaders during my long career both as a CEO and as a coach. Over that time, I’ve met very few leaders. I’ve met many managers but just a handful of leaders.

Whether we look at our government, or business, poor leadership is the root cause of most of our problems.

I wrote an article a year ago entitled “Leadership Training Doesn’t Work”. As expected it generated a lot of comments both positive and negative.

True leadership is development of a servant mentality. You, as the leader are the foundation of the structure supporting employees not the top of the pyramid. They in turn support the customer.

One of the things that I realized over the past months is that I enjoyed a clear advantage over the course of my career. I didn’t go to a university. I used to think it was a disadvantage but now realize it was the driving force behind every success I’ve had. I came into situations without preconceived “knowledge” and had to learn what worked, what didn’t and why.

Learning by observation and analysis with real time feedback was invaluable.

Maybe it’s time to reintroduce common sense into our daily lives.

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