What are you terrible at in the service of great?

Are you willing to create and lead the type of organization that performs at the highest level, inspires excellence from everyone, and is built on a foundation of trust?

If you want this, you need to consume everything you can by Frances Frei and Anne Morriss.

Anne is a purpose-driven business leader and Frances is a practical academic. They are a power couple who have the unique to distill big thinking into tangible steps you can execute on.

They have written two of the most important books I’ve read in the last decade – Uncommon Service and Unleashed.

1. Trust = Logic + authenticity + empathy. To lead, you need to build trust. Trust is built on the tripod of Logic, Authenticity, and Empathy. We all have a flatside. The last time you were not able to build trust – or the last time you broke it – where was your wobble? (see minute 55 of Michael Gervais‘ brilliant podcast – https://lnkd.in/e3MZSK6q).

Their Ted Talk on Trust is a Master Class on its own – https://lnkd.in/exsNneAm

2. To lead change at an org level you must “Honour the Past, create a clear and compelling change mandate aligned with a meta-purpose, and present a rigorous and optimistic way forward.”

3. Teams are far more powerful if they are diverse and inclusive. To fully build those diverse teams “everyone needs to feel safe, welcomed, celebrated, and cherished.” In that order.

This builds on Amy Edmondson’s brilliant work on Psychological Safety (https://lnkd.in/eYAuqgtU)

4. Psychological Safety creates the condition for Performance: “High Standards and Deep Devotion.”

5. Excellence = Design X Culture.
Design = What are you terrible at in the service of great?
Culture = Clarity, Communication, Consistency. Culture takes over when the CEO leaves the room.

6. “You must believe in an alternate reality where ordinary people create extraordinary value for customers ready to take on the world.”

7. The “commitment to serve is ingrained in the human soul but this commitment often fails to translate into sustained acts of service.” To get it right: What will you be terrible at in the service of great? If you won’t make this decision, you have decided on an “insistent unsatisfying mediocrity.”

8. There is no avoiding reality but “You must believe in the possibility and then look fearlessly at your distance from it.”


9. “I have never met anyone who got to their full potential without the help of someone else….no one does it alone.”

Some quick links – Ron Lovett podcast with Frances Frei (https://lnkd.in/e3ychdHU), The Google Talk (https://lnkd.in/eaXqdiGe), You can get their books here: https://lnkd.in/e93f8-_Z

I know a number of people like Wayne Crawley FCPA, FCAPaul LeBlancSHAWN HISCOTTMartin Balcome, etc… had the good fortune of seeing Frances live in Halifax.

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    Sept 24, 2021