Posted by Adaptable Leadership - Building Leaders for Changing Times on 8/27/2008

Did you ever see The Patriot starring Mel Gibson? The British Army came to fight the war of Independence as they had always fought wars. They lined up their soldiers facing the enemy hoping that they had more men prepared to take a bullet than the Americans did. Mel Gibson had enough and he had a different strategy. He and his band of misfits attacked the British using guerrilla warfare. The small band of guerrillas did more damage to those British soldiers than was imaginable at the time.



The same will happen to you if you don’t change the way your doing business to keep up with the times. If you fight your battles in business the way you have always done it you may be attacked and blindsided by a band of guerrilla warriors. Or you can choose to be the guerrilla warrior yourself. When you learn to adapt you can survive the onslaught of competitive forces that will come at you in the future.

The strategies that brought you success in the past may be the last plans to implement in the future. If you plan on surviving in today’s competitive environment you better change strategies. Adapt or Die! It’s the mantra for the leaders of the future.

Posted by Adaptable Leadership - Building Leaders for Changing Times on 8/25/2008

Is all of the talk about having good leadership just a fad or does it really make a difference to the success of organizations. Do good leaders really matter?

Business Week recently reported that "companies that invest in leadership development programs outperform the competition." Consulting Psychology Journal said, "Companies reporting strong leadership development programs are 1.5 times more likely to be found atop Fortune Magazine's 'Most Admired Companies' list."

Investing in the development of your talent and improving your bench strength can have a profound impact on your company's performance. Extraordinary leaders have a positive impact in a number of ways. Here are three critical outcomes where leaders impact your success:

  • Net Profits - The bottom 10% of leaders in companies lose money for their employers. The middle 80% of leaders make a healthy profit. What's even more important is the impact of the top 10%. The top 10% of leaders nearly double the profits of the "good" leaders in the middle. Investing in leadership development pays it's dividends in net profts.

  • Intention to Stay with the Company - When employees are considering leaving their employer there is no doubt that their committment level is down substantially. If they are less committed they will be much less productive. In addition, employees that don't intend to stay will have a negative impact on morale. Finally, when they leave the cost to replace them is high. Investing in leadership development pays it's dividends in improving an employee's intention to stay.

  • Employee Turnover - Employee turnover costs are substantial ranging from 150% to 250% of an employee's annual compensation. The bottom 30% of leaders have a turnover of 19% while the top 10% of leaders keep their turnover to less than half of that. Investing in leadership development pays it's dividends in reducing employee turnover.

An investment in the development of your leaders is an investment in the future. It is critical to have a strong leadership team for company success. Great leaders pay a dividend in areas that really matter. If these areas are important to you, make sure that you do all you can to help your leaders become extraordinary.

Posted by Adaptable Leadership - Building Leaders for Changing Times on 8/21/2008


"People don't leave companies.... they leave managers."
Leadership Effectiveness matters when it comes to an employee's intent to stay with the company. The chart to the left depicts results from a study with a high-tech communications company focused on the relationship between leadership effectiveness and intention to stay with or leave a company in the coming year. This study was published in The Extraordinary Leader by Zenger and Folkman.
There is a dramatic effect on leadership effectiveness and intent to stay. This same study showed that the turnover for the leaders followed the same pattern. Not only is it more likely that bad leaders will lose more employees but if this is true universally then bad leaders have employees that are much less engaged and more distracted. You can imagine that productivity and success at their jobs is down substantially too.
What if you were able to move more of your leaders in the bottom 20% up? The impact on the company's bottom-line would be astounding. Distracted and disengaged employees will produce poor results all day long. Improve your employee effectiveness by improving your leadership effectiveness. Great leaders matter.... Really!

Posted by Adaptable Leadership - Building Leaders for Changing Times on 8/19/2008

John Agno publishes The Leadership Blog where he often catches my attention with resourceful insights. Recently John's blog, Retain Talent: Develop Leaders, describes why it is essential to invest in the development of your most valuable asset: people. I enourage you to take time to read it.

Posted by Adaptable Leadership - Building Leaders for Changing Times on 8/18/2008


The number one reason an employee leaves a company is because of their manager. The leader that employee's work for determine who sticks around and who hits the road. Employee turnover costs are substantial ranging from 150% to 250% of an employee's annual compensation. That means to replace an employee that makes $100,000 it will cost the company $150,000 to $250,000. If you can reduce your employee turnover then clearly you will reduce your bottom line. Extraordinary leaders make a substantial impact on employee turnover and therefore, the bottom line.


In The Extraordinary Leader the authors report on a study from an insurance company looking at employee turnover. The chart in this blog depicts the results. The bottom 30% of leaders have a turnover of 19% while the top 10% of leaders keep their turnover to less than half of that. Leadership Effectiveness highly correlates with employee turnover. Employee turnover cost companies millions of dollars every year. It is clear that extraordinary leaders make a substantial impact on the money saved by their employer. Great leaders do matter... Really!

Posted by Adaptable Leadership - Building Leaders for Changing Times on 8/14/2008


The Extraordinary Leader is an excellent book written by John Zenger and Joseph Folkman that outlines the impact of great leaders. The effect is so clear that I will take the next five posts to highlight the substantial results that they have on the organizations where they work. The difference that great leaders make is not just in warm fuzzy's. Great leaders make a difference in money. Tell me if I am wrong, but all companies are in it to make money.
Today let's look at how Leadership Effectiveness correlates with Net Profits: a critical factor for shareholders. The chart in this blog depicts the results from a study conducted at a mortgage bank.* The study found that the bottom 10% of leaders actually lost money for the company. The good leaders in the middle 80% made a healthy profit. However, the impact of the top 10% of leaders was extraordinary. The top leaders nearly doubled the impact on profits compared to the good leaders. This is a remarkable result that demonstrates the tangible difference extraordinary leaders have on the monetary gain for their company.
What would the impact be if more leaders moved to the top 10% of performers? The financial gain would far outweigh any investment in a good leadership development program. It is absolutely clear from this study that Leadership Effectiveness has a direct and positive impact on the net profits a company can produce. Make sure you are moving your leaders from good to great!
* The Extraordinary Leader

Posted by Adaptable Leadership - Building Leaders for Changing Times on 8/10/2008

Our work with the special operations of the US Army have brought us some incredible stories. We've heard about how most of the terrorist captures have happened and the type of intelligence it took to bring them down. Through all of this it has become clear that the most important factor for success in these missions is... people.

People make the difference on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. They are the ones that adapt to rapidly changing environments so that success in the mission is realized. The tools (weapons) they use are only as good as the people that decide how, when and where to use them.

Leadership in corporate America is no different. There are a tremendous amount of tools available to you to lead successfully. Whether they are budgets, competitive intelligence, alliance partnerships or a superior manufacturing process they are all just tools. The people you have that decide how, when and where to use them count a whole lot more.

In today's competitive environments organizations must make sure that they have the right people prepared to lead. It's not just enough to select the best leader, you must continue to develop them so that you stay ahead of your competition. Make sure you invest in your people, they count more.

Posted by Adaptable Leadership - Building Leaders for Changing Times on 8/04/2008

Have you ever told someone, "Well, that's just the way I am. I guess it is part of my personality." Our personality traits are part of our core being that are developed early in our lives. As much as I think that all people can be trained, research shows that our personality traits are much harder to alter. So if you are resilient, you are in a good position to be an adaptable leader. If you are not resilient, you are going to have a harder time.

I know that we all like to stand tall and say that as leaders we are resilient and will do whatever it takes to win. However, when you do a gut check are you really that resilient? Resiliency is a critical personality trait that is present in highly adaptable leaders. To be adaptable you can't give up quickly. Challenges come your way and you have to find a way through them. Resiliency is the trait that keeps you getting up when you keep falling down.

So you want to be adaptable? Don't give up easily!

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