Joe Smith was a hard working manager. He had been with the company for 15 years, and spent 12 of those as manager. His company is a classic success story of people, products, service and profits. He had contributed to that success. He knew his job inside out. He was loyal and willing. But something strange was happening that had not happened before in all of his 15 years in the company.
He worked ever harder, his productivity was up, but he found it more and more difficult to keep up with the increasing pace of events around him. His company and his industry were changing rapidly. He didn’t understand how it could be so fast. He felt overwhelmed by the enormity of changes. He was caught in a whirlwind. Like a lion in a cage, he was trapped. In reality, the world had moved on. But Joe was just working hard.
His managing director was struggling with how best to help Joe to cope with this new reality, and I asked him the zero-based question: ‘Knowing what you now know about Joe Smith, would you still hire him?’ The managing director answered with a definite ‘Yes’. Joe was one of many executives in similar circumstances in the company. But as part of a company-wide, root and branch, change strategy, I started working with Joe on defining, measuring and developing his core competencies. With the encouragement and support of his managing director, Joe embarked on a two-year development process. Over the first six months, he attended 18 days of specialised training to beef up his personal, professional and business acumen. He literally became a learning machine.
The ripple effect on his family life, his personal work performance, his team effectiveness and his relationship with his managing director was remarkable. Within 15 months, he was promoted with a 35% increase in salary. He has learned how to work smarter and not as hard. Joe has embraced personal and professional change, and literally transformed his life for the better.