Breath of Clarity

Comment #1: Drivers and Motivations

Original Post by Caleb Kiser:

The things that keep people coming back to their job are a great atmosphere, great people, and a love for what they do. A great leader can make or break all of those. A leader makes those around them excited and rejuvenated to do their job every day and helps them achieve success. However, success is a word that has a different definition for everyone. Throughout life, individuals try to achieve their definition of success at home and in the workplace. Managing individuals with a different definition of success could prove challenging for even the best managers.

One method discussed in the book I would use to engage with individuals with different definitions of success would be the seven leadership behaviors that fuel the engine of execution.

1) Stay in personal touch with people.

2) Insist on truthful and honest discussions.

3) Focus on a few clear goals set by the employees rather than many goals.

4) Establish accountability by setting targets and checking on progress.

5) Reward performance and achievements.

6) Develop people through stretch assignments

7) Capitalize on strengths and back-fill weaknesses (Manning 2014).

Following the above behaviors can help leaders establish expectations for their employees while setting clear goals and building a respectful, strong relationship between the two regardless of what success means to each of them. Employees setting their own goals allows them to set their ceiling, pushing themselves to whatever height they want. A leader is there to assist them in developing the goals and holding them accountable no matter how large or how small the goal may be.

Bringing new employees on board with a companies values and goals can sometimes be challenging. However, using the above methods will lay an excellent foundation for bringing the employee on board with the values and goals. In addition, I would also live and lead by example as a leader showing the employee that the values and goals are not just words written on our website or posters. I would start by setting the expectation of those through one-on-one meetings as well as other communications. I would also reward employees’ behaviors when they align with our values. If my team were having specific issues with any of the values, I would promote open dialogue about their concerns and then take those concerns, if valid, up to the next level of management. Showing the employees that I care about their opinions and appreciate them incorporating their values will get them to buy in and get on board.


Manning, George. 2014. The Art of Leadership. New York: McGraw-Hill

My Comment:

Hi Caleb,

Implementing the seven leadership behaviors that fuel the engine of execution is a brilliant idea to engage people with various definitions of success.

Staying in personal touch is so important as it would aid in making employees feel as though they are heard. The graphic below shows employees and leaders are not on the same page regarding their agreement about organizational conditions (Manning 2014). Excellent suggestions of one-on-one meetings and open dialogue about concerns to address the discrepancy.

Having one-on-one meetings to correspond about individual goal is a stellar idea. If the unique goals differ from the ones that the leader expressed to the whole group, the employee may feel as though his/her pursuits are separate from the organization’s mission. The employee needs to feel as though his/her unique goals are also part of the company’s pool of goals. Simply having a meeting with the employee empowers the leader to illustrate how individual goals actually do align with the company’s vision. Ronald Lippit would recommend that the leader encourages the employee to envision “images of potential” rather than “problems” as starting points for change (Manning 2014). Also, it would useful to guide the employee in setting priorities. Implementing this simple strategy of prioritization helped Charles Schwab turn Bethlehem Steel into the biggest independent steel producer in the world (Manning 2014). It will prepare the employee to effectively direct his/her own projects so that he/she can exercise talents to achieve their customized version of success. Noel Tichy and Mary DeVanna would add that the leader would be doing well because he/she is instituting empowering structures and processes (Manning 2014). A leader who focuses on building a respectful, strong, relationship while doing so is going to make the employee want to stick to his/her action plan and achieve the individual goals because the a deep care is coming from the leader. The employee would feel honored to witness the leader being flexible in finding a way to fit individual goals into the company’s equation.


Manning, George. 2014. The Art of Leadership. New York: McGraw-Hill