Posts Tagged ‘discover’

Climb The Ladder

November 11, 2013


Don’t do or say anything that you’re not willing to see on the front page. It’s a dated maxim since few people read newspapers. Mostly, people read screens instead. But the  warning remains a current imperative for performance: accountability.

Years ago, I saw a model that work-culture experts used in their training. My version of it appears here. In your mind, picture personal accountability as a ladder with rungs on it. Those on the upper rungs show accountable behaviors. Those avoiding it are on the bottom rungs.


A few questions can get you and colleagues engaged in important reflection. Which part of the ladder do you spend most of your time? Where do you often see others? Why are there patterns of behavior? What would encourage a higher rung for yourself? For staff, for senior executives and others?

Responsible people make hard choices every day. When faced with a tough one: think about your behavior showing up in high definition on the screen of those who most matter to your work and your life. Professionals embrace accountability. It is a huge factor in any organizations’ success. Step up to the top rungs of the ladder every day!

Lisa Wyatt, Ed.D. is chief strategy officer and partner in Phillips Wyatt Knowlton, Inc. PWK is a performance management resource for systems and social change with clients worldwide. Lisa has cross-sector and international experience. She is an author and W.K. Kellogg Leadership Fellow. See:

Treasures, Anguish & Triumph

April 27, 2011



“We must not see any person as an abstraction. Instead, we must see in every person a universe with its own secrets, with its own treasures, with its own sources of anguish, and with some measure of triumph.”

Nobel Peace Prize winner, educator, author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel is described as  a “messenger to mankind.” In the preceding excerpt he offers unexpected perspective on talent management. His reflection suggests we might best consider these “assets” one soul at a time.

 Aspirations & Expectations

We live in a competitive global knowledge economy. Knowledge workers are central to this system –   when they soar, their employers can thrive. Both theory and practice recognize that aspirations and expectations of employees are crucial to their productive engagement. Regardless of sector, talent engagement and development are vital features in human capital management.

It is obvious most people work for economic reasons. But, all people have lives with psychological, social, spiritual and physical dimensions. Research indicates that “meaningful work” is highly dependent on the quality of relationships with supervisors and colleagues. When managers use their power to include, enable, challenge and reward they tacitly acknowledge the whole individual. Simple, authentic inquiries about hopes, achievements or risks can build trust. They can also reveal the insights Wiesel mentions.

 Mutual Reliance

In general, most people find satisfaction if their work makes sense and there’s clarity about how success is defined. They also need to understand their responsibilities as part of a larger, cogent scheme. A mutual reliance or interdependence is another aspect of healthy culture and a functional organization. People seek autonomy, complexity and a connection with what they do and results. These conditions and experiences don’t  happen  often enough.

 Soaring Returns

We all have a chance to contribute to a workplace that is meaningful. Discover the treasures, anguish and triumphs of the people you interact with each day. Share some of yours. The effort will yield important returns.

 –Lisa Wyatt, Ed. D. is a strategy architect and partner in Phillip Wyatt Knowlton, Inc. PWK is a performance management resource for systems and social change with clients worldwide. She is also n author and W.K. Kellogg Leadership Fellow. See :

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