What is your Attitude (PIRI) Priorities, Integrity, Responsiveness and Initiative? Do you prioritize people over tasks? Are you a professional or an amateur?
PDF copy The Executive Gardener and the Fairy
These questions not only apply to business but to our home life. So often we as mothers are consumed with the task and logistics at hand. We defer to getting it done, whatever that something is rather than spend the extra time talking or playing with our kids or spouse. I know I’ve been there! I have also felt like I am the only one in the house that can do the task whatever it is, the best and my husband or kids just don’t do it as efficiently or effectively. Opps, ego and arrogance, ugh, an embarrassing admission!
What about the question of being a professional or amateur, assuming a professional attitude is one that Frank says values, honesty, trust, respect and fairness? Hmm, I know we like to think of ourselves as being mature and professional but what happens when we get so angry that emotions over take and we don’t fight or argue ‘clean’ with our partners or kids. We might say things for extreme dramatic effect or bring up ‘low blows’ that either dwell on the past or are irrelevant.
Dazzle’s Challenge: Rather than attach a video reading today, I am going to add excerpts and the diagrams to this blog so that you can read them if interested at our leisure.Enjoy!
Dazzle’s Challenge: Rather than attach a video reading today, or quick links I am going to add excerpts and the diagrams to this blog so that you can read them if interested at our leisure.
“Well, Lily, when you asked me those questions I couldn’t help but go back to my roots which were really nurtured through my business experience. Moreover, as a long time manager I would often ask these questions of my employees. So I decided to ask these questions of myself.”
“I see,” responded Lily nodding. “Tell me more.”
“I have always seen four elements that comprise a person’s attitude: priorities, integrity, responsiveness and initiative. PIRI!
Frank continued, “Each of these elements can be broken into two polar issues which in turn can be identified by a simple question which asks a person to choose between two choices: Are you either a or b?”
“Interesting,” said Lily, “So are you saying that each attitude element can be determined by asking a question of choice between two characteristics?”
“Yes, precisely.” Frank nestled his mug of coffee on the soil and started to feel an energetic enthusiasm brew. He took the package of damp paper and pulled out the first page. Using it for reference, he showed Lily the four questions with the corresponding topics.
“You see Lily, under the topic of priorities the question is: Do you place more importance on tasks or people?”
“So Frank what about you? How would you answer this question?”
Frank blinked, momentarily stopping his bulldozing commentary. “Ummm, I hate to admit this I tended to be a ‘black or white’ thinker throughout my life. In addition, I was so caught up with accomplishments that I was usually a task person. Oh, sure, I was known as a relatively pleasant charming person around the office, but if I am honest with myself, I see that often the grooming of relationships was for the sole purpose of achieving a task. I guess you might say I was superficially interested in people. If emotions or friendships started to interfere with the positive outcome of a task, then I turned off my people switch and pushed for the results, no matter what it took.”
“Now that you’ve had time to think this over, have you changed your perspective?” asked Lily.
“Yes. Yes I have. You know, as I ended my career I was finding my priorities were changing. Now that I am out of the work force and taking a hard look at myself, I have to say it isn’t a matter of either/or. It’s all about balance. It’s all about “and”. Companies are run by people who identify, create, plan, organize and implement tasks which meet the specific goals outlined by the staff and owners. The people are there to steer the cart and the horse (the task). You can’t put the task before the people; they must work together in synchronistic harmony to cover any ground. Too often people forget that a company or an organization is inanimate and, as a result, they lose perspective. The task or results become most important and the needs of the individual are sacrificed. Often this ends with depleted morale and lower productivity.”
Frank’s true priority business story:
“Lily I call this story A Round Peg in a Square Hole, began Frank. A very competent and dedicated technician excelled in his work. Unfortunately, he had reached the top
of his pay scale and there was absolutely no room for a financial increase without being appointed to a manager’s position. After some discussion with the individual, it was agreed that he would accept a manager’s position and was awarded a salary increase. The technician was rather hesitant but wanted the increase in salary. After several months, the individual became less productive and depressed. His negativity was affecting not only himself but all the staff who had any communication with him. He was also afraid to say anything to his superior for fear of losing his job. Finally, his superior discussed the situation and managed to change his classification
back to that of a technician. But before finalizing the situation, the superior convinced the Human Resources Department to increase the level of classifications and remuneration for the technician by explaining how the position was of far more importance than originally perceived. This was a new precedent for technical positions throughout the company. Productivity went up, as well as morale, throughout the department.”
Types of Businesses and How Priorities Task verses People Create the Culture
“Lily the next question I would ask my staff involved integrity. I would ask, Are you a professional or an amateur?”
“How did people respond? Did some think that you were speaking of their personal style?” asked Lily, showing her wisdom.
“Yes, you are right. Many wanted to say professional because that is what looks good and is expected, but, this point is not superficial. It isn’t just the “talk”, it’s the “walk”. This element boils down to integrity.”
Lily with a bright look on her face chimed in, “I guess this element deals with the ethics of action and thought.”
Frank grinned, “Exactly. It is an attitude based on the following values: honesty, trust, respect and fairness. Moreover, all these values need to be consistently present to reflect a professional attitude.”
Frank’s true integrity stories:
Let me share with you a story of what happened to me many years ago at Chrysler’s. I call it, Dissolving The Threat: I had just joined a new group of 10 to work on system designs and improving efficiency in the corporation. I noticed that there was a lot of reluctance to sharing information and people were generally rather cold and indifferent. One day, the manager called a meeting and said to the group that we were not working to our maximum efficiency and effectiveness. More important, the manager said that it appeared that no one was enjoying their job. After asking a few direct questions, it was revealed that there was a fear throughout the group that the other guy was out to get his job or was trying to hold back so that he would look better than his peer. It was then agreed that we would share our ambitions, fears and objectives openly and honestly. A remarkable thing happened. To everyone’s amazement it was discovered that no two people had the same goal and aspiration. It was further discovered that each was able to help the other achieve his goal because of overlapping skills and interests. The team bonded and pledged to help one another achieve their goals in the most expeditious and professional manner possible. The group soon gained a widespread reputation of being very professional and service oriented. Promotions came rapidly and each person prospered financially and personally. Many years later, I followed up on each of the team members and found that every one of them became very successful senior individuals in their respective corporations. Many of them continued to be life long friends.”
Frank’s second true integrity story….“Yes, sometimes we have to look beyond the surface and ask why trust has been broken. An old friend of mine used to say that every person’s action is based on either love or fear. By looking beyond the surface one can see that more often than not the person who has broken trust is not trying to be nasty but attempting to help or protect himself/herself or those he or she loves. The manager in this story, with patience and forgiveness allowed for the rebuilding of trust. I call this one Love and Management.”
“A manager in a large corporation embezzled funds. The employee was finally caught. Now you would think that the person would have been immediately fired. However, the president of the company took the individual aside and asked why he stole the funds. The president continued with further probing and discovered a number of things. The fellow was having serious financial problems at home which were out of control. He was also very unhappy about his job and did not like the work that was assigned. The president then decided that the individual needed help. He transferred the staff member to a different position, one which was clearly more in line with his skill qualifications and interests. This employee was given a raise in salary. A pay back scheme was worked out so that all the money taken was eventually paid back with interest. The president also provided him with consulting advice on how to get his personal finances back on track. This person, who had stolen from the company, went on to be one of the most senior persons in the company and a most reliable, trustworthy and respected individual in the company.”