Can we sustain greatness?

sustainA reader recently reviewed our book, “The Star Factor,” on Amazon. In his review, he raised questions about the sustainability of the learning. As this reader pointed out, “…sustaining greatness, for individuals as well as for organizations, is a far greater challenge than is achieving it.” We couldn’t agree more, which is why we stress that management support, commitment to purpose, and self-directed learning are needed to be successful with Affirmative Leadership. In particular, management has to allocate the stars’ time to create the best practices, support time for doing the practice exercises, and generally stay involved in and supportive of the program. We’ve been able to reduce the executive time requirement to about 15 minutes a month, which isn’t much. However, the overt support is critical. Across thousands of people, about 95-98% become Affirmative Leaders, but 2-5% don’t. Those 2-5% don’t understand and/or value the stars’ purpose, and so they never connect with and commit to the underlying driver of high performance in the organization. This 2-5% either leave the organization voluntarily (they say, “Now that I know what the job really is, I don’t want to do it.”), or they are terminated for poor performance. As a result, the organization is pruned to people who really value and work hard to achieve the greater purpose. One of the more interesting characteristics of the stars is that they are incredibly committed, self-directed learners. Consequently, a key element of every Affirmative Leadership program is teaching people to become motivated, self-directed learners. This includes having an open attitude toward new ideas and changing trends in the environment. As such, when management is onboard, and participants are committed to purpose and engaged in self-directed learning, greatness can be sustained over the long haul.]]>

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