Hello…this week’s Great Idea is pretty simple. I just want you to read this excellent piece from The New York Times.

I think it has a lot of applicable ideas for every small business owner and leader in our country. What do you think of it? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave me a comment.

PS Don’t forget, you can still sign up for GROW! 2010 which will be February 18-20, 2010, in Dayton, Ohio.

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  1. Jim Buie Reply

    Hi Marty and Happy New Year!

    Enjoyed the article and I agree with Mr. Green’s approach to leading–we could all benefit by putting some or all of his ideas to work for our companies. I expecially liked the way he condensed the management traing session into three basic “C” rules–Competence, Confidence, and Caring. This may fall under Caring but I would have added one more–Keep your promises! Nothing builds loyalty like doing what you say you will with both clients and employees!

    Thanks for all the coaching you provide for us week after week. Love the fun facts.

  2. John Newman Reply

    The thing that stood out to me most was that he considered the spiritual aspect of leading 177,000 people to be important enough to mention it during this interview on business. It seems that in our cluture we may have forgotten the most basic need of people, and if we are in tune with this, can impact people’s lives in ways far beyond their paycheck. I also liked the interviewing information, particularly the story about hiring Sam. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. Marty Grunder Reply

    Jim, your point is right on. Leaders show what they are made of, more so by what they do, than by what they say. And John, I did not pick up on your point and I agree with you 200%. Jackie Robinson said, ‘Our life is only as significant as the impact we have on other lives’. Its good words to live by. But you have to listen and understand how your actions impacts others do accomplish this. Great discussion.

  4. Keith Kohlmann Reply

    It seems all great leaders have the ability to make it simple. Instead of a multi-page plan of 68 rules 3 simplifies it to something you can remember and act upon or strive for.. Also, leaders seem to recognize and mine talent rather than let it get buried in the organizational culture and to look beyond the press coverage that one has compiled vs the character of the person such as Sam. Many good points in this article. It also points out that if you had a gap year or a year full of adversity it is not the end of the game it only means that it is time to plan to play the next game with a winners attitude. A Don Shula philosophy. Thanks for sharing

  5. Dave Wright Reply

    The conversation that Mr. Green had speaks volumes of a leader who is very aware of what is going on around him, and is able to learn from it, put things into action, be practical, and accept his responsibility full on. Alot to learn from this guy. Thanks for sharing the article, Marty!

  6. Michael Kravitsky IV Reply

    Marty, it’s the simple things in life (and business) that make a difference. Mr. Green certainly understands that and now look at his company! Break things down into smaller bits, keep it simple! Thanks!

  7. Nardine Bellew Reply

    Marty, great article! Normally, we only hear about CEO’s that don’t care about people; you know, the ones who only care about accumulating unimaginable wealth and practice gluttony on a daily basis. It is so nice to hear about a CEO that cares about the 177,000 lives in his employment.

  8. Marty Grunder Reply

    Nardine… true….the Big CEO’s are the ones in the news. I guess its not news if you are nice, caring, thoughtful, and not out for themselves. When a leader makes descisions based on what’s best for the whole organization, and not themselves, I actually think they do better in the long run financially. I don’t have any proof of this, but the CEO of Costco, Jim Sinegal is a wonderful leader and he operates along these lines and it works for him.

  9. Marty Grunder Reply

    I guess I should clarify, I don’t have a study that says if you make decisions based on what’s best for everyone, you win. But Sinegal is proof and my gut tells me, this is true.

  10. Walter Cornett Reply

    Marty, thank you again for even more inspirational reading. I personally enjoyed the part about it’s not where you went to school, where you came from or how many degrees you rather what can you actually do!!

    In addition the awareness that high performance people are learners and will get bored and may leave if they are bored. I have experienced that high performance people tend to care more but this also means that they are more challenging to work with. High performance people are not yes men.

    “People who are succesful ask for help” could be expanded on more as well. We often hear things like surround yourself with people smarter than you and the more you learn the more you realize how much you don’t know. A lot of people need to step back and take a look at this one.

    The last good thing I got from this was in the critical behavior training area. I always want to help guys who have had troubled pasts but have often been dissapointed in the results. What was written hear will help me to look into how they reacted as well as what they offer when ask what happened or why they did what they did.

    Keep this good stuff coming!!

  11. Brad Groff Reply

    I loved the part about hiring. It’s a lot easier to teach skills than it is to teach work ethics. I find that is something people have or don’t have. I can prove this, but I think it is developed from the decisions people have made in the past. Like he said, finding a way to get it done rather than all the reason why one fails. I think I need to get this out of the people I interview. Thanks.

  12. Jeff Lee Reply

    Thanks for sharing, Marty. I was fortunate enough to get a B.S. degree 4 years after high school. Our culture tells us that is all we need to be successful, but that is not true. Competence, confidence, and caring plus Sam’s work ethic are learned from our parents, our faith, and people that get involved in our lives in a loving way. These things cant be bought nor can they be taught by strangers. So, all of us have a big responsibility to our world to pass these on to our children, employees, or others that we take time to really care for.

  13. Marty Grunder Reply

    I have followers who are very smart. One thing you can always count on and that is anything about leadership is a good discussion. Read thru all the posts above, there are some fantastic comments. My friend Mark Sanborn has an excellent book out called, ‘You don’t need a title to be a Leader’. It is an excellent, quick read.

    I hope to see all of you at my leadership conference, GROW! in about a month in warm and sunny Dayton, Ohio! Okay, cold Dayton, but the hotel is nice and warm.

  14. Greg Kleine Reply

    Marty! Happy New Year to you, your staff and to all those who follow you on a weekly basis!

    I really enjoyed the article and I like Mr. Green’s philosphy on leading. In these tough economic times we could all benefit from putting his ideas to work in our organizations, especially since our greatest resources are our employees.
    The simplified management training and the approach of always presetning his managers with learing opportunities was interesting.

    Thanks for all the coaching you provide to us week after week. Keep up the hard charge!

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