If I Were You, How Would I Engage Me?

Jim Haudan,
CEO, Root Inc.

We have for some time held the point of view that team members, managers, crews, associates, and employees are customers of an organization’s strategy. Successful leaders, who know this, know how to meet their people where they are, uncover insights on their perspectives, and are constantly curious about what they do and don’t understand. In simple terms, the goals of leaders are not to turn a complex business and sophisticated strategy into a foreign language. It is to break through to their people. The goal is to tap the discretionary effort of their people by first understanding how they feel, think, understand, and connect to their strategic agenda. It turns out that strategy creation is often the easy part. Translating it into something that makes sense to the recipients turns to be the real heavy lifting.

Just recently I heard a frustrated manager say, “We are all clear on the words of the strategy and can repeat them verbatim. However, it is as if we are looking into a black hole when we try to see what it is that we should be doing differently.”

We are dedicating the 2013 issues of the Watercooler Newsletter to the Year of the Person! To better point out disconnects that occur with the associate/customer. To identify what can convert a cynical manager/customer to an advocate for the future strategy. And to explore how feedback loops from the team member/ customer can significantly improve execution results.

Our goal is to bring you leading-edge perspectives on how to anticipate, understand, and initiate conversations with your people so that they can take their individual and your collective game to the next level. We want to uncover and illuminate the perspectives of people who want to help their organizations win in the marketplace, want to contribute to their company’s success, and want to feel that they made a difference – that their efforts mattered! As in all powerful customer relationships, we hope to help you see the challenge and opportunity of strategy execution through people… from their view. In the Year of the Person we are setting out to bring you the “Voices from the Trenches” that ask “If I Were You, How Would I Engage Me?”