Phil Hauck's TEC Blog

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mike Haddad, Schreiber CEO, on 'Willing Followers'

Mike Haddad, going on four years as CEO of $4.5 billion Schreiber Foods, explained his approach to senior talent evaluation at this morning's CEO Breakfast & Strategy session at St. Norbert's.
When he became CEO, he said, one of his efforts was to evaluate the senior team that he inherited. All had gotten their positions through high performance, hard work and loyalty over many years. They were successful. Mike decided that wasn't enough.
"Another criteria I want in my senior executives, from a leadership standpoint, is 'Willing Followers.' Some of the people I had were excellent in two important areas ... Process Leadership and Business Leadership. And they were great from the standpoint of Personal Character, but that's the price of entry. Unfortunately, they were 'directors,' making progress through 'authority' rather than 'inspiration.'
Over time, he said, they developed their definition of the elements they want in Personal Leadership, characteristics they will evaluate for as part of the succession management process. There are six characteristics, three of them 'soft,' and three 'hard.'
The soft ones:
• Empathy ... You automatically feel what others are feeling. You're naturally inclined to listen.
• Humility ... Meaning, you're approachable, have little ego, not full of answers, willing to use others ideas.
• Caring ... You naturally make people feel that you're interested in them and their ideas.
The hard ones:
• Vision ... You have a 'Point of View,' a view of what 'better' looks like and where we need to go. And ...
• An Action Bias ... You keep things moving.
• Accountability ... You take responsibility for making things happen successfully, and don't leave 'bodies all over the place."

The benefits of having people like this, he said, are ...
• Results occur because followers are 'inspired,' not just 'compliant.'
• You get Discretionary Effort ... a big deal! That is way past minimum effort.
• You get breakthroughs because thinking is more innovative and effort is great, as opposed to constantly being 'stuck.'

"Tools" they use for development ...
• Sending leaders to the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro
• Use of 360 Degree evaluations. "But we do it differently. When the leader takes it, the results will be provided ONLY to him/her. HR will never know the results. Mike Haddad will never know the results. Schreiber will never know the results. BUT, we require that the person meet with an outside consultant to discuss the findings and next steps in his/her development to improve effectiveness. Then, we do require that the person creates a personal development plan, and that is shared widely."
• Use of the EQ-1 (Bar-On) emotional intelligence assessment.

Takeaways ...
• Subject Matter Expertise, Experience and Results are not Leadership Qualities.
• It's important to partner with a Leadership Pro. We have used Ken Utech extensively for many years, and we recently hired a Columbia University organization development person to be our inside leader.
• We bring in Thought Leaders periodically, like leadership guru and prolific author John Maxwell. A quote I like: "Effectieness of your work will never rise above the ability to lead and influence others."

Other Quotes ...
• "When I see what "Better" looks like, I can't wait to get there."
• "I want my team waking up each morning wondering how they can remove barriers for their people to be more effective."
• "Of course you reward performance ... but it has to be mitigated by the way performance was obtained. Performance is not a guarantee or even an indicator of future success."
• "When Larry Ferguson brought in Ken Utech back in 2003 is when it was evident we would get really serious about rewarding other qualities."

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