Consensus Is Not Commitment

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

Achieving goals requires a team commitment. Consensus is not commitment, but leaders can confuse the two outcomes in the pursuit of collaboration. 

Fostering a culture of dialogue in which teammates are encouraged to share their opinions, suggestions and concerns is a necessary first step towards commitment and shared accountability. But the objective is not to build team agreement or to create harmony versus conflict. On the contrary, the objective is to discover and assess differing perspectives that enable the team to choose the best way forward and commit to it. 

Pursuing consensus, or shared agreement, about a critical business issue, undermines team commitment by avoiding healthy, essential discussions about conflicting ideas. It’s the easier way, allowing team members to surrender to the majority opinion rather than exposing themselves to the risk of expressing their views. A team member suggesting a delay to re-analyze, ducking eye contact, shrugging shoulders or saying “whatever,” are warning signs that this person has stopped participating and is not committed. Consensus slows decision-making, encourages unstated opinions, produces ill-will, and ultimately, breeds division. 

Commitment is a promise by the team to act together to achieve its shared goal. The exchange of differing opinions that produces commitment is intended to […]

By |March 3rd, 2021|Grolistic, Growth & Leadership Insights|0 Comments

Faster ROI on Leadership Development

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

Measuring ROI on leadership development is elusive. At the strategic level, it can take time to generate the improved results expected from leaders in whom such an investment is made.But achieving those results is actually the culmination of multiple, interim actions, taken by the leader’s team who were motivated by the leader to do more than fulfill assigned responsibilities, to invest their energy and talent in making something better. Each change initiative included KPIs which identified projected quantifiable benefits to create value, while generating momentum towards the larger goal.Strengthened competencies, including newly learned methods of influencing and inspiring, should enable the leader to foster a team culture of collaboration, curiosity and shared ownership that produces these incremental, accumulating benefits.So, measuring ROI on leadership development investments can be accomplished in a shorter term by evaluating the quantifiable benefits that are the output from the leader’s ability to motivate his or her team in challenging the status quo and delivering progress towards the projected results improvement.

How are you assessing leadership development ROI?

By |February 23rd, 2021|Grolistic, Growth & Leadership Insights|0 Comments

Pursuing Agility

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

At the nexus of urgency, efficiency and reliability lies agility, the competence of a business to promptly respond to change or challenge. The rapid evolution of technology continues to heighten complexity and unpredictability in the marketplace, increasing uncertainty about changing customer needs and goals. Pursuing agility enbles a business to respond quickly and effectively to opportunities, as well as to changes or threats. While characteristics like apodaptability or flexibility convey a passive, reactive strategy, agility implies an intentional, proactive approach. An agile business is customer centric; its purpose drives its profit. The leadership of an agile business understands that its people and culture are its most sustainable competitive advantage, and relies on these to guide the evolution of the company’s progress, systems and structure. These leaders appreciate that the values, behaviors and expertise which comprise their culture enable their people to be more creative and resilient when responding to complexity, uncertainty and change: better, customer-focused outcomes are the result.Embedding agility into a company’s culture requires leaders who embrace the agile philosophy, who themselves practice agility. Agile leadership competencies include:

Facilitating healthy, productive dialogue, particularly when vital outcomes are at risk;Engaging directly to improve performance or a process, creating value for […]

By |February 18th, 2021|Grolistic|0 Comments

Preserving Culture in a Downturn

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

When business turns down, and layoffs are necessary, preserving culture can be challenging for leadership. 

Leaders who sustain the dignity of those who must depart, who communicate clearly and honestly, employ a fair, ethical process, and offer resources to assist are seen as modelling a company’s core principles, thus preserving some trust with the survivors. 

A poorly managed downsizing damages that trust, perhaps irrevocably. It also crushes morale and loyalty, increases resentment, and reduces employee engagement just when leaders must rely on survivors to stem declining performance.  

During and after a layoff, it’s essential for leaders to behave in accordance with core values to re-energize and re-motivate those survivors. These tips can make the difference: Communicate the relationship between the downsizing, corporate strategy and the preservation of culture so that employees understand why the workforce reduction was necessary and how it supports the long-term success of the business. Clarify the fairness of the reduction process to generate support for a new strategy, and to foster a culture that promotes collaboration, innovation and improvement. The survivors’ judgement of fairness depends upon both the substance (taking the right actions) and the style (doing things right) regarding how the layoff is handled. When asking […]

By |February 9th, 2021|Grolistic, Growth & Leadership Insights|0 Comments

Investing in Appreciation

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

During this prolonged time of disruption and stress, those you lead benefit from your personal attention in letting them know that they are appreciated and valued. The return on these efforts is higher individual and team performance, greater collaboration, increased willingness to invest in changes that deliver improvements, and enriched job satisfaction for your people. Good employees are hard to find, develop, and keep. And replacing trained, experienced people is often quoted as the #1 non-productive cost for businesses. Of those employees who are doing cognitive work (not repetitive production work), and who voluntarily leave a company, 80% cite “feeling unappreciated” as the primary reason for their decision to move on; it’s not about earning more money. Here are 3 keys for communicating genuine appreciation:1.   Communicate appreciation regularly. Defining ‘regularly’ varies by work setting, the frequency of interaction between coworkers, and the nature of the relationship. But it definitely needs to happen more often than once or twice a year during a performance review. In a production setting, where things move quickly, it’s important for a leader who notices improvement in an employee’s performance and/or behavior to immediately express appreciation for the progress the employee has made. Shift change or start-up meetings […]

By |February 3rd, 2021|Grolistic, Grolistic, Growth & Leadership Insights|0 Comments

Daily Choices

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

The first month of the new year is almost complete, and by now, you’re likely settled back into your habitual routines again. Which means you’re back to daily choices, priority changes and distractions…and the challenge of making the best of your valuable time.

There’s plenty to keep you busy, with many demands upon that time. But as a leader, you know that time is irreplaceable, so this year like every year, your plan is to invest your limited time as productively as possible. It’s a perpetual challenge.Productivity is more than a financial metric; it includes everything you do in leading people, from sharing knowledge to impacting lives. Being productive means that you’ve created something of value. It requires skill, resolve and good judgement. So the enduring question is: did you produce enough value for all the time you invested today?How many of your emails, meetings and calls generated benefits? How many involved the preservation of key customer relationships, the quest for innovations, the relentless pursuit of quality, productivity and sustainability, or the strengthening of your culture?Choosing productivity over busy-ness is just a series of choices about how you’ll spend the next minute. Being able to make that choice begins with your […]

By |January 27th, 2021|Grolistic|0 Comments


Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

We defeat disruption, fear, and uncertainty by relying on our beliefs, values and stories. Challenging situations can dismay and paralyze, or they can inspire and energize. Each of us chooses which path we will take.I’m writing this on Martin Luther King Jr. day. Dr. King chose to take control rather than be controlled. And on this day, we honor his choice, his decision to persevere with his message and methods which continue to be reasonable, positive and universal today.Core to Dr. King’s message was how we should treat one another. Given today’s challenges, and our ability to choose how we will deal with them, I share this Seth Godin blog below in honor of Dr. King:

Three types of kindness(Godin)

“There is the kindness of ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’  And the kindness of “I was wrong, I’m sorry.”  The small kindnesses that smooth our interactions and help other people feel as though you’re aware of them.  These don’t cost us much, in fact, in most settings, engaging with kindness is an essential part of connection, engagement and forward motion.”“And then there is the kindness of dignity.  Of giving someone the benefit of the doubt.  The kindness of seeing […]

By |January 20th, 2021|Grolistic, Growth & Leadership Insights|0 Comments

It’s Not The People…It’s The Leadership

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

We begin our careers by accepting an entry level job with specific requirements and responsibility only for ourself. If we do well, and increasingly master our assigned duties, we get promoted; if we sustain our high performance, then we continue to earn greater responsibility.Eventually, given our reliable performance and high mastery of skills, we’re promoted into a leadership role and required to lead others who are responsible for doing the tasks we excelled at doing. We’re expected to transfer our mastery to those we lead. And our success is no longer about us getting results – it’s about helping our people get results. Leadership is all about making our people the priority. It succeeds by leveraging influence, inspiring initiative, and sacrificing ego, taking no credit but accepting all blame. If we lead well, then our people will choose to follow our lead, discovering how they make a difference, and creating value for customers and the business. This is what defines successful leadership – it’s not about getting the most out of people, but rather helping people do their best work.If one person on your team is performing poorly, do you challenge that person to do better, to turn things […]

By |January 13th, 2021|Grolistic, Growth & Leadership Insights|0 Comments

Altered Urgencies

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

For many of us, it’s back to work in a new year. Catching up, answering emails, checking with the boss, revisiting pending deadlines.

It’s typically a time when fewer things are urgent, a time for resolutions and reviews, a time to reflect on what worked well during the past year and what could improve. Remember those process deficiencies you wanted to fix but couldn’t because daily urgencies consumed you? Now is the time to make those process improvements more urgent.

Improving a process generates tangible benefits that improve your and your team’s productivity, enabling better management of the pending urgencies that lie ahead. Once those urgencies ramp back up, when there’s little time to do anything but react, you’ll again rely on the methods you’ve always used because it’s easier to do so in the moment. 

Those trusted methods are like habits, just like those that were the focus of your New Year resolutions. And like those resolutions, it will take time, commitment, practice and perseverance to replace the old ways with the new. Temporary remedies won’t work; the objective is to decisively improve inefficient methods. 

With your team, review the list of processes you wanted to improve. Then, prioritize these by first […]

By |January 7th, 2021|Grolistic, Growth & Leadership Insights|0 Comments

Valuing Observation

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

These days, we spend much of our time focused on screens. 

Such an existence can diminish our offscreen awareness of the people and the activity around us. Having become increasingly dependent on technology, and inhibited by masks and distancing, our connecting and observational skills erode. What we observe informs what we think, and influences how we act; a weakened observation capacity hinders our ability to learn, to restore and to grow.Observation is the most direct method for collecting information, and it is the best means for studying human behavior. It’s not just seeing, but carefully watching and trying to thoroughly understand what’s being seen to gain insight about it. Data collected via observation is accurate and reliable. Observation helps us more efficiently interpret related verbal response. Information is more trustworthy when it is gathered via eyes versus ears alone. Leaders rely on observation to launch value creation: observing leads to assessing, and then to acting. They use it to discover what customers, and associates, truly value, and to strengthen relationships. And, they rely on it to motivate employee and team performance.Perhaps this holiday season will enable a reduction in screen time, and provide an opportunity to strengthen observation skills and refresh relationships.

Wishing you […]

By |December 16th, 2020|Grolistic, News and Events|0 Comments