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Monday
Apr222013

How Would Your Employees Describe You?

From HBR: How to Really Understand Someone Else by Mark Goulston and John Ullmen based on their book, REAL INFLUENCE: Persuade Without Pushing and Gain Without Giving In (Amacom, 2013)

(Stay Tuned for the Heartfelt Leadership video interview with Mike Critelli)

Mike Critelli, former CEO of the extraordinarily successful company, Pitney Bowes was one of the highly prestigious Good to Great CEOs featured in the seminal book by Jim Collins on how the most successful businesses achieve their results.

One of Mike's many strengths is the ability to engage his team on their terms to achieve high levels of performance and motivation. When we asked him about this, he said, "Very often what motivates people are the little gestures, and a leader needs to listen for those. It's about picking up on other things that are most meaningful to people."

For example, one employee had a passing conversation with Mike about the challenges of adopting a child, pointing out that Pitney Bowes had an inadequate adoption benefit. A few weeks after that, he and his wife received a letter from Mike congratulating them on their new child — along with a check for the amount of the new adoption benefit the company had just started offering.

When he retired, the Pitney Bowes employees put together the video below in which they expressed their appreciation for his positive influence over the years. They all talk about ways that Mike "got" them — personal connections and actions that have accumulated over time into a reputation that attracted great people to the organization and motivated them to stay.

 

 

It's a moving set of testimonials, and it's telling about Critelli's ability to "get" people on their own terms — to go to their there — that they openly express their appreciation permanently captured on video for open public viewing.

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