We have just witnessed in Canada an electoral change. A new prime minister has been voted into position.
Strange for me that the first post on MODULUS-Excellence is seemingly about politics. In fact it is not really, it is about the quest for excellence.
I am not much about politics but as a good citizen and curious, endless observer, I had to listen to the speeches of all candidates, elected or not.
Even in the wee hours of the morning when the last candidate took the stage, I became fascinated by the elected Prime Minister speech.
Whoever wrote it, must have studied the art of excellence because he/she managed to include into this 20 some minutes speech many of the concepts necessary to build a culture of excellence.
Here are some quotes and what I believe they refer to in regards to excellence:
Strong values – “Sunny ways my friends… sunny ways. This is what positive politics can do”. Borrowing from a previous Canadian prime minister who lived more than a hundred years ago, the core of his message was about positive change, positive politics to move forward, how with a positive attitude you can change things… really.
These are not objectives to reach, like a zero sum deficit, or 10 000 more jobs in the years to come, but rather a core principle, a value that will (should) prevail and sustain that government for the years to come. This is what strong values are for, to align everybody under their banner and help each individual in his decision making on a daily basis.
Perseverance –“notre parti a vécu des moments difficiles il n’y a pas si longtemps, alors ne vous découragez pas”. He was addressing the members of a neighboring party who saw their night end in misery as but a handful of their delegates were elected where they were leading the campaign and had high hopes of winning it at some point during it.
Similarly, his wining party today, was almost for all end and purposes declared dead at the end of the last elections. Yet, he spent three years rebuilding it, strong in his values and deploying hard work day after day. He kept faith and is asking them to do the same today. The road to excellence is not an easy one, and perseverance is the key which separates the ones who achieves it to the one who fall just a little short.
Communication – “For three years we had a very old fashion strategy. We met with and talked with as many Canadians as we could… and we listened”. What was his approach during these three years of rebuilding? He simply…. listened to Canadians. The greatest way to communicate is to listen first. Everybody has a story to tell and great leaders know that every story counts and within any of them resides a parcel of truth. The perfect way to face Reality.
Trust – “If Canadians are to trust their government, their government needs to trust Canadians”. Key point here relating to your role as leader. Trust your people and develop them. You do not need to manage them, they will take care of that themselves… as long as you trust them and develop them.
These are the two most important things you can give them as a leader… that and strong values to point the way.
Proactivity – “inspiration to like-minded people to step up and pitch in”. What better way to create the future then to invent it yourself! As a leader you are nothing really if you do not have with you people who are willing and motivated about rolling their sleeves and contributing to the greater picture. Having proactive individuals is the key to forging the pieces which will constitute tomorrow`s future.
Within that 20 minutes which may or may not have a place in the history books, time as always will be the witness of that, he managed to bring into play the four poles of excellence: Leadership, Performance, Opportunism and Innovation.
Take note leaders of facing parties, if his time in government is anything like how his speech was constructed and performed, you may well start getting comfortable with your opposition seats as you may stay in them longer then you think.
Take note as well business leaders, a culture of excellence is built one piece at a time, and understanding those pieces and how they come together will help you lead such powerful cultures.
Do you know what your culture of excellence is made of?