The essence of Legitimate Leadership is “benevolence in the heart but steel in the hand”. We call this care and growth. Of the two, care is primary. It is what gives leaders a licence to grow. Because true leaders genuinely care about their people, they want them to realise the best in themselves. Making people the very best that they can be is not possible by always being nice to them. Growth is not easy and it is typically not pleasant. Legitimate leaders evidence care AND growth, or put another way, tough love.
OUR SUMMARY OF THIS VIDEO: In 1998 Fortune Magazine named a relatively unknown bank in Columbus, Georgia – Synovus Bank – the best company to work for in the United States.
It had achieved 57 consecutive quarters of double-digit profit growth, 15,000% growth in employees in the 10 years from 1988 to 1998, and a personnel turnover rate one-fifth of their industry average. They beat the pants off all their major competitors in every market they were in.
I was intrigued. Three months later I’m sitting in the CEO’s office.
I said, “Jimmy, before I meet anybody else in your bank tell me why this is the best company to work for in America, why are you so successful?”
In his strong southern drawl he said “John, John … the secret of Synovus is the power of love.”
He said, “You ask anybody in this bank why they love working here and why it’s so great, they’ll tell you it is love.”
He said, “We love each other, we love the customers, we know each other’s kids, each other’s grandchildren … One part of this company cries, the whole company cries with him.”
He gave me a badge and set me lose. I wandered around the bank asking people what’s the secret of the bank and they say repeatedly, “It’s the power of love”..
But everywhere I go I saw these two numbers on the wall 100/0.
First I thought, “Now this is an honest bank. I mean they put it right up front where you can see it: you give us 100% of your money, you get nothing in return.”
But it’s obviously not that because it’s on badges it’s on walls, it’s on desks.
So finally I asked a teller, “What’s the hundred zero?”
She said, “Oh, that’s easy, the one hundred stands for 100% responsibility – you never say it’s not my job, you never say I would have been on time if it wasn’t for the traffic, you never say this would be a great company if the CEO would just do his or her job. 100% of the time you take responsibility for the success of yourself and the success of this company; you know it’s up to each one of us to keep this company great.”
She said, “The zero stands for zero excuses for not giving great service or great quality in every single interaction with every single person. There is never an excuse not to be your absolute best.”
I ran back to the CEOs office, I waited to see him. I said, “Jimmy, wait a minute, you told me that the secret of the bank is the power of love. What’s with the 100/0 stuff?”
He didn’t even look up, he said, “Well I forgot to tell you it’s tough love.”
I think Jimmy Blanchard nailed it! Because if you want to create a highly engaged business, do you have those two things in your office? Do you have the 100/0?
Do 100% of the people who work for you know what’s expected of them, do they know what you stand for, do they know what you’re shooting for in terms of the kind of experience that customers should have? Is there even one person on your team who is not a great ambassador for your business that you are either coaching up or coaching out?
If you want to do something to create engagement in your team, if you’ve got even one person in your business who is either in the wrong job for their skills or is simply not a good ambassador for your business one of the best things you can do for your business is to make a commitment that you will either coach them up or you’ll coach them out if they’re not capable or willing to do that.