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Saturday, May 09, 2009

Can you create a world class org?

This guest posting on Bruce Firestone's blog from Dale Craig, Chair of J.L. Richards and Associates, an Ottawa architecture,engineering and consulting/planning practice, is worthy of review by anyone seeking real success in business.

Craig writes:

I think that one of the greatest differentiators between mediocre and superior businesses is the constant desire to excel (both for your own fulfillment and the knowledge that your clients will appreciate the effort) backed up by the inner confidence that you have the people and skills to do so. I truly believe that JLR’s success has been fueled by employee ownership and a top down mutual respect, and support, for each other.

I remember talking to my associates when we were about to embark on the Palladium project (now Scotiabank Place, ed.) and promising them that I would try to get the contract and lead the effort but only if they felt they could deliver a world class product on time and one that we could all be proud of for years to come. Accomplishing those goals on what was our biggest project to that time made us realize we could take on almost anything as long as we believed in ourselves and were honest about our own limitations. That has proven to be right on many occasions since then.

Finally, treating everyone in an organization, from the least to the greatest, with respect and honesty is so empowering that I am amazed many business leaders don’t get it. Witness the result of the unmitigated greed and hubris in the world financial system over the last year. I think to many smart people get caught up in their own self importance and forget that any enterprise is like a chain, only as strong as its weakest link. I believe that leaders should not hog the credit and but rather share the praise (and the wealth) and things will work out beyond their wildest dreams!

These are basic principals and ones which I believe in strongly.

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