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Separate The Institution From The Personality

This week, I am working with an organization where I’m facing a performance issue for the entire team.

I’ve been coaching the CEO behind the scenes, and he’s really struggling. He’s trying to find a way to address a performance issue. He’s confronted the Senior Manager of the team, but it didn’t go well.

Many times, people get defensive when they’re confronted with a performance issue. This defensiveness can lead to moving away from the real issue, and toward a situation that quickly becomes a personality issue.

When you bring the individual’s personality into a performance issue (whether it’s friends, family or work) you can be assured, it won’t be pretty. So what do you do?

You separate the institution from the personality. You rise above the personality and focus on what is best — how to make the institution better. When you do this, you rise above the petty and can get to the real issue, performance.

Now remember, an institution can be a company, an organization, or even a marriage or friendship. And almost any institution can stand a bit of improvement. So ask yourself, how can we make this institution World Class?

Once you ask this question, start chopping wood and, most importantly, carrying water. In other words, do something nice for the person across from you — as an apology for letting a performance issue become a personality issue.
Now, go chop wood — every day — to get your institution to World Class Status.

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