My time at Gibson over the last several years has been extremely challenging.  For the first 20 years of so I was hyper focused on moving the company forward.  The results were encouraging with consistent growth in sales and profits and increases in market share. 

Yet often, I felt isolated and alone at pursuing these ambitious goals.  Every profit center manger fought for an easier path, and many showed they did not believe this growth was possible in either word or action.  Rather than leading change and improvement, I often felt I was pulling team mates with alternate personal views and agendas.  When the weight of pulling them became too great, I had to make changes.

I always found team mates that could achieve these ambitious goals, but even those that could were narrowly focused and required a lot of my time an energy to push them.  The character of the team changed to more competent leaders, but most still required a great deal of energy to motivate them to achieve ambitious results.

Over the last two years I am finding team mates that are self-motivated to achieve great results.  The change is taking place slowly, one position at a time, but I am no longer alone.  There are true leaders that buy into my expansive and aggressive vision without the need to push.  They push themselves.  This is truly an exceptional  executive TEAM.  As the change ripples through the organization, the last vestiges of passive aggressive intransigence and surreptitious disregard for ambitious goals is falling away.  This is truly a great time  to see the birth of organizational excellence.

At the heart of the new Gibson culture is what I call the A.R.T. of management.  ART is an acronym that stands for accountability, responsibility and transparency.  These three traits not only allow our company to achieve ambitious goals, but also make our company a great citizen and partner for all  the  stakeholders that rely on our success.

Accountability

This simple principle means that everyone in the organization is accountable for achieving specific goals.  Those goals must be plainly presented to the team mate, be objective and be tied to high integrity numbers (metrics) which show progress towards the goal on a daily basis.  The individual makes a personal and sincere commitment to the goal, and realizes there are consequence for both success and failure.

Responsibility

This goes beyond individual accountability which is very specific, and implies an attitude of ownership for the entire enterprise, regardless of the individual goals.  This sense of responsibility means that our team mates look beyond their roles and share a sense of enterprise mission.  They go beyond what is necessary to succeed in the individual positions and do whatever is necessary to move the entire team forward.  They critically analyze everything and everyone around them constantly, committed to constant improvement.  They are vocal and take initiative when something is not right and holds the organization back.

Transparency

This entails a total openness of what we are doing whether as individuals or an organization.  If we are doing the right things, than openness only shows others we are doing things right.   Sincere transparency is the basis of trust.  This real openness of information and action allows for a dialogue within our team and with stakeholders outside of our team where we can discuss our goals, and our problems and work to a mutually acceptable resolution.  Transparency builds trust and allows dialogue.  Dialogue based on trust and mutual interest allows people to move mountains.

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