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  • Writer's pictureRandy Gardiner


“Are your employees’ eyes lit up?” This is the question Benjamin Zander, musical director of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, came to ask himself after realizing that as Conductor (the only one who does not make a sound), it is his job to develop a culture that inspires his musicians to do their best work.

In Jerry Fons’ Monograph; “Building An A-Player Culture, it is the job of the CEO to develop a company culture. It cannot be delegated to Human Resources or the operations leader. “In fact, it should be the CEO’s number one responsibility,” writes Jerry.

Gallup's research on employee engagement found only “34 percent of employees are engaged.” These are the ones who have “ears up, tails wagging, and eyes lit up.” These are your “A-Players” who give you 80-100% of their effort. Unfortunately, the rest of your employees (7 out of 10) are giving you less than 50% of their effort. Worse, 13% (according to Gallup) are actively disengaged, costing American businesses about “4 Billion annually in underperformance.”

As described in Jerry’s book, the tension created by this disparity in engagement has real and obvious consequences:

1. Drama – Teams, individuals, and even leaders fighting for attention and resources, causing imbalances in company performance. Often impacting customer experience, company reputation, and its brand.

2. Absenteeism and employee turnover – Who wants to work in a conflict-laden environment with disengaged people. Certainly not your A-Players. They will be looking elsewhere to find a passionate workplace where they can learn and take their game to the next level.

3. Sub-par work – The employees that do show up will be keeping their heads down and doing just enough to get by. Missed deadlines and poor-quality work are often the obvious symptoms.

Cause for hope! “Building an A-Player Culture” is a practical, prescriptive, and easy 55page handbook for business leaders. It describes how to take solid steps to assess and begin evolving your culture into one that attracts and keeps the best talent in your industry. What organization doesn’t want that!

Need some help building a “2021 Plan”?

Schedule time with me today for a no-nonsense and no-obligation strategy session. I can help you lead your company to a new normal and move into recovery and rebuilding as a collective force.

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