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Ethical Edge Letters on Integrity  

Click here for Russell Williams' bio


Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Find your shining moments
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Dare greatly for the No. 1 worthy cause
You plus me equals we


“The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say 'I.' And that's not because they have trained themselves not to say 'I.' They don't think 'I.' They think 'we'; they think 'team.' They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don't sidestep it, but 'we' gets the credit. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.”
Peter F. Drucker

Venture back with me to your youth to recall your high school years when you were on an athletic or academic team, or maybe the track, basketball or debate team. Can you remember a standout coach? If so, notice you instinctively recall that the coach you admired was a You Plus Me Equals WE motivator, guide, mentor, teacher – leader.

Drucker had it right. Leaders who lead with WE get their I out of the way. In doing so, they tap into the creative potential and results-driven opportunities that shape WE action.

What is WE leadership? You’ve experienced it in your professional life. It percolates with the recognition that every person is a vital contributor and producer of commonly shared results. WE leadership energizes the power of one, multiplied.

Sam Walton shaped a business empire with WE. An example of institutionalizing WE in his business empire was the employment of thousands of senior adults to stand at the entrance of stores to put a friendly "Hi & Welcome" to the Wal-Mart shopping experience. Walton instinctively knew that WE personalizes the mission of an organization by having it everywhere present. WE leadership is fearless in its intent to put the mission of the organization on the face of every employee.

It’s impossible to fake WE leadership. Why? At the center of WE leadership is trust. WE organizations, by their behavior, are driven by relationship building as the fire that fuels explosive results. In contrast, organizations built on positional authority will usually shape cultures where employees are viewed as units of production, capable of constant incompetence unless supervised to minimize failure. Do these organizations produce results? They do, but with significantly reduced incentive for personal initiative.

Mission Integrity Action

WE leadership is at work in every one of us. Watch your You Plus Me Equals WE cooperative teambuilding come alive this week in your professional encounters with colleagues and clients.

Russell Williams,
founder/president
Passkeys Foundation/Ethical Edge
ethicaledge.org