Best-selling leadership author, Jim Collins interviewed two successful business leaders at the leadership training program that was sponsored by Chick-fil-A. I had the fortunate privilege of attending this live interview.
Collins had interviewed Ed Bastian, the President of Delta Airlines and Jim Goodnight the Chief Executive Officer of SAS Institute on the same stage.
Here is a brief summery of the secret wisdom and knowledge that I had learned from Collins interview with these two success gurus.
Ed Bastian said that it is important to re-connect with people. There is an important sign at Delta that was posted on the wall by the founder of the organization:
If you take care of your employees they’ll take care of the customers. We’re all in this together.
Goodnight was asked why it is important to make a great place to work. He said great people doing great things equals great results. Goodnight suggested supplying free coffee as a benefit.
He suggested having people work 35 hours a week. This includes 7-hour workdays. And being flexible with schedules. This provides a productive work environment.
He said that people who work beyond 5:00 p.m. and over 80 hours a week are mush and they make mistakes.
Danny Pettry comment: I work 40-hours a week as a recreational therapist. I enjoy this work. I don’t volunteer to work much beyond 40 hours a week. However, I do spend my own time off the clock working. I operate my own business during this time, which I enjoy. I write books during this time. These things could seem like work to many people. However, I enjoy doing these things and don’t think that I am creating mush.
Goodnight also suggested treating people differently. He said that the knowledge worker is a lot different from the factory worker. He says to focus on the worker.
Bastian had an interesting question regarding keeping business alive. He asked, what would be lost if we closed because it would take something valuable from people.
Danny Pettry comment: Bastian had once worked for Pepsi Cola. I had read somewhere where they talked him into leaving Pepsi by asking a question. Do you want to continue selling sugar water or do you want to make a difference in people’s lives. I’m not sure the exactness on the quote or what reference it came from. I do believe it was on motivation and getting people to change.
Bastian pointed out that there are more things in our control versus the things outside of our control. He said to keep an open mindset. He believes that people often underestimate the control they have.
Goodnight was asked how people can perform well with uncertain and unseen things.
He said that customers need us more. We must understand their problems [and needs].
Goodnight also suggested to work outside of business to increase ability as a leader.
Danny Pettry’s comment: People could go beyond their jobs and volunteer to help others.
Goodnight suggests keeping kids in school and getting them interested in school. We as a nation need to get kids interested in school. We need to teach them to love learning.
Danny Pettry’s comment, in my self-improvement book, Discover Hidden Secret Wisdom, I suggest reading as the number one way to discover wisdom and secrets, but people need to become avid readers in order to find this wisdom.
Goodnight points out that there is a lot of new technology with drugs, computers, and research. He pointed out that the U.S. people are not interested in learning these days. There is more innovation coming from Asia. The year 2009 was the first year that more U.S. patons were given to people outside of the U.S. We, in the United States need to step it up a notch and do a better job with education.
Today’s kids are growing up in a world of technology. They get bored from lecture and non-interaction in classrooms. They need laptops and technology. This could decrease drop-out rates.
He pointed out that math and reading scores increase with technology use in the classroom.
Bastian said education is a responsibility of a good company. He says that good companies do good things.
Bastian also pointed out that joy and appreciation in life is need. Be mindful. Appreciate things. Focus on right things and priorities in life. He says that a business that helps a charity is a team-building approach.
Bastian said that best leaders don’t motivate. They hire motivated people and self-directed people. They do their best to provide an environment that doesn’t de-motivate.
Collins asked what would de-motivate people?
Pay cuts could.
He says that people should focus on the job they do have. That is most important right now. Don’t focus on the next job that a person doesn’t have yet. Do the best at the job you currently have and it will help a person to prepare for their next job.
Goodnight talked about putting a lot of art in the hallways to motivate people.
Collins, the interviewer reflected on having gratitude for mentors.
People should have their own personal and professional board of directors. These are people who you could turn to for advice. Have people who for personal and professional help.
Danny Pettry’s comment. I’m going to create my own board of directors. Basically, I’ll just email people and ask if they’d be willing to help. I’ll create a link at my DannyPettry.com web-page to list my personal board of directors. Of course, I’ll have my father, Danny Pettry (senior) on my team. For professional advice as a recreational therapist, I’ll include: Dr. David Austin and Charlie Dixon for sure. I’ll also ask a few other recreational therapists and educators who I respect. I’ll add people for financial advice, spiritual advice, and leisure/ hobbies, and many more. I think this will be a fun task. I encourage you to create your own board of directors. Basically, this is your super social support system
Here are some more tips from the session:
Hire people smarter than you to create greatness around me.
What is the best way to repay our mentors, teachers, and educators?
Pay it forward. Give back. Provide a service to the next generation.
Danny Pettry: This encourages me to do my best as a recreational therapist working with youth, to maybe volunteer to help educate youth at risk or from low-income, and to write more books that will help inspire others. I’d also like to donate more money to a charity.
Want to discover wisdom and secrets on becoming great?
In my book, Discover Hidden Secret Wisdom, I outline a system, a plan that is used to help you to become successful and great in life.
Check it out here:
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