Changing Others Through Changing Ourselves

This case mentions about when we want to change others, we should change ourselves. There have many situations that we will want to change others; for example, change a child, change a student, change a unit, change a division, or change a corporation.

Actually I think about the economical environment in these few years. Most people complain about economic that cause them unemployment, and they don’t think they can change this situation but just let the time go through.  I think we cannot blame the economic for everything. Like the case says, changing others through changing ourselves. If we want to change environment, we should change our attitude, behavior, and vision. If we always think negative, we will not change result.

For example, I suffered some troubles with culture shock when I just came to the US, and at first I just want to shunned these problems and complained why I was so unlucky. In addition, I also complained why my family didn’t pay more attention and concerned about my situation more.  In that period, what I thought is only negative. However, I knew I have to change. I should be more proactive and positive. The environment  will not change for me, the only thing I can do is to learn it and get used to it. So, I have tried to learn American culture and language, and I also have kept myself positive although I got any setback. Besides, I tried to concern my family more first, talked with them frequently and let them understand my situation more, and I found they give the same concern to me. What I learned was don’t expect environment or people will change for you, and if you want to change situation, you should change yourselves first.

Organizational silence

This article let me recall a book, “Beyond Bullsh*t,” which I read in this semester. People keep silence because they don’t want to defense others, and they know most people fear to receive negative feedback. Like the book “Beyond Bullsh*t” says, people do not talk truth because they don’t believe others will also tell truth and can take the truth.

If an organization doesn’t talk truth or just talk about bullshit, it cannot improve or may waste time to get right direction. In the article, it mentions that organizational silence will cause:

  • Lack of variance in informational input.
  • Lack of critical analysis of ideas and alternatives.
  • Less effective organizational decision making.
  • Employees’ perceived lack of control.
  • Employees’ cognitive dissonance and getting more anxiety and stress.
  • Low internal motivation withdrawal turnover sabotage

Why people keep silence in their organization? When there has no trust relationship that is built in organization, people will keep silence rather than confront others.

It shock me when I saw the study result that shows only 29% of first-level supervisors thought that their organization encouraged employees to express opinions openly. Actually, organizational silence commonly happen in Asia. We don’t make our boss loss face, so in some situations we just keep silence and accept what our boss said.

Like the “Beyond Bullsh*t” says, having straight talk in an organization should build trust and teach people how to use appropriate communication by straight-talk. It’s also like the concept of servant leader, we have to believe our superiors will take care of us, and then we will do our best for them.


In this case, it mainly talks about servant leadership. What is servant leadership?

Robert K. Greenleaf in The Servant as Leader, an essay that he first published in 1970. In that essay, he said:

The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.

This book is really famous in the world,and I think it helps me to define what is servant leadership. In the Men’s Wearhouse, leader lead their employees by servant leadership, which is to serve first. To examine the whole system, you can find this company emphasizes the “people” in their organization. Although they grow really fast for expansion, they still want to take care all of employees in different distribution.  How dose this company serve the people they manage and work with? How does Zimmer use servant leadership to make company have win-win-win situation? Following are the some points I think that are really helpful to lead this company to survive from this stagnant industry.

Training. Zimmer believes that training was in large part cultural transmission, and that gave sales training and renewing and maintaining the company’s culture. In my opinion, when a company shows what the purpose for the company to their employees, it also has to let them know how to achieve it. They have to bring their people “on board.” Training is a useful way to give people tools to achieve goals, and also give people what is their purpose.

In addition, I also believe training will help employees to maximize their self-esteem. When employees get the tools that they need in their job, they use the tools in their everyday agenda, and then they become to feel good about themselves and build up their self-esteem because they do a batter job.  For my own experience, when I learned the skill how to communicate or pacify the customer’s complains, I can do the job batter in customer service department, and I would be more confident at my work. Since I have self-esteem on this job, I love this job more and have more loyalty for my company. Although training will cost funds, it help the company get win-win situation which is good for employees and company.

Leaders should provide the vision. A leader should build a vision for employee, and let them know where they are going. I think promotion is a way to provide a vision. When employees know they will get a promotion if they achieve the goals, that will motivate them to work on it. In one of company that I worked for, they didn’t give promotion from within. They hired a lot of people for management position from outside, and this way caused the original employees to think everything in negative way. They didn’t want to improve their ability because they think they will not get any benefit from successes. Besides, they also thought they don’t have future in the company, and they will see the company as a springboard. Therefore, our company’s turnover rate was pretty high.

I like servant leadership because it provide win-win-win situation. However, in my opinion, it depend on what personality of the leader. Different personality of a leader use different leadership style, and that could develop the leadership more successful.


Why the line foreman tend to have  high turnover rate at the Lima Tire Plant??

In this case,we can find the line foremen leave the job frequently, but actually they get pretty good pay. Following are the reasons for high turnover rate in the Lima Tire Plant:

  1. Pressure. In this job, line foreman, they didn’t get training before they work on main agenda, and it caused line foreman to become more stress on their job. Besides, when they couldn’t meet forecasts, that will be a punishment for them.
  2. No real authority. They didn’t have power to control the workers, but they have to took most of  responsibility.
  3. Their superior didn’t support.
  4. Hard to get a promotion. Since they know they don’t have many possibility to get a promotion, they lose their purpose. Most people’s purpose are to get a promotion and a higher pay, and that also tell them what they have to do and why they do.
  5. No loyalty. Because of no loyalty, employees will not have strong willing to stay in company.

So, how could we improve a company’s high turnover rate? In my opinion, there have some ways probably will work.

  • Give employees a vision. They have to know a direction, and they can follow this direction to get what they want.
  • Give employees missions. They have to know who, how, when, and what should they do, so you have to provide them the missions clearly.
  • Give employees a purpose. Purpose can motivate people’s behavior, so if you give your employee a clear purpose, they can be motivated very well.
  • Give employees good pay. Salary can be a factor to motivate your employees.
  • Give employees benefit. That will show the company that are really care about their employees, and it also can increase employees’ loyalty.
  • Build an appropriate organizational culture. “People” will be a very important factor to influence turnover rate, so if the atmosphere in organization is appropriate to employees, then their will have more chance to keep them staying in the company.

I think many company have problems with high turnover rate, and this problem will influence the whole organization.Therefore, to examine why the company have high turnover, and to improve in an appropriate way.

The Layoff

This case remind me that tons of enterprise lay off their employees because the global economic crisis in early of 2009. I remember AIG, IGT, Citibank, Home Depot, Starbusks…laid off their employees to reduce thier cost. Right, layoff is the fastest way to reduce cost, but it also causes many problems. When a company decides to enforce layoff, they should know what kind of result will happen. In my opinion, there has no best way for layoff because it causes different influences and problems. When I heard which company did layoff in early of this years, I would think they must had problems now, and maybe they cannot survive from this crisis. Layoff definitely will cause stockholders or investors to have negative evaluation for the company.

In this case, he provided some way to decide how to do layoff.

1. First in, Firs out. To layoff start with middle management because they are not too far from retirement age and it also a good way to get rid of the deadwood. However, it also could cost you huge fine for lawsuit.

2. Rank-and -Yank. using  a performance-based layoff  like eliminate the lowest 10% in the performance evaluation. It sounds pretty good because it could get rid of some unproductive employees; however, can the performance evaluation really evaluate which employee is good and which is bad? Besides, we also have to think about that it may cause people competitive and scared all the time.

3.Last in, First out. To layoff the newest employees is the easiest way for layoff because the company does not need  to pay people a lot of severance. However, based on HR’s view-point, it will cause company throw good people out of work and shout to their customers. Layoff will hurt morale, and then hurt customers, finally, hurt their stockholder and investors.

4. Lose a Unit. saving money by shutting down or selling out some business beside the core business. It could refocus what is most important in their strategy. However, it also mean you have to give up the opportunity of development.

All of ways for layoff can save cost, but it also causes different kind of problems. I don’t think there has the best way, and I think what we have to discuss is how to avoid this situation before we face it.

Level 5 leadership

I love this article. It shows the level 5 hierarchy, and the most interesting thing for me is the top of the hierarchy neither talent nor communicate skill, it is the attitude – personal humility plus professional will. I think it means for a good leader, it not only need to be highly capable individual, contributing team member, competent managers effective leader, but too important need to have the attitude of personal humility and professional will.

I love the concept of “Humility + Will = Level 5.” For my own experience, one of my supervisor was really good at this, and that also caused that many people respect and support him. He is a really intelligent person, but he always desired to learn everything new. I remember when he was just been a supervisor, he ask a mechanic to tought him how to fabricate all of furniture in the store. First, not all of people want to learn that because that  make you look dirty. Second, mechanic usually not tought other people how to do their work because that is their skill and advantage. Third, my supervisor learned that because he think it can help him to understand more about our company. Frankly, because of his personal humility, one of our mechanic tought him all of skill, and that mechanic became very support him and gave him different opinions and suggestions in his professional field. I think his attitude is a very good leadership behavior,and he already build the trust among us.

However, such as the case of “good to great, or just good,” it also use the statistic data to analyze what is the leadership’s character, and it also started with the fact and then find the caused. It is wrong to use the result to find the reason, and it’s like the professor said “bus stuff.” To get the right people on the bus, and kick the wrong people out of bus. We can use statistic data to analyze problems, but we can’t mislead this data to get the wrong analysis.

How a Marine Lost his command in Race to Baghdad

In our class, we talk about what difference between leader and manager. A manager will do things right, and a leader will do the right thing.  How a leader to do the right thing? It may have to break rules, or may threaten your career. In this case, Col. Dowdy lose his military career because he fails to complete a mission, disobeys a direct order, breaks the rules of war. Men versus mission, in which he favored his men. Did he do the right thing? If he did the right thing, why he lost his career? In my opinion, he did the right thing because he put his men first and it will get the trust from his men. I think it is what a leader do. However, in this case, he was fired because he put his men’s welfare above his mission. To do the right thing may have to break rules, and it’s why he is a leader, not a manager. A leader will take a risk to do the right thing, but manager will not. It doesn’t mean manager unimportant, but just difference work.

For Lt. Withers Act of Mercy Has Unexpected Sequel

Like the last article, it also talk about leadership and what a leader will do. In this case, John Withers didn’t follow the order and keep two men in his place. He had known it was especially important for blacks to follow orders in an army; however, he took  the risk to help two men to live. Why he want to break rules and help them? Why he didn’t follow the order like others? I think it is what a leader do. A leader do the right thing, and John Withers know these two men cannot live just because the environment in war-time situation.  These two men have right to live, and John Withers is the only one can help them. In addition, he not only saved their life but taught them how to live. He let them use their ability to earn money, and keep them being positive. Therefore, when he left, they already could live by themselves.

I think about what will I do in this situation, or will I do the same thing like John Withers? I think it will be hard to find what is right when you do any decisions. You will not know does it is really accurate and worth to take a risk. Like the last article, the leader who do the right thing but lost his career. I don’t really know could I do the right thing like a leader, but I think if I have same situation like John Withers, I will prefer to save those two men if I can.

New Wine, Old Bottles

This article talks about servant leadership, which the Greenleat Center has created and implemented so successfully. Humility is essential to implement servant leadership.

The concept of servant leadership are used world-widely, but like the author said most o executives take “new wine” concept and mix it with “old bottle.” So, how to implement servant leadership? In the tree steps that the author mentions, I think the most necessary step is to build relationships of trust. Building relationships of trust is never easy, but if trust is build, there will have strong power to benefit all of organization like a win-win situation.

Trust can make win-win situation. Take my own experience for example, one of my English teacher work really hard on teaching us, and she really want her student can improve English greatly. Because of her effort, I believed she can help me improve my ability, and I did every extra work that she provided. She told me she feel more energy to teach student when she saw a student who is striving to learn, and I also told her I get what I want in her class and it is worth to take her class because she knew what I want and she could provide it to me. She built trust between us, and I think we also get what we want and achieve win-win situation.

Good Leadership Requires Executives To Put Themselves Last

What is good leadership? From the story of Col. Dowdy, John Withers to Michael Leven, I can tell all of them will put themselves last and there men of employee first. In an organization, most people would not put themselves last, and they may even deceive other to get a promotion.

To be a leader, you must should have follower. If you want to have follower, you must have to build trust among you and your followers. So, how to build trust among you and your followers? I think you have to know what they want, and let them know you will take care of them. I think it is just like servant leadership that  you must have to build relationships of trust. If you take care of your followers and put them at fist, they will believe it is right and worth to follow you. So, I do agree a good leadership requires executives to put themselves last.

What is the dean’s disease?

Dean’s  is when people work for a high position and become “puffed up with their own importance.” Being in the top position, the power holder become lose their original thinking and behavior.

What are the three reasons why the dean’s disease occurs?

  1. They control the resources. The power holders as deans can influence faculty because they know and control the most important resources. Because they control the resources, they can decide most of main decisions including reward power. He can influence who can get a promotion or provide salary increases, so colleges may not tell him the truth or even flatter him. Consequently, it’s dangerous for the dean because they don’t really know what is realities, and it will cause bias for dean’s ideas and decision.
  2. Strategic praise. Since the dean control the resources and hold the power, he will become the target of flattery. People want to have good relationship with dean by having intension,  so they will become “yes men” or even alway complimented to the dean. Therefore, the dean think they are really that good as what they said. They believe they can be really intelligent and do everything good, but actually they are not.
  3. The taste for power. It’s really hard to keep morality with the power because the taste for power is really good. I think everyone can understand it because there have too many examples in our government. They become misuse their power when they get too many benefit from it.

I think most of people can not avoid to temptation when they get the highest position and wield most power in an organization, so how do we prevent the dean’s disease?  I think it is what a leader have to learn because they will face these problems. The case shows two way to prevent the dean’s disease. One is to check out dean applicants, the other is to look at their past record. I think to look at their past record is a greater way to prevent the dean’s disease. When we look back  on what we thought originally, we will find what  difference is it and remind us do we overestimate ourselves.

In these two case, ”Gary Loveman and Harah’s entertainment” and “Diamonds in the data mine,” were mainly talking about how Harrah’s get more customer’s loyalty by using data. These two cases let me think about how could I improve my father’s company’s business and how come I don’t even try to use powerful data to make sure and support my decisions that I decided.  In MBIT test, I am the Feeling person, and I was shock for that result because if I always make decisions by feeling and experiences, I cannot convince people or even myself  to agree with my idea. Also, when I was reading these two cases, I figure out what a powerful tool of data because it convince either others or yourselves and strongly support your idea.

To look at the Harrah’s case,  the other thing I learned is how important for a leader’s attitude. For Harrah’s, I think the CEO, Satre, and the COO, Loveman, are the most important factor to bring Harrah’s to be successful.  So, what I am going to do is what kind of their the successful leadership are.

Satre, the CEO of Harrah’s Entertainment, knows about how competitive in Casino industry, so he want to enhance thier marketing and create the inmage of their brand on their customers. He takes the risk to hire Loveman, who is a professor and doen’t have strong real experience background, to be the COO. Besides, he not only offered a job with responsibility for operations but also for marketing. I think he really took a huge risk for his business because not many people did that before, and people will doubt his ability. However, what he did is to trust his own decision that hire Loveman to be the COO and totally support Loveman, and it is the best way to convince all of doubter.

Furthermore, let’s talk about Loveman. What he did in Harrah’s?

1. Change the company’s culture. He want to bring the “winning attitude” to the company, and expect his employees have confidence.

2. Strictly train his employees to be like a scientist. He is emphasize on data and result. He was interested in what you knew, not what you think.

3. To emphasize customer service. They give different rank to every single customer, and provide them diversity of service.

4. Link human resource management with customer satisfaction.

I think what Loveman has did different from other CEO is to use test and data. Data can be a strong power to do right things and make right decisions. However, dose it mean that experience is not useful to make decisions? I think both all them are useful, and it will be very good to find a balance point and implement it. To integrate data and experience, I think it can provide more powerful help for making decision.


In this case, it talks about “group think.” Group think is really powerful to influence results, but can “group think” really help an organization to make good decisions and improve themselves a lot? I think yes or no. Sometimes “group think” could be right, but sometimes will be wrong. If “group think” is wrong, I think it will be harmful. In our world, we have many situation that have to deal with group think, from a team project with your classmate to a project that you have to provide to your boss with your co-worker in your team. Although I also think in group discussion people usually will disagree or have a lot of opinion on every single tiny thing, but actually I like “group think” because it help me to get more idea and stimulate my potential, and it also help a group to get a same goal to pursue.  , it

How can “group think” be really harmful? Frankly, “group think” usually decides the decision, and people have to follow this thought. If it’s a right, it will help the group a lot because they have the same idea and purpose. However, it it’s wrong, people cannot find where is wrong, or they don’t even ever wonder or doubt the decision that the group decide. Maybe some people will doubt the ”group think,” but it is hard for them to against the group decisions because people will think they are not cooperative. Besides, when all of people think it is right, you will not doubt that. It let me think about the movie, North country, that talked people have perception that males are more powerful and have higher social position than females. Because our culture taught us this perception and all of us think it like a common sense, it very hard for them to doubt what wrong is it. Nowadays, we think it ridiculous, but if you live in that day, how will you react for all gender unequal situation?

Good to great, or just good

This article mentions about statistical time series problems. Form the book of Good to Great, the author used a set of screens to sift through 1435 companies and identify a list of 11 elite firm that mean business greatness. After identifying these 11 firms, he tried to find what factors cause these companies successful.

What problems behind this research that looks like perfect?  Good to Great provides absolutely no evidence that applying the GTG principles to other firms during other time periods will lead to anything other than average business performance. The problem for GTG is he found the fact first, and the came back to find reasons that caused the fact. In statistic, you cannot go to find what the fact is first and then find what will be caused the fact.

From this case, what I learned  is to keep in mind there has a big mistake about doing test on statistic. We can get diamonds from the data mine, but we have to make sure to use the data in correct way.

According to the author of this case, Jeffrey Pfeffer, in his blog, he mentions the principles of evidence-based management are:

  1. Face the hard facts, and build a culture in which people are encouraged to tell the truth, even if it is unpleasant.
  2. Be committed to “fact based” decision making — which means being committed to getting the best evidence and using it to guide actions.
  3. Treat your organization as an unfinished prototype — encourage experimentation and learning by doing.
  4. Look for the risks and drawbacks in what people recommend — even the best medicine has side effects.
  5. Avoid basing decisions on untested but strongly held beliefs, what you have done in the past, or on uncritical “benchmarking” of what winners do.

Everyday we can get tons of business information form news paper, business magazines, or business books; however, it has too many information to apply evidence based management.  To be a manager, how could we know which way that used by other company and became really successful we should choose and apply in our own organization? Will those successful cases also become really successful in my company if I use the same way? Is it appropriate for the airplane  company, United Airline, to use the way that Southwest used for? Is it appropriate for the other furniture companies to use the exactly same way that IKEA used for? I don’t think those will work.  Therefore, how could we apply evidence based management?

In my opinion, the most important thing that we should care is manager should not always make decision depend on their own experience. People learn form experience, but it also limit our creative thought and self- break-through. I think about  my MBIT test result, and I am a feeling type person, making decisions in a personal, value-oriented way. It’s true that I usually make decision by my experience. Take a stupid example, when I look for my next lover, I will think what personality or ability I like and dislike from my ex-boyfriend, and then decide who will be my next lover. It probably sounds really stupid, but I think many girls do that too, and it may  also the reason why two-thirds of all females are feeling type. I think that always making decisions by experience is really dangerous because not all of successful methods are appropriate to all decisions, such us United Airline and Southwest example. You can be successful this time by this method, but you may not be successful on next time because they have different situation. Besides, it also causes you to keep old thought and obstruct the growth of organization. You will think every creative ideas that your employee suggest are impracticable, and become very negative and always be against.

How could we keep reminding ourself stop treating old ideas? To be humility on your knowledge and acknowledging your limit knowledge will help you want to keep getting new knowledge. Learning how to make decision in a logical and objective way, and try to analyze decision, such as the Thinking type person.

Nowadays, employees are not as  a tool, or cost as before, they are a asset for a company, so the character of leaders also have change.  In this case, it talked about what should a NPD leader have to do? They have not just leaded a team that just do the same work, but have to lead the people who work as a cross-functional teamwork. Therefore, they have to make sure the information is go through every teamwork very well. In many technology company, they have to share different information between each department because it ‘s a cross-functional teamwork. like the example in the case, engineers side should understand and share the information with the manufacturing side. What a leader have to do if a company use a cross-functional teamwork? They have to built trust between all of them. If they don’t trust each other, they will not share what they know or what useful information they get. If the information not go through very well in the company, or everyone doesn’t want to share their information or knowledge, this company will “obstruct” between every department.

The leaders of  NPD should help their team member deal with interaction problem. They have to make sure there dose not have any misunderstanding go around in their team. If their have any misunderstanding or miscommunication, the leader has to help them to deal with it.  For example, when I was a member in a club in my college, there have many team in that club, and every team have different work. This club had to held a lot of activity on the campus, so if we have to accomplish each project, all of teams have to be cooperate. By then, in our team, all of our team members did not like our leader because she was impolite and always  ordered us to do everything. We complained about her, and we did not like to work with her. However, at the end of that semester, we had a meeting, and the president of our club leaded us to tell everything directly, and made a chance to have a communication between the leader and us.  Because of the communication, our leader became much batter after that meeting. Like the case said, leader is not hero, is facilitator.

Moreover, I think one of the most important character for the NPD leader is that they have to educate and motivate their team members’ potential. They are not like telling their team members what should do and how to do, they have to motivate their team members’ potential. The leader should give their team members support and autonomy because it will increase team members comment and satisfaction of the company. For example, Google  provide the best service, autonomy and freedom for their employees in Taiwan.  It’s not that common in Taiwanese industry, and Google get a good reputation on it.  But the most important is that their employees have high satisfaction for their company, and it also caused them to provide more creative and innovative idea to their company.

People and industry are changing , so the leader also have to change the way for their leadership.

What I learned in this case is don’t think money could really motivate people or require people to do what you request. Using money to motivate people is pretty easy and fast, but it will not sustain for a long time. Here are some problems for using money to motivate people. First, some employees do not see money for most important thing in their career, then how could you motivate them. Second, it will cause employees work with short-sight. For example, the commission system causes that sales just want to serve and spend time on the customers who will spend money right away. They do not care other customers who will buy their products in the future because those customers may not buy from them.  Third, it will cause employees to see money like a criterion, and they will get used to that. So, the reward become deservedly; if there has no money, then no way! Originally, you want to solve problems by using individual incentive; however, finally you get harmful effects from it.

The manager may prefer  to choose using money to improve work force because it is pretty easy and fast to get result. Frankly, you can let sales help you earn more money by using a commission system, or letting truck crews complete their assigned routes on time by using individual incentive. Both of these will work, but how long of these will sustain?

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