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A Year Of Excellence

Dec 20, 2019 6:30:00 AM

Excellence - BlogIf you’ve been following my Friday leadership blog posts in 2019, you’ve likely noticed a common thread: excellence. We focused on lessons from Tom Peters’ The Excellence Dividend, with particular attention on these 12 “No. 1s,” - not only with my blogs, but also within Gibson.

As the year comes to an end, it is a good opportunity to recap these topics. Even if you don’t have time to read all 12 blogs, I’d encourage you to spend 5 minutes reading 1 of these posts because as Peters says, “Excellence is the next five minutes”…

(Click each header to open up the specific blog post)

#1 Job: Putting People First

Establishing/maintaining a culture of excellence by putting people first, really first. You must approach this by realizing your clients will never be any happier than your people.


#1 Obsession: Execution

When strategies fail, it’s usually due to poor execution. Many companies suffer a huge gap between great ideas and actual results.


#1 Asset: Frontline Managers

Frontline bosses are the main embodiment of corporate culture. They are the champions for excellence and enablers of sustained employee development.


MBWA: Managing By Wandering Around

If you’re not out on the floor with your team, visiting with clients, and talking to suppliers, you won’t really have a good handle on what’s going on in your organization and industry.


Small & Medium Enterprises Rule

America needs its SMEs. They are the job creators. They drive innovation. They are important suppliers and key customers. In short, they are what Peters calls the secret backbone of our economy.


#1 Habit: Read, Read, Read

Not reading enough = Leader Deficit #1. Reading books is such an important tool to learn new things but also to test your understanding and beliefs. And it’s what allows you to remain relevant.


#1 Investment: Training

Great training produces more wins, better retention, and lower turnover. And it’s more important now – in the Age of Digital Disruption – than ever before.


Innovation: Try The Most Stuff Fast

Without innovation, are you truly able to deliver the best value – to your clients, owners, and employees?


Making Things Happen: Lunch (Or Breakfast)

It’s time to rethink lunch. Ask out new people from your organization. Get together with a manager from another department. Maybe meet up with a supplier or even a competitor. Just don’t miss out on those 225 “sacred at bats”!


Cut Or Spend Our Way To Prosperity?

Treating your clients well by investing in new and better solutions and attracting, growing, and retaining the best talent in the market can’t be accomplished through spending cuts. It requires investment.


Listening Excellence

I think we all know listening is important, but are we treating it as Peters says, “the bedrock of leadership excellence,” and thus giving it the attention it deserves? Are we truly being effective listeners?


#1 Strategy: Radical Humanization

It’s about creating a 'lasting emotional connection that engenders no less than love.'


What’s The Risk?

Having a theme to shape the year’s blogs and internal efforts has been great. It has allowed me to focus my own learning and leadership efforts, as well as help our people do the same. But the risk is in letting it all end when the new year begins. Don’t!

As 2019 and our Excellence theme comes to an end, my hope is that we continue to put these important lessons into practice, while also adding to our arsenal of knowledge and tools. A new theme is coming in 2020, are you ready for it?

Topics: Executive
Tim Leman

Written by Tim Leman

Tim is Chairman and CEO at Gibson. He joined Gibson in 2005 as the Director of the Employee Benefits Practice. He led a major overhaul, transforming the division into one of the leading employee benefits practices in the Midwest. In early 2007 he became a principal and later that same year was appointed Chief Growth Officer. In 2009 he was named President, in 2011 became Chief Executive Officer, and in 2014 Chairman of the Board.

With Tim’s leadership, Gibson has been selected as a Best Places to Work in Indiana, named to Principal’s 10 Best list for employee financial security, maintained its status as a Reagan & Associates Best Practices Agency, recognized as one of 20 Indiana Companies To Watch, and named to the Inc. 5000 list. Read Tim's Full Bio