Easter/ April Newsletter

The value of people…

This academy has spent a lot of energy dissecting the actions and values consistent with healthy leadership during the pandemic. A lot of the rhetoric went something like this…”we need to use the right information to make decisions; we need to rely on evidence to live honorably; we need leaders who are resilient; and we need to accept each other if we are to survive this horrendous time”. As I have thought about what needs to happen for leaders to be followed, I have realized that the above perspectives have sometimes missed the mark. I still believe that evidence and misinformation should be managed properly if we are to make optimal decisions.

But, at the heart of great organizations are great people; and it is this that should possess us! Jim Collins wrote an excellent review of what he believes is needed for all organizations/ society to succeed at their mission. He called the book “Good to Great”. I use his thoughts here not to promote the thought that all organizations can be “great”. I use them simply because he puts a lot of emphasis on the fact that nothing great can come about without good people. My thought for the month is that this concept must be fostered.

He describes the importance of choosing the right people before putting a lot of energy into deciding on what needs to get done or how to implement change. What does that mean in a practical sense? Rather than make it about hiring the right people to our organizations, let me ask – are we the right people for the jobs we have chosen, or the leadership roles we have been given? Do we choose to be “good people” who are loyal to the culture, and who are the kind of people whom others want to work with? Good people are those who possess great values. They are not out for themselves; they constantly want to ensure that people around them are well looked after, and emotionally healthy. They constantly think of “we” rather than “me”; and develop strong teams and relationships around them. They choose to work with whole people whose lives are more than just a career. They do what’s right rather than what’s expedient. This is because they are thinking long term, and they know that relationships are longer than what you need from someone today!

This isn’t to say that we don’t need authentic leaders who possess skills and experiences that make them consistent, compassionate, inspirational, and hopeful. However, without “good” people who become the culture of a family or organization, we will not be able to sustain a society with goodness and fairness infused into it. This will take many of us standing up for what is right and driving integrity in decision making. It will assume that we call out politicians or colleagues when they don’t do right by people. The good news is that Canada has many good people who are prepared to do the right thing already. Lets encourage more of that….

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