news2use | March 2020

Leaders strive to create and maintain a profitable business.

Yet one sided profit princes who achieve business profits mainly by deep cost cutting and through unrealistic workload environments soon fade from the front page, as profits from these measures rarely last over time.

Effective leaders understand the origin of the word profit, which means to grow, to advance and to progress. Business strategies that ignore or do not support personal growth (learning & development) are short lived. Leaders who encourage and support learning in their organizations reap rewards from people that profit and who thereby create balance sheet profits.

Bo Burlingham, in Small Giants, Companies that Choose to Be Great Instead of Big”, describes the type of profit (growth) that contributes to becoming a small giant. This involves creating an intimate workplace where employees experience creative profit, emotional profit, and social profit that leads to sustainable business profit.

The ability to create an intimate workplace environment starts with intentional conversations and clear choices in the leadership team.

Several executives have recently shared with me that they defaulted to the business profit only road and are paying significantly to readdress the situation today.

To promote your growth strategy, make sure you address both sides of the profit coin.

Enjoy your March news2use.



“Relevant & pragmatic ideas, tools and insights to play at your best.”

For You

Imagine your CEO stops by your desk. She asks how you are doing, what you are working on, and expresses an interest in your personal development plan.

Right now, in this moment, could you pull out your personal development plan and share it with her?

Not something from your HR department, not your goal tree that outlines your objectives for the year, specifically your personal development plan.

Here are my observations – far too many people are waiting for someone to provide them with a personal development plan.

Do not put your future, or your development, in the hands of another. Your boss and your HR partner can help, yet ultimately we have to own our personal development.

Your personal development plan is a blueprint for your aspirations. There are many approaches you can take so experiment and see what works for you. Where do you see yourself in five years? What personal strengths will support you and what areas of learning must you address during your journey? Who can be an accountability partner to help you stay true to your resolutions? Above all, why is this path or plan important to you?

When I came to Europe many, many years ago, I was not sure what I wanted to do or what I could do, as I spoke no German, did not know anyone here and did not have a legal right to work when I arrived. Nevertheless, I identified five areas, (Spiritual, Financial-Career, Social, Physical and Mental), followed by specifics in each area, to guide me and help me focus on my growth in this new environment. This became my personal development plan. This two page handwritten document, now faded and tattered, continues to serve me today.

Take ownership of your personal development plan.

For You & Your Team

Tools alone do not make a good carpenter (or leader).

Numerous management tools (some simple and some sophisticated) are available to executives and HR professionals. There are tools and inventories to identify preferences and strengths, team capabilities and strategic effectiveness. Hundreds of models, personality inventories and well-intentioned leadership processes circulate through the organization.

The right tools, used in the right way, for the right reason can be helpful. Many are a waste of time, money and energy.

Be careful about the tools you choose to use with your executive team or in your organization.

360-degree feedback processes are a good example. There are times to use them, but often they are used as a default mechanism because people do not have the courage to provide upfront, face-to-face feedback to people who need and deserve it.

People ask me,” Do you think so and so should have 360-feedback done with his direct reports?”

I asked, “How did he work with the feedback he got last time?”

“Well, actually, he really didn’t do anything with it.”

“Then why would you repeat the process again?”

Albert Einstein once said, “I fear the day that technology will surpass our interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”

Do not hide behind tools or busy yourself with diagnostics that take your eyes off the real issues.

Help people find the courage to be themselves. This means knowing what you want, saying what you think and being in the moment with the people around you.

Use tools that help people and advance business situations, rather than to mask or downplay an issue. This is the mark of an effective leader and is more valuable (and feels better) than learning to simply carry a toolkit.

For You, Your Team & Your Business

Where and how is the customer positioned in your business?

It is the beginning of March, enough time for you to review the agenda items of this year’s executive meetings.

  1. How often was your customer an agenda item?
  2. To what degree have you encouraged and supported the business functions to reach out and create customer experiences for mutual learning?
  3. Do your internal processes reflect an exceptional end-to-end value generating experience for your customers?
  4. How has your customer focus improved over the past six months?
  5. What questions do you use in your engagement surveys to show that the customer is at the center of everything you do?

If you are not putting the customer at the center of your executive activities, who is?

People, Places & Technology

When we read or hear about successful leaders, teams and businesses, it is easy to get the impression that success comes through a galactic decision that drops down from the heavens.

Throughout my experiences writing, Executive Ownershift, Creating Highly Effective Leadership Teams, I have seen that change and success does not come from one galactic decision, instead through a number of small choices, consistent with aspiration and vision in mind.

If your leadership team or parts of your organization are interested in learning how to create transformational change through available, but not always recognizable choices, contact me for a lunch & learn or a high impact learning session. I am excited to share what I have learned about recognizing and making choices that lead to transformation and growth.

Thought for the Day

Ideas without action are not ideas.

They are regrets.

 –Steve Jobs



Contact Information

Dan Norenberg
Wensauerplatz 11
81245 Munich
Phone: +49 172 862 5123

About Dan Norenberg

Dan Norenberg improves leadership performance and organization results through Executive Ownershift®, his transformational growth process for executive teams. As a trusted advisor, consultant and professional speaker, Dan’s mission is to enable executive teams and their organizations to play at their best.