LDP November Session - Leading Others: High Performance Teams
As I drive home from each LDP session, I reflect on the subject matter and the discussions that took place and I always have the same thought: “This was my favorite session.” Inevitably, I had the same feeling about the November 2017 LDP session, “Leading Others—High Performance Teams”. I was looking forward to welcoming Jen Vanmeter, Senior Principal at The Clearing, and Megan Symes back to Markon to lead us through a series of PRIMES. I always find these discussions to be insightful and thought-provoking, with Jen expertly guiding us through each PRIME using real life, relatable examples. The PRIME that really struck a chord with me was the Request-Command PRIME which looked at the differences between a “Statement”, “Request”, and “Command”. The biggest take-away for me was “If you’re not getting what you want, when you want it, check the language you’re using. Are you really making a request when you mean to make a command?” or are you using “polite hypocrisy” by “stating what you want as a request when it’s really a command”? Like I said, insightful and thought-provoking. I also enjoy the exercises Jen and Megan lead us through. One of the exercises centered on diversity at Markon. We all stood in a semi-circle and stepped forward when Megan stated a descriptive phrase, such as “I’m married”, “I’m a parent”, “I’m rich”, (“I’m a skinny dipper”, oh my!). It was interesting to see the commonality as well as the differences between the LDP Class of 2018 members. To top off an already enlightening session, Jen and Megan came bearing a gift for each of us. Although the official release date isn’t until February 2018, we each received a signed copy of Chris McGoff’s new book “Match In The Root Cellar, How You Can Spark A Peak Performance Culture”. Skimming through the book, I knew what the coming weekend would entail for me…curling up on the couch to read.
LDP October Session - Transition to Managing Strategy
The Leadership Development Program (LDP) breaks down leadership into three specific leadership arcs: leading self, leading others, and leading strategy. October had the class begin the transition from leading others to the final phase of the leadership arc – leading strategically.
Steve Genn started the session out with a presentation entitled “what makes me tick & thoughts on leadership”. We found out that family, friends, and hockey provide him with a firm foundation. He shared his professional story with us and described the travels that lead him to the success he now has with Markon. He stressed the importance of networking, building strong relationships and a dedication to service as things that have allowed him to succeed. His thoughts and guidance on what he believes are successful leadership traits and skills include: persistence, listening, patience, decisiveness, and flexibility. All of which he has utilized to successfully lead the DOD/VA portfolio at Markon.
- Emotional – they touch the heart and use the art of storytelling
- Novel – they teach us something new, and
- Memorable – they present content in ways that are hard to forget.
This session included specific guidance as we get ready for our capstone LDP event – our own TED talks in March!
The focus then shifted to the heart of the matter - Leading Strategically. Leigh and Steve showed us how the Markon leadership group now uses strategy sessions to meet, report on and discuss the strategies to manage and grow each of the four portfolio groups in addition to the operations, strategic growth, and solutions groups. Each present regularly using a similar format and Leigh gave us an example of the solutions group presentation.
Tom Waltrip then came out of the bullpen to close out the session by presenting on the Markon financial and pricing strategies. He showed us how costs are allocated to contracts and how those costs play a part in the go/no-go decisions on potential company projects. He also discussed the Markon rules for pricing, types of contracts, and strategies for improving company cost efficiencies. He stressed the importance of balancing pricing with the Markon corporate goals and closed the session by saying “there are never too many questions to ask when it comes to pricing a job”.
It was certainly an action packed and informative session!
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