While the vast majority of companies are slashing their training budget, the wisest companies are doing just the opposite–investing in their talent. No one has said it better than Henry Mintzberg has in his Harvard Business Review article, Rebuilding Companies as Communities, “Decades of short-term management, in the United States especially, have inflated the importance of the CEOs and reduced others in the corporation to fungible commodities – human resources to be ‘downsized’ at the drop of a share price. The result: mindless, reckless behavior that has brought the global economy to its knees.” Soon after reading this article, I flew to Arizona where I attended the National Speakers Association’s (NSA) National Conference. On my return home, I was standing near the back of the aircraft, stretching my legs and chatting with one of the flight attendants. Before long I began sharing my experience at the NSA, which naturally led to a conversation about my greatest passion: leadership and effective communication.


Before I could fully explain my passion, he jumped in with, “I do my very best to fulfill on our promise to deliver excellent service to our passengers. I cannot ensure the many other departments within our organization do the same. In fact, I don’t understand why our CEO, who has only been with us a short time, has already negotiated his exit package.” He was on a roll, so I kept listening. “If they took even half the money that’s already been allocated to him and put it into serving our customers better, we would ultimately be more profitable. But, no, instead he’s more concerned with how much money he’s getting.” Wow, this guy gets it! This story is exactly what Mintzberg is talking about in his article. Many CEO’s in the U.S. today are less concerned with the greater good, but laser-focused on ensuring they get compensated.


Imagine the difference it will make when our attention as leaders goes back to serving our employees and, thus, our customers, with the greatest care. Perhaps in the short-term we will not see an immediate return on investment, but I’m willing to bet the long-term result of this commitment will lead to huge ROI. What’s your focus? What’s your vision? What’s your commitment? Our commitment and focus at Inspirion? To generate profitable relationships across generations. Rock on! Misti Burmeister www.MistiB.com