Balancing Act: Teach, Coach, Mentor, Inspire

Balancing Act : Teach, Coach, Mentor, Inspire
Andrew Temte
Kaplan Publishing (April 2021)

How to accelerate and enrich personal growth and professional development

As I began to read this book, I was again reminded of Jack Welch’s response when GE’s then chairman and CEO was asked — at an annual meeting — why he so highly admired small companies:

“For one, they communicate better. Without the din and prattle of bureaucracy, people listen as well as talk; and since there are fewer of them they generally know and understand each other. Second, small companies move faster. They know the penalties for hesitation in the marketplace. Third, in small companies, with fewer layers and less camouflage, the leaders show up very clearly on the screen. Their performance and its impact are clear to everyone. And, finally, smaller companies waste less. They spend less time in endless reviews and approvals and politics and paper drills. They have fewer people; therefore they can only do the important things. Their people are free to direct their energy and attention toward the marketplace rather than fighting bureaucracy.”

For leaders of most small companies — especially during the last 12-15 months — each day is quite literally a “balancing act” to survive.

These are among the strategic personal and organizational objectives that Temte helps his reader to achieve:

o Teach, Coach, Mentor, and Inspire others, especially direct reports
o Develop lifelong learning capabilities
o Increase communication effectiveness between and among stakeholders
o Integrate and accelerate personal growth with professional development
o Get people, objectives, strategies, and resources in proper alignment
o Provide principled, results-driven leadership with emotional intelligence
o Embrace crisis with courage as well as new, collaborative approaches to management

Temte fully understand why all organizations need effective leadership at all levels and in all areas of the given enterprise. It is no coincidence that companies annually ranked among those most highly admired and best to work for are also annually ranked among those most profitable and have the greatest cap value in their industry segment.

I agree with him that “success without balance — for individuals as well as for organizations — is often more disastrous than failure with balance.” In months and years to come, change will continue to be the only constant in a global marketplace that is more volatile, more uncertain, more complex, and more ambiguous than at any prior time that I can recall.

Efforts to maintain balance are always severely challenged. Leaders must keep in mind that the Chinese character for “crisis” has two meanings: peril and opportunity. According to Andrew Temte, it is their responsibility to “elevate the concepts of self-awareness, mental ability, active listening, two-way communication, and bringing one’s ‘whole self’ to work to drive improved alignment and outcomes for both the organization and its people.”

If that isn’t a balancing act, I really don’t know what one is.

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