CFHP Center for High Performance
Issue No. 24 January 7, 2014

In late 2013, the world mourned the loss of a great leader, Nelson Mandela. Mr. Mandela epitomized the true meaning of living one�s values. Despite adversity, jail and torture, he held steadfast to a course of peaceful collaboration and reconciliation to overturn apartheid and build a more united country.

Last year we also saw the emergence of a new world leader, Pope Francis. He has chosen to take on the entrenched �corporate� culture in the Catholic Church, and is reminding his leadership team that the true mission of the church is to serve. He demonstrates through his actions and words that living your values means more than merely speaking truths: it means embodying those truths, even when they are unpopular.

As the new year begins, let�s build on those examples. As business leaders, it�s critical to understand that living our values transcends simply not breaking the law. It requires that we translate our fundamental beliefs into action.

A research study conducted by the Center for High Performance found that "living the values" is one of the biggest differentiators between groups that consistently make money and drive innovation and those that don't.

The Center for High Performance has put together a list of 10 New Year�s resolutions to help leaders accomplish those goals.

On behalf of all of us at CFHP, I wish you a new year filled with mission-focused, value-driven actions that will help your company prosper and, in the process, make the world a better place.


Nelson Mandela on values

The late Nelson Mandela talks about living his values by treating all people with respect.

Watch more CfHP videos.

Ten resolutions for CEOs

The new year is a good time to reflect on how changing our own behavior can influence others.

What if we lived our company�s values not through words but through our actions?

What if we were able to keep an open mind when presented with ideas that seem impossible?

What if we took time from our busy schedules to make someone�s day simply by saying �thank you�?

The Center for High Performance wishes you a year in which employees do their best work; you retain your top performers; and you achieve better, more sustainable results. By committing to the resolutions below, you can make 2014 a stellar year for your company.

In 2014, I resolve to:

  1. Set a high ethical bar for myself and others.

  2. Start by assuming that people�s intentions are good and their thinking is smart.

  3. Tell people what I want them to accomplish; let them figure out how to do it.

  4. Create an environment in which people feel like they can take risks.

  5. Always have the meeting-after-the-meeting at the meeting.

  6. Remember that the �smartest guy in the room� is the entire leadership team.

  7. Listen to contrarian voices, even if they make me feel uncomfortable.

  8. Publicly thank those who bring up difficult, unpopular or taboo subjects.

  9. Work with the leadership team to create a written charter that lays out desired values and behaviors, as well as financial expectations.

  10. Reward teams that both get results and live the values.


Welcome back, Sasha!

Sasha Song has rejoined the Center for High Performance team, specializing in organizational assessment and customized executive education.

Song, who first worked with CfHP President and CEO Susan Lucia Annunzio at Sibson Consulting in the mid-1990s, joined the Center for High Performance in 2002 as its first employee. She was a core member of the team that conducted the center�s groundbreaking research on the factors that accelerate or stifle high performance. She also provided key editorial insights for Annunzio�s book based on that study, Contagious Success: Spreading High Performance Throughout Your Organization.

At Sibson, she worked on transformational change management and communication projects from conception to delivery. Her global assignments included a two-year organizational assessment and change initiative for the IT departments of Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand, which merged into one of the largest professional services firms in the world.

As director of Change Management & Global Business Transformation at American Express, Song launched a program management office to support a three-year growth strategy that resulted in a $300 million contribution to the bottom line. She also led change management, strategic communications, training and education programs.

Based in Hopkinton, Mass., Song is currently working on strategy execution recommendations for a global energy company based on a quantitative and qualitative organizational assessment. She also is designing custom executive education programs for a variety of clients.

Annunzio praised Song�s intelligence, creativity and attention to detail. �I couldn�t be more excited to have her back on the team,� she said.

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