I grew up in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and during that time Montreal got a baseball franchise called the Montreal Expos. The Manager of the team was a man named Gene Mauch. He had a storied career and was instrumental in selling baseball to the Montreal community. Montreal has a bit of baseball history as Jackie Robinson started his professional baseball career playing for the Montreal Royals. In the early years the Expo’s made a trade with the New York Mets and obtained a shortstop named Tim Foley. He was a real talent but he was also very aggressive. He fought with his teammates at practice. A reporter asked Mauch about this “why do you keep him; he is such a disruptive force?” In his response he said “I would rather tone down his attitude than try to create the right attitude in someone who doesn’t have it.”

I couldn’t agree with that comment more. I have always said “I can’t motivate anyone. If you don’t come to the job self-motivated, I can’t give it to you. But…I can easily demotivate everyone.” So, my approach to most everything is to ask, “what stands in the way from you being able to do a better job?” or, “what is the part of the job you like the least?” And then we get to work to get rid of the obstacles.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams.

So how do we get every employee driven to dream more, learn more, do more and become more? I believe it is helping each individual person to become more than they thought they could be. Creating expectations. I have been involved in this aspect of life since I was a teenager. My sport was swimming growing up. I swam a lot, some five hours a day for many years. But swimming is an interesting athletic pursuit. You are not competing with the other swimmers in the race with you. You are competing against yourself. The clock is your competitor. The only way you win that race, against the clock, is by changing your strokes, by adapting how your body sits in the water. In other words, you make changes. I grew up understanding that to progress you had to embrace change.

Within Learning Without Scars using our job function assessments and integrating them within an annual performance review as a standard within your company you start too can this process of embracing change.  You can talk with each individual employee about their assessment scores. That allows you to discuss where the employees think they can do better. What do they need to do or have happen in the systems or procedures to get better results? You can arrive at a specific learning plan to fill in the skills and competency gaps. What we call a “Learning Path.” When you look at the classes in our Learning Without Scars business you will see four skill levels for each job function; Basic (0-25), Intermediate (26-50), Advanced (51-75) and Expert (76–100). Please Note: we have recently adjusted these skill levels to more accurately reflect the latest results of the employees taking our assessments.

Through this process each employee has the opportunity to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more. Shouldn’t that be the goal for all of us?

The time is now.