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In This Issue
Four Stories of a Leader
Recipe for Success in 2012
Twitter Highlights
Quick Links
Tweet Highlights
I send 15-20 tweets a week with links to useful articles and research; here are a few of my latest, including links:

"We all die. The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will." - R.I.P. Whitney Houston

Not just golf, but life - How to adapt without losing our "soul" The Battle For The Soul Of The Game via @WSJ

Leadership secrets of George Washington - among others, self-restraint, tenacity of purpose and character via @WSJ

The power of quiet - Are we
morphing from a culture of character to one of personality? Avoiding the Limelight via @WSJ

Read up on Hershey's supply chain and consider signing this petition before enjoying your Valentine's Day chocolate

'Great - now we won't hear from the smarter ones in the room! Speaking Up Is Hard To Do: Researchers Explain via @WSJ

It's all about balance - stand-up meetings OK if not the only meetings you have -Meetings Are Stand-Up Jobs via @WSJ

Inauthentic environmentalism - For some it's more important to look "green" than to be green via @WSJ

Another side to the story: In Defense of China's Plants - via @WSJ

This is why we have to "get the right people on the bus/boat and the wrong ones off it!

We are what we click. Perhaps it's time to go on an "information diet."

"Like" Children's Clean Drinking Water page - - and provide 1 day of clean drinking water in the developing world.

Good, short and to the point: "How To Run A Meeting" @Readers Digest

Agree with the power of authenticity and integrity; yes, we are humans being too - Your Leadership Trump Cards -

See this article and my comment about "The Problem With For-Profit Education Extra Thinking Time Leads To More Ethical Decisions

Good points about the need for more "both / and" thinking and "polarity management" to drive innovation @Gregg Fraley

Good advice on resolving workplace conflicts: "How To Cope With Workers Who Act Like Todlers" via @fastcompany

I'm afraid Kersten makes a valid point about the Costa Concordia incident: A Shipwreck in a Selfish Age

Required reading for Apple product fans: Understanding The Real Costs And Conditions Of Workers In China

'Can't argue with these "10 dumb mistakes companies make over and over:" via @CBSNews

Surprising and useful findings about the connections between distraction, reflection, happiness and innovation

Now we can say that integrity lapses are ventrolateral prefrontal cortex or right temporoparietal issues!

If we could, should we? Whom would you like to see take it first? Are We Ready for a Morality Pill?

This is an excellent article to help distinguish strategic fluff from strategic content.

An excellent piece on strategic thinking and the importance of "convergences:" The Kodak Lie
via @FortuneMagazine

Good advice here: How to become a great communicator: via @CBSNews

Paterno's complicated legacy - Flawed Like The Rest of Us -

12 Inconvenient Truths About American Higher Education by The Chronicle

If you missed it, below is a copy of my last blog, by guest author Bill Gjetson: Four Stories of a Leader. Since some may not have seen January's article, A Recipe For Success in 2012, its introduction follows; you can access the entire article by clicking the link at the end.  Be sure to enter the "Who Said This?" contest at the bottom of this newsletter to win an autographed copy of Navigating Integrity - Transforming Business As Usual Into Business At Its Best.
Four Stories of a Leader
Bill Gjetson, Guest Author 
(This month's guest author is Bill Gjetson, who shares inTEgro's belief that stories play an important role shaping a leader's and organization's identity.  After a 30 year career in Human Resources  with Caterpillar, Bill is now engaged in experience-based leadership coaching and consulting; helping leaders  harness the power of storytelling is an integral part of his practice.  Bill can be reached at

Leaders must know how to set direction as well as how to engage followers.   A great strategy without a fully committed workforce prepared to execute it is a failed strategy.


Storytelling is a powerful way to engage team members.  Leaders who master the craft of storytelling have a potent arsenal for explaining strategy and inspiring performance.  This is not to suggest that leadersStory quote tell tall tales or spin yarns.  This is about authentic stories, stories true to the leader and true to the organization.  An authentic story, fiction or non-fiction, is one that is relevant to the business context, sheds light on the situation, reveals meaning, defines a larger purpose, and motivates performers to give their very best.


For example, stories to inspire perseverance range from The Little Engine That Could, to the 1914 Shakleton expedition to the Antarctic, to the Battle of Britain and  Churchill's speech to students at Harrow school.  In his closing remarks Churchill told them "This is the lesson.  Never give in.  Never give in.  Never, never, never, never-in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give  in...".


Stories enable leaders to engage employees because people understand the world in terms of stories.  There are four story categories a leader must master: Who Am I? Who Are We? Where Are We Going? How Will We Get There?  In addition to story content, the leader needs to learn context (what story to tell and when to tell it) and process (how to tell the story).


"Who Am I?" is the gateway story.  Employees need to know who the leader is on a personal level, before they will listen to anything else the leader has to say or ask of them.  The "Who Am I?" story must be faithful to the people and events that shaped the leader's life.  Telling the story opens the way to building connections and trust.  Noel Tichy, in The Leadership Engine, puts it this way:


"The most effective leaders are those who are in touch with their leadership stories....When we know our stories, we know ourselves....(The leader's stories) allow other people to know us.  Stories create real, human connections by allowing others to get inside our minds and our lives."


The next three stories are all about the employees and the journey they are on together.  Employees need to know who they are where they are going, and how they'll get there.  According to Howard Gardner, in Leading Minds:


"The story is the basic human cognitive form.  The artful creation and articulation of stories constitutes a fundamental part of a leader's vocation.  Narratives that help individuals think about and feel who they are, where they have come from, and where they are headed....constitute the single most powerful weapon in a leader's literary arsenal."


"Who Are We?" stories encompass the organization's history, critical events, and core values.  These are stories about the people and events that brought the organization into being , guided its development, and insured its long term success.  These are stories about founders, builders,  and anyone and everyone who contributed to the creation of a strong, values-based organization.  "Who Are We?" stories build organizational identity and loyalty.

"Where Are We Going?" stories are about the organization's mission Story Roadand strategy.  They are stories about the future, about aspiration, about "who we will become".  These stories give meaning and purpose to the organization, and help employees understand what they are working for.

"How Will We Get There?" stories are the most demanding  to craft and tell, because they are  about how the organization will solve its most pressing problems, overcome challenges, deal with crises, or handle adversity.  There are times in the life of every organization when things go wrong, dark clouds form, discouragement settles in and employees begin to lose hope.  On these occasions, the leader can draw on the history of the organization, or use stories from another time and place, to keep hope alive, sustain effort, and show employees that they can prevail.


Developing narrative competence (knowing how and when to tell stories) and mastering the Four Stories will go far towards enabling a leader to build a fully committed workforce and execute strategy.


How will you harness the power of stories?


"Lessons of wisdom have the most power over us when they capture the heart through the groundwork of a story, which engages the passions."                                                                 Laurence Stern  


Recipe for Success in 2012
(Intro to January 10 blog)

We pulled out a time-honored family recipe over the holidays, and that got me thinking about what a recipe for success in 2012 might be.  I Grandmere recipe 3 smalltried to follow the criteria for most good recipes: they should be relatively simple and clear, employ what is ideally at our disposal, allow for some flexibility or minor errors, and yield the desired outcomes.  Here's what I came up with:

Start with the end in mind.  What are the outcomes that we want?  Where do we see ourselves ideally in 2013?  What's new; what's different?  Why is that important - how will the outcomes advance our longer-range vision and goals?


Take inventory.  What resources do we already have on hand that we can employ - friends, contacts, materials, assets . . .?  Which will we need to acquire?  This step is like a basic navigational principle: before we can get to where we want to go, we need to first know where we are - and it's critical to be accurate.  If we take on a complicated recipe from a renowned chef, and it's in a foreign language, the chances of

Win A Free Book! NI book cover png 052311
Enter the "WHO SAID THIS?" contest on our blog to win a free autographed copy of Navigating Integriity - Transforming Business As Usual Into Business At Its Best

"In this new book, Al Watts does a masterful job articulating how to live with integrity in our organization, on your team and in your life. A highly practical guide for leveraging the power of integrity."
(Kevin Cashman, Senior Partner Korn Ferrry

 Look inside here 


Contact inTEgro to explore how we can be of service for strategic planning, senior team and board development or facilitating critical meetings. Click "Services" on our home page to learn more, including inTEgro's array of professional organization, team and leader surveys.

All the best,
Al Watts
inTEgro, Inc.
ph: (612) 827-2363