Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 21

"The hard (and sweet) truth: Amid the never-ending blizzard of leadership
books and talks with the latest advice, it is good to remember that getting
the basics right is the first, essential step to building a great organization."
work. Social enterprises can help fill that gap by paying a
wage that allows young people to recognize their impact while
still being able to make ends meet and pay off student loans.
Furthermore, she hires people in all stages of their careers
in each of the geographic areas from which the company
distributes, and gives those employees freedom to build that
local business.
Sandbrook said that U.S. Concrete lays out a clear map
for maturing into management. "Expect to make decisions
early and be rewarded for performance," he said. He wants
people at all levels to be strategic "chess players," willing to
make decisions and be innovative and creative in the "basic
blocking-and-tackling" in the business. Strategic thinkers
at a concrete company may have a different kind of impact
than they would at a social enterprise, but it can be just as
motivating to make a difference in how a company does
business as it is to affect society at large.

Foster a positive, supportive culture.
Sandbrook said that he encourages an environment of
collaboration and respect where "egos are checked at the
door" and expressed a high tolerance for low-consequence
mistakes as learning experiences. "If you cut people off at the
legs for making a mistake, they will work to be the one not to
decide," he said. "That hurts the business." He also noted that
the company's performance focus means that no one has to
watch a clock. "You can succeed here and still have a life."
Similarly, Tranchell spoke of a culture that is "fair and
inclusive that emphasizes sharing," one in which "we try to
stay nimble and have fun." As a small business, "we can still
get everyone in the same room once a month to celebrate
success and solve problems."

Lead with a higher purpose.
Tranchell told me that she has trouble with the notion
of leadership as an end in itself. "You don't [run an
organization] to 'do' leadership," she said. "You do it because
you see change that needs to happen and you can make a
difference. I believe we need accountable and transparent
companies that are willing to address social injustice."
Tranchell clearly draws heavily on her experience as an
activist, a time she describes as one in which people wanted
to change the world and, in the case of apartheid, actually
did. She aims to pass on not simply the passion but also the
belief that collective action can have impact. "Lots of people
thought Divine Chocolate wouldn't work," she said. "We
believed it would and it has."
Sandbrook came into the private sector after cultivating an
ethos of service in the military. His higher purpose - "having
that team accomplish things they might not have even known
were possible" - reflects that heritage. He described his
greatest satisfaction and self-actualization as team building.
"It's the intangible rewards, not the tangible," he said. "I
thrive when I can motivate them to a higher level."
The hard (and sweet) truth: Amid the never-ending blizzard
of leadership books and talks with the latest advice, it is
good to remember that getting the basics right is the first,
essential step to building a great organization. z

Reprinted with Permission: strategy+business:
http://www.strategy-business.com/Eric-J-McNulty

Eric J. McNulty is the director of research at the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative and is a
writer, speaker, and educator about leadership and resilience. He can be reached at
eric@richerearth.com, 617.371.7254; ericmcnulty.com; and @richerearth.

march/april 2017

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success

21


http://www.strategy-business.com/Eric-J-McNulty http://www.ericmcnulty.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Success By Association - March/April 2017

President’s Message
Event Calendar
Change, One Person at a Time
What I Learned as an Employment Attorney: Non-Legal Advice to Get You Out of Legal Hot Water
Is Your Hiring Filter in the Way?
Freedom Comes From Rules
Cost/Benefit of an Organization Retreat
Polish Up Your Confict-of-Interest Policy
Legislative Reception a Success!
Getting the Leadership Basics Right
Member Updates
Should They Stay or Should They Go? (With Apologies to the Clash)
Young Leader Profile
Advertiser Index
Buyers’ Guide
Advertiser Showcase
Executive Director’s Message
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - cover1
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - cover2
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 3
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - President’s Message
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Event Calendar
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 6
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Change, One Person at a Time
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - What I Learned as an Employment Attorney: Non-Legal Advice to Get You Out of Legal Hot Water
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 9
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Is Your Hiring Filter in the Way?
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Freedom Comes From Rules
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Cost/Benefit of an Organization Retreat
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 13
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Polish Up Your Confict-of-Interest Policy
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 15
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Legislative Reception a Success!
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 17
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 18
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 19
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Getting the Leadership Basics Right
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 21
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Member Updates
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 23
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Should They Stay or Should They Go? (With Apologies to the Clash)
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - 25
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Young Leader Profile
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Advertiser Index
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Buyers’ Guide
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Advertiser Showcase
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - Executive Director’s Message
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - cover3
Success By Association - March/April 2017 - cover4
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