Final post of mine referencing my findings at the Fortune/Gazelles Leadership Summit. 

Mark Aesch was truly an interesting speaker at the summit.  He was the featured CEO.  He runs the public transportation authority of Rochester NY, their equivalent of our MATA.  Quite the contrast to our bus service.  He took over a money losing operation and turned it into a surplus (read profit) making entity,  while reducing bus fares and increasing ridership.  His book, Driving Excellence, outlines it all for us.  We’ll be featuring it at the In-Synk Business Book Club this fall.  Stay tuned. 

He has a formula:  Strategy Development + Quality Measurements + Courage in Decision Making = Outstanding results.

He also asked the audience to rethink how they frame things.

Sunday afternoon drives  vs. Destination Management
–Sunday drive mentality is a paternalistic, listless, and ego driven way of leading
–Destination management is purposeful and deliberate.  People stay on board because they know where they are headed.

“I think” vs. “I know”
–“I think” means the biggest title in the room wins. 
–“I know” means information lights the path to good decisions and to the Destination you are going to

Sad Decisions vs Tough Decisions
–So often we frame things as “tough” when they are merely unpopular or emotionally troubling.
–There are very few “tough” decisions when you have clear direction and the data available.  The decisions become crystal clear.  They might be sad decisions because of emotions connected to them.

Survivors vs.  Succeeders
–Survivors merely try “hang on” to what they have. Protecting their status and perks.
–Succeeders risk their personal survival for the future success of the org.

Couple of other hints
1.  Financially driven orgs are not financially successful ones
2.  Clearly identify what success is
3.  Create a plan, not a budget(budgets are for survivors not succeeders)
4.  Be in charge–not demonstrate you are in charge.

Tom Peters has endorsed this book as the best leadership book written in the past ten  years.  I’m going to get a couple of copies and give them to our Civic Leaders and to the head of MATA.