At some point in our lives, our points of pride are no longer about our individual accomplishments.
Gary and his wife, Andrea, took their kids to San Francisco last year – it’s one of five cities they want their kids to experience before college.
Gary Spears, IT Director at Medtronic and recent graduate of Good Leadership Training, explains that his most meaningful leadership moments come from his kids. “I couldn’t be prouder of the young adults they’re becoming. And that’s a reflection on me and my wife, and the value we place on family.” Training reinforced how the goodness in his personal life can be blended into his professional life when work becomes stressful.
Rewarding Excellence Creates Positivity
In the workplace, Gary values trust, compassion, and empathy – but like any other leader he hasn’t always gotten that in return. He remembers interactions with coworkers and direct reports who have been negative, disrespectful, or mean. “My style is so opposite, so I tend to retreat around these people.” But Good Leadership Training helped him appreciate how much leaders shape the culture of a workplace. “I know that as a parent, your kids are always watching. Training reminded me that as a leader, your employees are always watching. If I let negativity get the best of me, my team isn’t going to perform in a way that makes any of us proud.”
Gary and his Medtronic team participate in a service event once a quarter as a way of spreading goodness in the workplace.
In Training, Gary decided to combat negativity by rewarding excellence to spread positivity. He recognizes when someone puts in extra effort, and goes out of his way to let people know they’re appreciated. “I know that no matter who you’re leading, you have to get out front and set a positive example.”
Full Family Approach
The first time Gary completed the Seven Fs Wheel, a tool to measure satisfaction in Faith, Family, Finances, Fitness, Friends, Fun, and Future, the concept clicked for him. “Every professional in that training room is so busy, and we’re always trying to balance our lives…we never think about blending all the elements together.” He loved the Seven Fs Wheel so much he shared it with his family. He and his wife have asked their four teenagers to complete their own Seven Fs Wheel, and all four kids set goals for themselves as they look toward college. “I know they might be frustrated with this goal-setting right now, but I hope they can look back and say, ‘you know what, maybe Dad was smarter than we thought.’”
When Gary completed a Personal Visioning Exercise – looking back seven years in his life, and then
His kids are the light of his life – meaningful moments like this will last a lifetime.
looking ahead seven years – he was blown away to think about the clarity of seven years into the future. His youngest son will be a senior in college, and the other three will have already graduated. He hopes that encouraging them to set goals for the future will have set them up well to succeed. The principles of the Cornerstones of Goodness, and The Seven Fs are motivating to Gary both personally and professionally. “I want my kids to have a strong foundation for making wise decisions – that’s part of what makes me proud of them. The Seven Fs gives them that.”
Good leaders identify what makes them proud, and drive to keep improving in those areas. And they share their joys and learnings with those around them.
Please tell me: what motivates your good work?
Gary and I played in a charity golf tournament yesterday!