Energize Your Workforce

I am a big believer that behaviors have a huge effect on results,” says Fred Hassan, the Former Schering-Plough CEO, Bausch + Lomb Chair. “Behaviors create convergence toward common goals.”

In the latest installment of Big Think’s Edge, Hassan advises how to energize your workforce and develop leaders to make your organization stronger and more productive.

Behavior Creates Trust

Leaders must behave in a way that sets a model for all employees to follow. Behavior from the top down creates a company culture that helps determine just how productive and innovative that company can be. “Behaviors also signal to each other that there are no politics in the system so that they don’t have to worry about wasting their time on politics, but working instead on very productive activities,” says Hassan. “And behaviors also create understanding and empathy and compassion among people that really improves the overall organizational health of the team. So behaviors are a huge element in the success of any team or any company.”

Look Behind the Numbers

“Sometimes chief executive officers have a great run, four or five years, and it looks great; the numbers are great, and yet something is not very good inside that company,” says Hassan, pointing to the example of a surprise sudden fall of an executive that signals something, behind the numbers, was off. “I personally look for ways to find out what’s behind the numbers. Is it that they’re doing a better job with customers? Or is it just short-term cost-cutting to make the numbers look better and better? Are they doing a better job with innovation, in terms of new products that might be better for the future? Or is it all about maximizing and milking what you have at this time?”

Leadership is About Character

“Leadership in its final analysis is about character, it’s about self-awareness,” he says, “it’s about an emotional connection with the people. If these three aspects are not there, the person might be a very good manager, but they may not be a very strong leader.” Hassan advises looking at a person’s attitude toward the job. Are they focused on doing the very best they can do with the job that’s in front of them? Are they contributing or maneuvering to undermine their colleagues, and therefore, the organization?

Watch a clip from Hassan’s interview for Big Think's Edge. To learn how to energize your workforce, subscribe to Edge today: