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:  

Related Articles

How swimming in cold water could treat depression

The surprisingly simple treatment could prove promising for doctors and patients seeking to treat depression without medication.

Photo by Luis Marina/Flickr
Mind & Brain
  • A new report shows how cold-water swimming was an effective treatment for a 24-year-old mother.
  • The treatment is based on cross-adaptation, a phenomenon where individuals become less sensitive to a stimulus after being exposed to another.
  • Getting used to the shock of cold-water swimming could blunt your body's sensitivity to other stressors.
Keep reading Show less

Eating your kids may improve your sex life? Sounds fishy.

Maybe try counseling first before you try this, married folks.

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • The study looks at cannibalism in fish.
  • If it doesn't look like the brood is going to be 'productive,' it might get eaten.
  • Don't try this at home. Seriously, don't. Human beings deserve love and respect.
Keep reading Show less

Are people with more self-discipline happier?

Why self-control makes your life better, and how to get more of it.

Buddhist monks of all nations mediate in Thailand. Monks are well known for their self-discipline and restrictive lifestyle. Is it possible that this leads them to happiness?
(Photo by Geem Drake/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Personal Growth
  • Research demonstrates that people with higher levels of self-control are happier over both the short and long run.
  • Higher levels of self-control are correlated with educational, occupational, and social success.
  • It was found that the people with the greatest levels of self-control avoid temptation rather than resist it at every turn.
Keep reading Show less