Author Archives: Jeff Pelletier

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Do you want to help make the world GREAT?

Category : Blog , Value Added

A great world is not a perfect world. A great world is a place where we pursue perfection with the sober-mindedness to know it is unattainable but we pursue anyway.  I know its a contradiction…that’s why it’s so powerful.  A great world is a place in which goods and services, products, and information are shared for “mutual benefit” in love. It’s the only way that works and sustains. Want proof?  Russia tried to establish an a-moral free market and they have corruption, organized crime, systemic alcoholism and prostitution.  What the world needs is a “free market” that has a moral compass. America was leading this but even here it is in decline.  But enough talk. Let’s get started.

To make the world GREAT we need great people and great companies and organizations.  We  launched “The Foundation for Excellence in Faith and Work”-  a non-profit that will accomplish three key goals that align perfectly with the world BECOMING GREAT!

Please check out our site, its goals and see if you align.  If you do..please give, as little as $5 and as much as $100,000!

Become part of making the world great.. will you help? Go here   Thank you. May you be blessed beyond measure.


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The Global Leadership Summit 2012

Category : Blog

Last Thursday and Friday (Aug 10,11, 2012) I attended The Global Leadership Summit  at a satellite location here in Minnesota. 

The Willow Creek Association did a great job as usual. Bill Hybels is an amazing leader and did tremendous job presenting really high quality content and Guests from Jim Collins of Good to Great to Condaleeza Rice to Patrik Lencioni  and many others.  All were very inspirational and informative.

But if you are an emerging company and really aspire to excellence you came away with a nagging question:

Welcome to Becoming Great!  We specialize in helping emerging companies with viable product or services, to fulfill their potential in the marketplace.  Our 40 + collective years of success can be brought to bear with out consulting  model that we’ve constructed from our own analysis of Jim Collins’ work studying greatness.

From finding the RIGHT people, to discovering your organization’s core purpose and REAL values, to creating  and implementing the people systems that get your there, we help companies become great!

Why? Because the world needs more great companies…don’t you think?

Check us out on LinkedIN to learn about us and visit our web site. To get started on the journey, contact me  or call Jeff  651-492-8540 or or call Paul-612-244-1154

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Great By Choice

Category : Blog

I am in the process of reading Jim’s new book, “Great by Choice” .   Here is my short review.

Love it. Buy it.

This book is for Owners and Presidents specifically.  I am using it as a coaching tool. Lots of really great examples and facts that should instruct and lead a CEO or President.  Lots of what he talks about is a drill-down into the character of a Level 5 leader.   Most of his examples in the book focus specifically on success from the perspective of the Leader.  Leading is all about the destination folks.  Pure and Simple.

Vision is the destination corporately.  Peak Performance is the destination individually.

My Consulting Model is proving very effective in helping you construct an organization that can go from good… great.


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The Results are in on Core Purpose and Core Values

Category : Blog

The verdict on my testing and proving out one of the key principles of Jim Collins books. 

In the book “Good to Great”, and his other books Jim Collins talks about the power of this principle: Preserve the Core, Stimulate Progress.  For most of my adult life and for the last 8 years in my consulting practice I have been putting this idea into practice with the companies I have worked with as Consultant, Owner and Employee.  Especially in these last 8 years as my practice has grown and I have been using in the building of healthy, effective organizations.


I write the above in caps because for some reason leaders in the marketplace don’t seem to believe it.  In these uncertain times especially, this single principle can be the difference between survival and failure.  If the principle is applied correctly, (like in selecting and managing people and in crafting a work environment), it moves the business forward. But even if you understand and apply just as you see it here, it may be the difference that keeps you going.
The core of your business comes from, understanding why you do it.  This is true of your department if you are a manager, but it is especially true if you own or operate the company.  Understanding why you are in business, that core, ongoing outcome or contribution your company or non-profit delivers in the marketplace, keeps you grounded when things are whirling around and you are being buffeted by the winds of change and uncertainty.

Collins calls this your organization’s Core Purpose and so do I.  I also have found that the same principle is found in each of us as individuals. (Go here to learn more.)
In this world of constant uncertainty it is steadying and empowering for your company or non-profit to develop a Core Purpose.  See my post about Missions to see the difference.
Core Values are the other significant part of the core.  Core Values are the principles that support the Core Purpose and must also be from the Founder or owner.  In the absence of the Founder co-founders or long-term employees are great sources.  (This is all assuming the company or non-profit has had a period of effectiveness that has perhaps waned over time.  The effective period was when these values were being practiced but never codified.)  A great board of directors can also be a good source.  Btw, it the BOARD’S responsibility to preserve the Core Purpose and Values, and good ones do this well. 
These two provide the core of an organization, and are the foundation that keep it steady and true over the years.  If you read Built to Last, another Collins book, this becomes very evident.
But most organizations never record and authenticate their REAL values, so they wither and die. Capturing them and memorializing them, drives excellence in ways that other posts in this blog point out.

So after EIGHT YEARS of testing out the Good to Great principles, I can say without any hesitation that this one is the REAL DEAL and almost “magical”.

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Why Mission Statements Aren’t Enough

Category : Blog

Many organizations have very well written mission statements yet, in many cases their performance has waned over time.  For some reason the people they are hiring and who have been there just aren’t as engaged with that idea as others were before.  

The reason could be “mission accomplished”.     A Mission is achievable.  We went to the moon and returned safely to the earth, as John Kennedy asked us to.  This took 7 years. Mission accomplished.  After that mission was accomplished the budget was slashed and NASA drifted until the Shuttle program which was key in the mission of establishing the International Space Station, this took another 15 years.  Mission Accomplished.  Budget slashed. 
Missions once they are accomplished lose their power and when new people come in they are not jazzed.  And if it is too specific about how we achieve it,  for example, and conditions change, (like er ah 2008?), a well intended mission falls flat.
While missions (who, what, how, when) which are  essentially really BIG goals,  are important, they are unsustainable as the examples above show.  Becoming Great Companies, are purpose driven and Vision “:focused”.  These two are the alpha and omega of the becoming great process. As the Collins study points out in his vast research, a great Core Purpose should last 100 years.  And a great Core Purpose along with the actual Core Values should -drive collective and individual decision-making if they are properly constructed. (ask me about this as this very important.) A well written Core Purpose will guide a company or organization (or an individual) for a 100 years or more. 

Walt Disney was asked why he was in business- “My business is making people, especially children, happy.” —Walt Disney

This is no mission statement. It is a CORE PURPOSE which almost 80 years later, still drives the Disney organization.

Vision on the other hand focuses the strategic plans of your organization. Since strategies are broad and directional, they should point the organization at the “Everest” as Jim Collins calls it, the VISION. 

And the Vision should be a clear concise statement of that ultimate, with a vivid detailed description of what it will be like when we arrive, NOT how to get there, the ultimate “state”.

Carry on…..

Jeff Pelletier

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Why Outcome Based Job Descriptions (c) Work

Category : Blog

Why Outcome Based Job Descriptions (c) Work
Outcome Based Job Descriptions (c) are a key to effective organizations but if you don’t do them with the right understanding they will NOT give you the effectiveness you seek. 
Now I will not go into the mechanics of how to write them as it would require too long a post. But here are the reasons and understanding required. 
OBJD’s work because of human nature.  People are naturally teleological, goal oriented, SEEKING beings.  This is just a fact.  
It turns out, wink-wink, that Abraham Maslow is right. 
If you are hungry you automatically seek———
If you are thirsty you automatically seek—–
If you are lonely, you automatically seek——–
If you feel bad, you automatically seek ——
BF Skinner way back in the day, proved that people seek pleasure and avoid pain.  But you can also restate that people seek “relief” from pain, so even pain is seeking driven.  
Maslow identified the graduated nature of our seeking with his hierarchy. 
All of this great research was true then and is true now.  
So why then do leaders and managers not utilize this stuff they all studied in management and psyche 101?  Because they get lost in the whirl-wind, as Covey has come to call it, and they seem to focus on people as a MEANS.  “I need people to DO these things for me so I can get work done.”
The problem with this mindset is that fundamentally it looks at people as just another part of the business “schematic” a “human resource” like widgets or ingredients or material and frankly when you approach them that way you dumb them down and get less than you really want from them.  (Land and Labor and Capital.)
This is the main cause of mediocrity in organizations.  Instead of giving people a “responsibility” as Jim Collins we give them task lists of stuff to DO. We may add “responsibilities” too but these are usually veiled lists as well.  This is all an attempt to manage people people by management fiat and to do so before the fact..  Duh!!!!  There was a time about 40 years ago when this was effective. But that was back when the world was pretty static, and writing them that way worked, for the most part. But in THIS world, the world of the last 20 years, in this world of continuous improvement, this model does not work. Truth is, all it ever produced was mediocrity.  
But lets move on…..
People have talents and skills.
When these talents and skills are pointed at business outcomes they get accomplished if these talents are pointed at outcomes that match those skills, people become self-managing to very large degree.
The key is to clearly, with crystal clarity, define the desired outcome in a -“value-added” way. In a previous post I have defined value-added specifically as “that which moves the organization forward”.  Non value added outcomes are therefore “muda” or waste, and should be eliminated.  And what happens with aligned people, that is, when you hire talented people, who also align with your core values and purpose, and point them at what you want them to accomplish for you, things rise to a new level. It is a game changer.
If your job outcomes are crafted in an ultimate way, if they describe your VISION (with clarity) for the contribution the job makes, you have it figured out. 
In this environment, (OBJD and the RIGHT people)  you get continuous improvement, pointed at the achievement of well defined outcomes THAT REFLECT WHAT YOU WANT YOUR BUSINESS TO BECOME!
Look out baby!
OBJD is a key outcome of my consulting model.  To find out more

Jeff Pelletier

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Becoming Great with the Right People

Category : Blog

I ‘ve written about it before.  The Right people are the most important asset your organization has.  But finding the right people is the key. Here is recent Wall Street Journal Article that deals with why some companies have trouble with this idea.

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The Struggle

Category : Blog

Becoming great is a no big deal right?  Of the thousands of  companies studied in all three Collins’ studies,  only a handful were determined to have risen above the general category of “Good” to be becoming great.  
The reason I care about greatness is the great companies understood some stuff about people, and leading and organization and focus and purpose, values and vision—which you can learn about how to do in detail by searching these words right here in this blog and by visiting .     
My personal calling is to help people and organizations to fulfill their potential.  But I also believe the world DESERVES  more great companies.  Consumers need and deserve the products and services that great companies create.  And employees and managers need the wonderful experience of spending the 60% of their awake time they spend at work,  working at a great company.  
Becoming great is a struggle….don’t do it alone. 
Jeff Pelletier

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Three Outcomes that fight against mediocrity

Category : Blog

Does your organization suffer from the onset of mediocrity? 

Let us deliver these three outcomes and help you bring life to your organization.  Vision–Process–Purpose are your hedge against the descent into mediocrity that no business can afford, especially in this economy.

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Why do you do it?

Category : Blog

I’ve written about this before. The great companies all get this.

This will help you understand you better.