The Three Power Values is filled with examples of companies whose weak or toxic culture drove good people to do bad things. For example, at Johnson & Johnson, the understood directive to get product to market on tough deadlines created a culture of "Don't ask too many questions" and resulted in a series of dangerous-drug recalls that badly sullied the company's reputation. At BP, some believe an overemphasis on financial performance became the only metrics that mattered. Before the fatal explosion in April 2012 caused by a safety shortcut, BP's Macondo project was more than $40 million over budget. You know the rest.
Gebler weaves intriguing real-world company examples through these pages to illustrate how higher standards by leaders bring out the best in employees, and lower standards make it easier for employees to rationalize unethical behavior. The take-away? Responsibility for the health of a company's culture, and hence, the behavior of its employees, lies squarely in the hands of leadership.
He demonstrates how the alignment of three core leadership values--commitment, integrity, and transparency--can transform a weak culture into a strong one. And then he shows leaders how to assess the relative strength of these three values at their organization, what happens when any of the three pillars is weak, and how to change one's leadership behavior, strategies, and attitude to bring the three into alignment.
Using more real-life company examples, Gebler helps us see how strong, successful company cultures have visionary leaders who have learned how to encourage positive qualities and get a high level of performance from their employees. By granting them autonomy. By setting up policies and practices that involve their input and show respect. By communicating well. By being fair, reliable, clear, and accountable. These are great organizations that have good reputations, loyal talent, and solid performance. Above all, they have leaders who understand that their own values matter--a lot.
With Gebler's three-value model, leaders now have a working template to evaluate areas of weakness in their leadership style and company culture, and a roadmap for removing policies and practices that keep good employees from performing at their best.