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Formulas for Leading, Part 2

I pick up this entry from where I left off on Formulas for Leading last time. While I hope the first 3 gave you something to ponder, here are 3 more “formulas” to put into practice as you develop your leadership acumen.

IQ + EQ + SQ – EGO
Intelligence quotient + Emotional quotient + Social quotient – EGO
CIO magazine (Australia)

This is a recent article by Darren Horrigan in CIO magazine in Australia. While it approaches more on the IQ and EQ aspects, it is a great formula that shows what the well-rounded leader needs to possess. What’s unique and functional in this thinking is that there is no EQUALS sign for a result, but the implied balance of the 3 quotients minus the EGO of self-service will produce successful results of various kinds.

We all know that IQ is the ability to think, process, plan, organize, and so on. So we take that concept and build it into the EQ, or emotional quotient. This is the measure of how emphatic you are, how well you pick up on the vibes or pulse of those around you, how you conduct and control your actions and your emotions, and how steady you are, even under fire. The social quotient (SQ) is the ability to inspire, lead, communicate, relate to others, and build people up, both team members and customers.

One may look at this formula and think that they have to possess high traits of all 3 to make their mark. Keep in mind that very few leaders have a strong presence in all three quotients. So what makes this a balanced formula is that the majority of capable leaders may not have, for instance, a high IQ, but display a huge potential in the emotional arena that keep the team grounded and perhaps fun and functional. Your unique abilities may be low in 1 area but quite high in others. So while your 3 quotients may factor positively in varying degrees, any EGO involved will take away from your ability to lead.

SS x ST > MS x MT
(Staff Satisfied) x (Staff Trained) > (Management satisfied) x (Mgmt Trained)
Me vs. ‘Charlie’ debate 1991

After graduating from Plymouth State University in 1990, I found myself working for a hospitality company and with some close friends started a small business venture on the side. In my marketing travels, I came across a friend, Charlie, whom we took many of the same business classes together at PSU. Charlie was a solid student of business and had some great thoughts and discussion points to offer during his student tenure.

While I was reviewing my business venture with him, we got mired into a discussion of the effectiveness of people skills in the business realm. For once Charlie and I disagreed. Charlie was a huge proponent of the “profit-at-all-costs” theory that propagated management/executive bonuses and promotions. His value system was the workers were merely there to make the widgets, do so productively and efficiency, and not to receive anything more than the paycheck of their labors. No culture, other than “You’re hired to work, now shut up and do it.” I was quite appalled at Charlie’s philosophical slide, especially in the light of Dr. John Millers’ teachings (see 9/22 “Formulas for Leading” post on the Upward Leader).

Naturally I countered with a hybrid thought that blended strong training and satisfied staff through culture and ethical practices over Charlie’s’ belief that the managers work the hardest to make the tough decisions so they should get the perks. Charlie would have none of it, and insisted that the shorted sighted soft style would never yield anything profitable. Since then, Jim Collins tomes such as “Built to Last” and Jeffrey J. Fox’s books have more than supported the philosophies I knew to be true from the beginning. And 22 years later, the last I heard Charlie is miring around in the wallows of hourly management, with a marginal reputation of respect and profitability. I wish he would take a second look at his value system.

W > A = Ø
Words greater than Actions equals FAILURE
Proverbial saying since 16th century

The proverb of “Actions peak louder than words” is so true. Fully proven by case studies and personal experiences, it’s amazing that so few people heed this sage advice.

I am reminded of those that destroyed opportunities or even careers because they “talked a good game” but put nothing behind their taglines. They over-marketed on their abilities and under-delivered on their performance. I can tell you of the now-defunct restaurant chain that boasted they spend more per dollar on training when in fact they had no in-store training budget. Of the new executive who came in with lofty credentials to a theme park, only to find out that her reputation from her prior high-profile experience ended in complete disaster that almost made national headlines. Or the company that had an employee bill of rights yet had no mechanisms to back up the process of exercising those “rights”. Then there was the C-level executive of a public entity who claimed their staff was the greatest yet built such a culture of backstabbing and gossip that the peak performers were grossly marginalized if they didn’t agree with her inner circle.. And the company president who insisted that unit growth would follow a revolutionary culture and brand change and thought his weekly conference call chats would tip the scales in his favor, only to find a mass exodus of people leave and growth has halted over 7 years due to his arrogant tactics.

This equation serves as a reminder that people remember the actions behind the words, time and time again. Your word is your bond, as the saying goes, and in a day where people are starved for transparent leaders, you must under-promise and over-deliver if you and your team are going to attain great success.

A final formula – for laughter ….

While I previously said 3 formulas, I have to throw this classic formula in for levity’s sake. It’s vital that we lead with serious intents, but humor is a gift we cannot afford to lead without. This is a video clip of one of my all time favorites:

13 x 7 = 28 – Abbot & Costello

Formulas For Leading

We had an object lesson in my home last month. While preparing to cook dinner, I was measuring out ingredients for the recipe. Suddenly I was aware that a few of my kids were watching. Due to my years of experience in foodservice, it’s pretty well established in our home that when I’m cooking in the kitchen . . . stay out of my way!! My wife will vouch for the day she was in my path talking to me as I was in dinner-rush mode, and I picked her up and placed her at the doorway of the kitchen and continued on!

Yet even more startling than the kids being in the kitchen was that I was saying out loud the measurements and conversion for the recipes I was making.  “Ok, 113 grams is about 4 ounces”, “6 cups is a quart and a half”, went my math. The kids were looking on as if I was come new zoo exhibit, half laughing and half in awe at the sight. When I asked them what they were looking at, my teenage step-daughter smirked and said, “You’re counting.” I then explained I was measuring everything for dinner. Her and her brothers looked puzzled and I said, “You don’t like math, do you?” She shook her head “No.” “Well, guess what, kiddo, you do use math after you get out of school. Other wise you won’t be able to eat!” “Yeah but I’ll buy my food at the store,” she replied. My answer: “You need to add up your money and then count your change when you’re done.” I smiled. She left. (Dinner was delicious that night, by the way!!)

Over the next few days, I thought about the various formulas relating to management and leadership that I’ve been taught by various people over my career dating back to college. In reflecting on these, I am amazed that I still use this “math” that has been a fabric of my leadership style over the years. Their impact on my career has been tremendous that I feel compelled to share with you.


(Dr. John Miller, Plymouth State University, Plymouth, New Hampshire)

As a 2nd semester college freshman I was so excited to get into Dr. John Miller’s “Principles of Marketing” class. Dr. Miller, a former VP of Marketing for Del Monte, was perhaps the most popular professor on the Plymouth State University campus in the 1980’s. Professor Miller was not only able to engagingly teach, but infused fun into his class and made you want to learn. But his tagline every class was “Business is People”. He believed that principle so much, that he branded it into our heads to place that on every paper and exam that was turned in. (Plus he would give us extra points on the exam for doing so). As I grew up in my leadership career, this principle has been proven over and over again without fail. Successful business is about people, plain and simple.

Alumni to this day still talk fondly of this 30 years later. Dr. Miller’s leagcy lives on, but this formula will remain forever.


(McDonald’s Corporation)

I worked for a number of years in the McDonald’s franchise system to put myself through school. Up to that time, their training was a model for consistency and cadence. Much of what I learned still applies across my life, but this nugget almost faded away until about 7 years ago. When it popped into my mind again, it was like discovering a new treasure. In a day where people demand, instead of command respect, this boils it down to the “give to get” principle. You must give your teams a sense of trust in you, as well as the knowledge sufficient to do your job, in order to get/gain respect. Drop any degree of value on either rust or knowledge, and watch the respect value will go down as well. But if you work hard to both learn and grow your trust factor, the respect factor will increase, maybe even exponentially.

V=PxQxSS ^ **


Karl Holz, President, Disney Cruise Lines

Long before Karl Holz became a renowned President for Disney Cruise Lines,  he was VP of Theme Park and Restaurant Operations at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA. Karl would hold supervisor/management training classes for the food service and retail operations, and during one of the classes he expounded on this formula for hospitality success. Coming from the old “price times quality equals value” model from the 50’s, Karl explained how the times have added a customer who places a premium on service (70’s) and is now stressed both in time and life (90’s). This model served to help us understand not WHO our customers were, but WHAT they represented and HOW we can better serve them. This formula is fluid, and if I may take liberties to make it a relevant equation today, you could divide this by the factor that our customers are all interconnected or wired:


Customers today have more information and can impact your business. By knowing how our customers have evolved, a leader can be better equipped to meet the market need and lead their staff to greater success.

I have 3 more formulas to follow, but let’s process these equations for a bit and see if they can lead us upwards in business.


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