Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:35 pm
Jerry Woodrow, the chief executive officer of the New Berlin-based division of Quantum Performance Institute, works to improve the leadership skills of business executives.
Many business leaders struggle to get the most out of their workforce, Woodrow said.
"Most leaders can get their employees to work at 60 percent of their productivity, but there needs to be something else there to pull out that extra 40 percent," Woodrow said.
Most of Quantum’s clients have 50 to 1,000 employees. Many are with companies that have had significant growth, but they need to improve their leadership skills. Other clients have received promotions and feel that their leadership skills need to be better developed for their new role, Woodrow said.
Unhappy workers are often the result of poor business leadership. Just over half of America’s workforce would rather have a different job, and 75 percent of those who feel that way want to make that change within the next year, Woodrow said.
"How does it affect an organization to have people who want to leave?" Woodrow said. "You have employees who only come to work to get a paycheck, as opposed to people who come in committed to making a difference."
What makes the difference is the culture within a company, and that is set by the style of leadership at the top, Woodrow said.
"The way that we think about others will determine the level of productivity and cooperation we get from others," he said.
Woodrow uses a variety of tools to improve the leadership skills of clients. His approach includes the Hartman Value Profile, which applies value mathematics to measure how people think.
"We use the Hartman Value Profile as an indicator for what kind of leadership qualities a person possesses," said Woodrow. "It’s very important that when we work with a client, we start at the CEO level. The changes in the leadership and culture need to permeate from the top down. We then work down through the executives and into the middle management. Everyone at the company has to embrace the concepts, especially the top levels."
The service Woodrow provides can’t be seen as a "magic cure," he said. Employers must be prepared to make changes themselves.
"Some clients will come to me and say, ‘Go and fix what’s wrong with my company, but don’t worry about me, I don’t need any help,’" Woodrow said. "That’s not how it works. The change needs to start at the top levels for it to have any effect. When someone has that attitude, that’s a client we can’t work with."
Quantum teaches executives that to lead effectively, they need to value their employees for their talents and uniqueness, Woodrow said.
"When people are valued, morale increases, employee retention increases, people love their work, their productivity goes way up and the benefits to the stockholders go up as well," said Woodrow. "On the other hand, when a company is so micromanaged that it can’t grow, employees are unhappy, there is a higher rate of turnover and productivity suffers."
Woodrow also warns against employers having the mindset that they "empower" their employees.
"I take issue with the notion that an employer says, ‘Here, I give you power.’ If you’ve hired someone, they come to you with power, and you should be taking away obstacles to them using it," he said.
Quantum has no set formula to improve any company, he said. Rather, they find out how each company works and what should be improved, then tailor a program to their needs.
Before coming to Quantum, Woodrow worked for 25 years at an executive level. His previous employer was U.S. Web, the world’s largest business-to-business Internet development company.
Woodrow said he left that company after new ownership came in and changed the nature of the business to a harsher environment.
"They changed the name to March First," Woodrow said, "And they brought the kind of leadership like out of Enron, where their bankruptcy was attributed to the leadership. For the last five years, all my co-workers from before the change get together on the first of March to remember the good stuff."
The Attributes of Successful Leadership
These attributes can be quantified using the Hartman Value Profile:
Human Resource Management – the ability to find, develop and
retain the people that are vital to
both the organization and his or her personal success.
Performance Management –
the ability to be aware of others, convey a role’s value, gain commitment and understand the motivational needs of others.
Planning and Organizing –
the ability to do long-range planning, concrete organizing, proactive thinking and being able to see the big picture.
Production Management –
the dual responsibilities of managing both people and production.
Self Management – includes the ability to handle stress, personal accountability, self assessment, self confidence and internal self control.
Leadership by Example –
sets the tone for the culture, have sound judgment, clear focus and clarity of thought.
Guiding Vision – Michelangelo often said that he did not create his statues, rather he simply helped reveal what was already in the stone, only hidden from view. He had the vision to see what others could not. Likewise, leaders must possess similar ability to see the unseen, to identify what has not yet revealed itself, and to use the vision to plan accordingly for overall direction and the strategic use of personnel, resources and finances.
Inspiring Excellence – requires an understanding of those being led, being able to communicate effectively with them, ad the ability to inspire others through one’s own example. The synonym for lead is "show the way."
Jerry A. Woodrow
Company: Quantum Performance Institute
Location: 3135 S. Pinewood Creek Ct., Suite 212, New Berlin
Mission: To help organizations stay competitive by thoroughly researching and designing revolutionary systems for selecting and developing exemplary leaders.
August 19, 2005, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI