Build a Self-Eject Mechanism

Build a Self-Eject Mechanism. Phillip Kane’s blog.
Patel Anoshin |

Friday, December 3, 2021

The week before last, during the maiden operational deployment of the HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first in the latest class of Great Britain’s new carrier group and the Fleet Flagship of the Royal Navy, one of its F-35B Lightning aircraft crashed in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Prior to the wreck, the pilot was able to safely eject from the plane. So despite the loss of the equipment, there was no human casualty. The ejection system functioned exactly as it was designed to. It’s why they exist; so that once the occupant determines a situation to be terminal, they are able to self-select out of it. The most successful businesses have similar mechanisms in place. 

And that’s the point for the week. 

While almost none of us is likely to ever encounter the need to eject from a compromised airplane as it hurtles toward the earth below, most of us can relate to the want or need to exit an unhealthy situation. At a minimum, we all either know someone or have watched someone struggle in a work situation that is clearly not for them. There are few things worse than a lack of cultural fit between an associate and their place of employment. Where this lack of alignment exists, the impact can be severe – on the associate’s own mental health and home life, their relationships with co-workers and, principally, on the performance of the organization. Allowed to continue, these situations are absolutely destructive. 

Good organizations take steps promptly and actively to eliminate cultural mis-fits. Great organizations – 

those  with exceedingly positive and durable cultures –  develop strong self-eject mechanisms which exist to encourage those who don’t want to fit in to depart on their own.

Those who leave do so because they conclude that what they value and what makes them happy (which is typically to make other people miserable) is not going to be found or tolerated there. 

This happens because negative behavior that runs counter to the culture results in organ rejection, no invites to play in reindeer games, and ostracism from the herd. Performance ratings, promotionS and merit pay are heavily dependent on cultural affiliation. Those who demonstrate the values of the organization are routinely and visibly recognized while those who do not are ignored. No one wants to be where they are not welcome or where their advancement and income are constrained. Sooner than later, they leave, in search of more accepting surroundings. 

True, caring leaders do not fret these departures but celebrate them while publicly recognizing the system for working. 

Teams with strong self-eject mechanisms are significantly more successful than those who don’t. They are because they spend less of their own time effecting distracting HR actions and more time on what actually moves the business forward – including, and most importantly, the people who demonstrate by their actions that they truly want to be there. 

So, develop a strong self-eject function. 

And win. 

To learn more about the author please click HERE.

To pre-order the author’s new book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, please follow this LINK.

By Phillip Kane

Phillip Kane is a husband, father, and caring steward. He has had a successful business career of more than 30 years in some of the world’s best-known corporations. Working for brands like Goodyear, Pirelli, Rothschild, and NAPA, Kane has had the privilege to lead thousands of individuals and has managed billions of dollars in value for stakeholders. Consistently recognized by the leaders of these organizations for excellence, Kane though credits any personal success to those he has led and who have made each win possible. Born in Detroit, the grandson of an International Harvester (now Navistar) truck dealer, Kane has spent a lifetime in and around cars and trucks. An Eagle Scout, Kane has been serving others since he was a young boy. Crediting his father and a Nigerian priest with almost every good thing he has learned about life, leadership, business and the art of storytelling, Kane has been recognized twice by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner for the impact of his storytelling on teams. Kane lives in Ohio with his wife, Annie, of 28 years, 3 children, Caroline (24), Charlotte (21) and William (17), and the wonderdogs – Moses, Daisy, Eddie and Pete.

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