Your Golden Opportunity Within the Current Crisis


Who can you trust?

Chart-Trust-2014Not politicians. Not Congressmen. Not General Motors. Not the head of IRS. And, forgive us, but not even the President of the United States if you read the polls.

There is a resounding theme in news reports these days, and it is “Integrity”. Unfortunately, it has emerged because there are so many examples where it is missing.

The issues with General Motors, the resignation of Kathleen Sebelius in the midst of the healthcare rollout, and the blatant disregard toward U.S. leadership by the leaders of Russia are indicators of a serious integrity crisis.

You might find it strange, but this presents you with a huge opportunity. People see a sizeable gap between the level of integrity they want – and what they’re getting.

Fill that gap because you deliver on what people see as integrity, and your business will thrive. This is obviously not a matter of touting, “I have integrity.” Rather, your actions speak louder than words, as leadership expert John C. Maxwell reminds us. So you need to deliver on integrity in a heartfelt, real way – and consistently.

That raises the question:  “What does ‘integrity’ look like?”

How do you know someone has integrity? What do they have to do to prove it? And, yes, people don’t assume integrity. You have to earn it.

As you can see in the examples above, where there is a breach of integrity, there is impairment, liability, dysfunction, and ultimately, real risk to human life. As an organizational leader, you may not be able to change world events or solve the healthcare crisis, but you can start where you are to create a zone of integrity within your organization.

Here are three ways to focus on and begin to own the very important “integrity image,” according to Rise Performance Group’s Mark Fenner and Bob Kaplitz:

1. Trust

Honest, fair, and trustworthy are powerfully important words. Your word is still your bond, and if trust fails, your business will fail, also. This is what GM is facing – and they have a massive job on their hands to rebuild the trust of their previously loyal base. It is far easier – and much less costly – to be upfront, honest, fair, and trustworthy than to have to remediate after the damage is done. Are you doing all you can within your organization to build – and just as importantly, maintain – trust? John Maxwell says it well: “You build trust with others each time you choose integrity over image, truth over convenience, or honor over personal gain.”

2. Transparency

Mark Fenner captures it well: “The people you are wanting to influence see your faults. Be proactive and acknowledge what they are already seeing. Those we are influencing do not expect perfection. What they want in a relationship is transparency.”

Transparency is the art of being real and honest. Take responsibility for your mistakes. If one of your projects looks like it is getting behind schedule, let the client know – especially if the oversight is yours. Bob Kaplitz cites this as a real world example from a Rise Performance Group technology client. Kaplitz says, “Transparency gets you points with clients, often deepening the relationship. And what’s more important than trust in a relationship?”

We have seen throughout history that cover-ups don’t work. Bob cites prime examples from his career as an investigative reporter where officials have tried to cover up covert actions. None of them were successful. As a leader, check transparency on a daily basis by asking, “Are we being open and honest in our daily activities and interactions with co-workers, clients, and employees?” If there is an elephant in the room, deal with it proactively. Transparency will happen – either of your choosing or by exposure.

3. Humility

Great leaders are very often humble leaders. They may not say much, but their actions speak volumes. In contrast, boastful leaders are what we in Texas call, “Big hat, no cattle.” Leadership is a big hat – a huge responsibility. As a leader, do you have the cattle to back it up? It is your responsibility to learn all you can about your business and your industry and to surround yourself with a team that adds even more value to the organization.

The company focused on these three principles may not change world events…but it would impact the culture inside and outside the organization. Will you be a leader people can trust? We believe there’s never been a more perfect time.

How to Communicate Leadership in Just a Few Words

How to communicate leadership in just a few words describes Dave Lesh.

Lesh was President Dallas Chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization from July 2012 – June 2013.  He served a one year term as President after two prior one year board seats as both the Learning and Sponsorship chairperson of this amazing organization.  The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is an elite group.  It’s a dynamic, global network of more than 7,500 business owners in 38 countries. Founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs, EO is the catalyst that enables entrepreneurs to learn and grow from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life.

Lesh was founder of Dale Dental in January 2000.  He writes:

“At Dale Dental, our technologies may be incredibly advanced but our mission couldn’t be simpler. To serve as an outsourcing super-center, we offer dental labs access to state-of-the art dental technology and provide dental and medical technology manufacturers with fast-market access to these labs.”

Rise Performance Group partner Bob Kaplitz and a collaborator spoke with Lesh about one of his favorite subjects: leadership.

Rise Performance Group president Mark Fenner puts Lesh’s comments in perspective.

Leadership doesn’t just happen.  You need to invest in your people to develop it.  Learn more by contacting Mark Fenner and Bob Kaplitz at Rise Performance Group at 469-293-6198.  Fenner is a certified John Maxwell Leadership Coach.

How to Turn a Vision into a Reality You Can Experience

How to turn a vision into a reality you can experience speaks to leadership.  That’s according to Mark Fenner and Bob Kaplitz of the Rise Performance Group, a leadership development company.

They invite you to listen to a short excerpt of a 2014 keynote address from the leader in the field of movie making, technology, and finance.

And Mark Fenner comments on “the vision.”

Mark Fenner says leadership is also about communicating the vision.

You may have missed something that Mark Fenner points out.

And finally, Mark Fenner on the importance of connecting with reality.

Relativity Media CEO Ryan Kavanaugh understands that big studios have to adapt business models to take advantage of new technologies, trying to break from the past.  As a leader, how are you leveraging the new technologies in your field?  We’d like to know.  Contact Mark Fenner at the Rise Performance Group:

A Leadership Moment of Truth for a CEO

A leadership moment of truth of a CEO refers to General Motors’ Mary Barra reacting to a crisis.

In a video message to General Motors employees and the public, Barra offered an update on “where things stand” with the ignition switch recall and with the company’s efforts to improve its handling of such issues.

Mark Fenner, president of Rise Performance Group sees Barra’s video — including her apology — as an example of leadership.  Rise Partner Bob Kaplitz says the video serves an excellent example of a how a Leadership Brand communicates key messages — from the fact that Barra is a mom herself to the company’s commitment to resolving the problem.

Here’s perspective to bring out the leader in you.

Share your thoughts by commenting on this blog.  If you have strong feelings, Mark Fenner and Bob Kaplitz welcome your emailing them directly:

The Three Keys to Leadership — Jack Welch

Few leaders have accomplished what Jack Welch has.  As chairman and CEO of General Electric between 1981 and 2001, the company’s value rose 4000%.

Bob Kaplitz and Mark Fenner of the Rise Performance Group like to share the leadership wisdom of Jack Welch and others.  Here are key points, beginning with Peter Drucker:

Improve the bottom and top lines for your company by investing in leadership training.  It’s highly interactive with results you can see every week.  Everyone in your company can be a person of influence — a leader.  Contact Bob Kaplitz and Mark Fenner at 214.766.4236.

How a Leader Sells an Idea Up

How a leader sells an idea up isn’t what you probably think.  “It’s not just about the numbers,” according to Jack Welch,  former chairman and CEO of General Electric between 1981 and 2001 when the company’s value rose 4000%.

Bob Kaplitz, partner with Rise Performance Group, shares some of Jack Welch’s leadership qualities.


Mark Fenner, president of Rise Performance Group, adds:  “I love the message.  Great leaders use stories to make their points and teach a lesson.”

Bring out the leadership qualities of your team.  Turn your managers into leaders.  Contact Mark Fenner at Rise Performance Group at 214.766.4236.

Leadership: How to Identify Your Culture from the Inside

How to identify your culture from the inside comes down to a few simple suggestions.

Bob Kaplitz and Mark Fenner of the Rise Performance Group like to use the web company, Zappos, as an example.

Bob explains in this video.


Management guru John Maxwell says that culture is far more important than just visions and missions  That’s because your culture is about the actions you take.  In short, actions speak louder than words.  They speak louder than written visions and mission statements.


In leadership the greatest gap exists between knowing and doing. That is, people have training but don’t put it into practice. Bridging that gap results in productivity and people development.

  • What aspects of your culture would you like to see changed?
  • What small, initial step could you take to make a transformative difference in the area of culture that you feel needs to be reformed?

The greatest leadership challenge involves moving from doing to changing. In crossing that chasm, leaders transform a culture.

Kaplitz and Fenner say:

“Go ahead with your mission statements and definitely create your ideal future vision.  But remember how you spend your time and your money paints a portrait of your identity.”

Invest in your employees.  Help them become leaders throughout your organization.  Contact Bob Kaplitz and Mark Fenner at 214.766.4236.  They can customize a leadership program for employees in the Dallas Ft. Worth area.

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