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The language of leading through caring (part II)

Written by: Walter Stilphen Jr.
Published: Thu Sep 30 2021 18:15:10 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)

Walter Stilphen- 2021 – a complete bio for Walt follows the article

15 Perspectives – Continued from last months Newsletter

Here are 15 Perspectives from my living ,leading, and learning from-organizations/ individuals who flourished. In my judgement flourishing organizations have and will provide better work for those who spend 70% of their time at work. I believe it is time that all workplaces flourish for our country, communities well being. This is a clarion call to be different because I have seen flourishing organization flourish for all stakeholders. In a FO people enjoy their workplace, they like going to work and have a sense of achievement.  I challenge you as leaders to flourish. All of our well being depends on doing something different because what we do now does not work. How well does your organization flourish? 

1.         FLOURISHING organizations build shared meaning through talking to each other. They achieve alignment  at all levels  of the organization. Alignment brings people in on things, they have a say in what matters at work. They craft principles that are not negotiable. Violations of principles, core values will be challenged through coaching.  Decision making is expected to enforce principles and core values   for maximum flexibility to achieve the mission. Personal responsibility in daily efforts- doing your best is a core value. 

2.         The evidence of Vision, Mission and Values are openly communicated throughout the organization.   Each of these components has been distilled to a box top statement. A Bank - Cash in a flash, A distribution center- AS3K- accuracy,  safety, sanitation, speed & caring.   Care about your yourself, your team, your customer. Given my experience in distribution these are core vital behaviors when executed lead to extraordinary success.  Please note profit is a result not the mission. Additionally, you will  find a  communications  alley where the vision, mission, values , vital behaviors are posted as a daily reminder of the goals of a flourishing organization. Each day the employees are reminded what the FO stands for by what is posted. In the distribution centers I lead you would see vision, mission-operating philosophy, values, accuracy, safety, sanitation, productivity, people, customers bulletin boards. One 4 by 8 board for each of the topics. The boards were updated monthly by the star points and the leaders of the company. Team meetings were conducted using the boards as communications props. 

3.         Flourishing organizations set a standard named Big K?  Decisions on behalf of people is measured by how much Big K will the company  offer? Flourishing organizations have a greater ability to care about it’s employees because they flourish, a competitive advantage.    How much do they care about each other, how much do they care about themselves, how much do they care about the company and how much do they care about their customers?  Four  bottom lines means -me, us, family, and  customers. 

4.         Flourishing organizations systems are aligned to reinforce principles and core values. Wages contain a gain share plan which profits the employees as the company profits. FO’s treat health insurance increases without cost shifting the burden onto the employees.  FO organizations have active recognition programs designed to  reinforce the expected behaviors. (a chip program where employees employers s can turn in chips for company goods)

5.         Flourishing organizations have an active welcoming to work program. It includes safety orientation, mission, vision, expectations, promises, personal character values. The orientation  is the first work assignment before work.

6.         Flourishing organization are preferred employers. The recognition programs changes when needed to meet the reinforcement goals of the organization. Recognition is catching people at work doing and being right. FO’s recognize the everyday behaviors needed for a flourishing organization. In my experience flourishing organizations spend approximately 10% of the total hours for communication, safety, leadership education/training and  individual development. Promotions come from within the organization due to an active lead program. You will find two types of leads those who work 85% of the time and senior lead that work 15% and leads 85% of the time. Moreover, you find subject matter experts who are hourly associates. They are called star-points. You might find a HR, productivity, quality and safety, team star-points. Coaching is the foundation for interaction between star-points and employees. The goal for star points is to help the employee flourish in a flourishing organization. 

7.         A  flourishing organization values participation and involvement  as a principle for making better decisions. This leads to greater ownership when decisions get implemented. When you look at  training programs you find situational leadership, conflict management, team building, listening, business mission, vision, core values, safety committee,  leadership training, group process, meeting management, conflict, and coaching as foundation training. 

8.         Hiring is rigorous in a FO. The reputation on the outside of work is hard to get hired but worth it because the company cares about you- you flourish! Flourishing organizations (FO’s) turnover, FMLA, sick time leave taken are below their competitors. Additionally, administrative support is minimal because absenteeism, legal leave absence, workers compensation are at least 75% less than competitors. FO’s p&l cost for workers compensation is not a significant cost. In one organization I worked the amount of recordable injuries was less than 3 per year. Saving in cost was at least 500,000 a year. 

9.         FO’s conduct a state of the company meeting where core business measures are shared with the employees.  You might call this  a report card but more likely a celebration of achievements. Before the state of the company meeting goals are jointly developed at all departments.  Goals are cascaded down to individual members of departments. What do members of a department  contribute in order to achieve the goals of the vision, mission, and values. Goals are expanded to include department goals, personal development, learning, and personal values. Character building through values in action is a core value.

10.       Leadership is is not High command and control. The mindset  is help others flourish at work. You will find leadership amongst the people 85% of their work day. Leaders are not tied to a desk answering email. They have means through technology to be on the floor but answer email and a phone. You find the leaders with smart phones at their sides. The ultimate measurement how did those you lead flourish?

11.       FO’s conduct one on ones with employees to communicate what Is happening and finding out why an employee is not flourishing.  You will find an active stay interview process which is confidential but used to improve conditions of Big K. (Care)

12.       Silly rules, control rules do not exist. Rules are tied to vital behaviors, to mission, vision, core values. In FO’s the mission is a noble endeavor for it creates the container for employees to flourish.  Who you be in the FO matters as much as what you do. Character values development are part of individual development experience.  Each persons core values, personal mission are knitted within the vision, mission and core values of the FO. All for one and one for all!

13.       FO leadership core values are honesty, integrity, support, caring, forward looking, business competence, and coaching.  FO measure and reward leadership for flourishing goal achievements. 

14.       FO’s  are learning organizations. I am not talking about a   formal training program but a informal learning group structure which facilitates self learning amongst peer groups. The self learning groups sets it’s own goals to measure success. Self determination, learning are paramount to a flourishing organization.  Learning is treated as an investment not a cost. 

15.       Leadership  is uncomfortable unless their core values are aligned with a flourishing organization. When alignment reaches a critical mass of over 35% of the employees  miss-hires self select out of the organization.  You hear people say the company wants my mind, heart, and my physical activity. The expectations are greater in a FO.

Appendix – Walt has include a complete list of resources. They can be found at

Walt Stilphen received his B.S. in Education from the University of Maine, a certificate in Organizational Development from the NTL (National Training Institute). Coaches Training Institute- ( Certified Co-Active Coach) and International Coaching Federation-(Professional Certified Coach), and Senior Professional Human Resources-CA, Society of Human Resource Management -  SCP for Human Resources, SHRM California Human Resources Law Certificate. He is certified to administer the LEA, IDI, PDI , SPA ( Management Resource Group), CDP- Conflict Dynamics Profile, Eckerd College, Emotional Intelligence EQ2.0, MHS, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People- 4.0- Covey. 

Walter Stilphen Jr.

Walter Stilphen Jr.

Walter Stilphen was raised in South Portland, Maine and has been a Human Resources leader for the last 17 years. Walter has also served as General Manager of a distribution division with over 40 years in growing flourishing high performing organizations. You can follow Walt on his LinkedIn page at