Monday, March 16, 2009

Thanks Tom - There is hope!!

I was delighted to receive an email from my good friend Tom Asacker giving me this link to a wonderful article in the Boston Globe

Paul Levy is my kind of Chief Executive.

This article shows vividly how we can value front line workers in more ways than words. We can all do something practical and positive to show how much we care for people doing the work at the front line.

I believe what we need most of all is the type of leadership shown here by Paul Levy.

Thanks again Tom


Anonymous said...

Good Morning-

Thanks for passing that on. Reinforces my belief (and the belief of certain others we know!) that Management By Walking Around leads to better decisions than hiding in the corner suite.

And that if you don't have a strong front line, you don't have a business.

He also has a blog-

What a great find in itself!


PS Hot bath and Epsom salts for two?

Trevor Gay said...

Hi Lois – good to hear from you.

MBWA is without a doubt the best management philosophy – why don’t some people get it Lois?

I will definitely look at the Blog – sounds like a great man and a real leader.

The hot bath yesterday afternoon after the half marathon was perhaps the most enjoyable of my life!

Have a great week.

Marilyn Jess, DTM said...

This is a great illustration that cynicism and selfishness is not endemic in business. I applaud you for posting this.

Congratulations on a successful 1/2--I hope your donations go up!

Trevor Gay said...

Marilyn - thanks again - Selflessness and positive management are both alive and well in some places. This is a terrific story that give us 'half-full glass' folks hope.

Scott Peters said...


Great story of leadership going first and how compassion is catagious. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story.

All the more reason to support the Race for Carers! They put others first on most all occassions.

Trevor Gay said...

Cheers Scott - Paul Levy's example is possible everywhere in every business. We must keep asking why it is not more widespread.

Anonymous said...

Check out his budget update to his employees.

Wouldn't that inspire you to do your darnedest to give great service and save the hospital money wherever you could?

Imagine if every CEO thought and communicated that clearly and involved his co-servants to that extent- better service, better morale, better bottom line.


Trevor Gay said...

And what I love most Lois is the simplicity of his language. He does not try to confuse people – he tells it straight and that is what people want in my experience – much less BS … and much plainer speaking.

The man has integrity and we need that more these days than ever – thanks again – His Blog is terrific too – I would happily work for Paul Levy.

J.KANNAN said...

Noticing little thing of front line workers makes big difference in the life and living of those small wages earning workers as precisely done by Paul Levy and that noticing made a big change in his heart and mind and the pink papers concept from his mind and heart disappeared-. A rarest of rare phenomena amongst CEOs but an exception with Paul Levy- indeed a great CEO.-Yes instead of" levying" on front line workers Paul Levy has decided to" Levy "on high salary earners.

I wish the rest of the CEOs around the globe follows his vision. Look how much the workers are prepared to sacrifice in support of the organisation and continue to sustain their living.

A very innovative and humble idea by Paul to give up more of the salaries and perks by people holding higher-up position in the organisation.

Paul Levy's mission of trying something revolutionary and radical will definitely work in his favour after all the real meaning of:-

"IMPOSSIBLE" is " I'M POSSIBLE" and for Paul Levy this meaning will prove to be real and realistic- and there exists "HOPE"

I am wishing all the best and good luck to Paul in his revolutionary mission.


Tanmay Vora said...

Hi Trevor, I am indebted to you for sharing this.

This just goes ahead to prove that leadership is not a job or title but it is a way of looking at things. And that it is about doing the right thing with a compassionate heart!

And when right thing is done with a compassionate heart, it can strike the strings in others to act accordingly.


mark jf said...

Just once it would be nice if those ungrateful so and so's on the front line would have the decency to smile at or say something nice to or about their manager and all the backroom people who work their fingers to the bone to support them. Those front-liners just take us for granted.

It's not all one-way, you know.

Scott Peters said...

Yen and Yang

AIG and Paul Levy

Complexity and Simplicity

War and Peace

I had to come back after the recent news with AIG.

Trevor Gay said...

Tanmay - Like you I find such leadership examples inspirational.

The best leaders just 'get it' about passion, enthusiasm, integrity and humility.

Trevor Gay said...

Scott - excellent list

I would add:

Sit in office and MBWA
Talk to customers and write policies

Trevor Gay said...

Mark - I have a lot of respect for the multitude of folks who do the important ‘behind the scenes’ work. I've been in those positions myself for a lot of my working life.

At the end of the day however the really important interface is between the front line person and the customer. The irony is front liners are - more often than not - undervalued both financially and in status. That is what I try to address with my passion for front liners.

The most important people in any organisation are front liners as far as I'm concerned – that’s not to say others are not important.

mark jf said...

I think the problem comes when you start telling a certain group of people that they're the most important part of any organisation. It immediately creates an 'us and them' situation when some people feel, and probably are, treated like 2nd class citizens. Trying to raise the profile of one group of people at the expense of another is a 20th Century failure: you're simply re-arranging the chairs on the Titanic. You should be thinking about how we develop a 21st Century approach when everyone is valued.

Raising awareness of the importance of frontliners in one thing; doing it in a way that eliminates the barriers rather than moving them around would be far better.

J.KANNAN said...


According to me, many times it fails when the front line people expresses their gratitude and put up a smile, the Managers and back Room people relentlessly rejects and turn their attitude towards the front line people adversely- This is my own experience and opinion having performed as Top Managerial level, and later on the Board of my company.
First of all one and all in the organization should consider it as a “TEAM WORK”, wherein some of the back room cadres and all top level managers are said and considered to be Leaders to lead the front line people of the organization as Team Leaders.- and that’s how I view at it

I thin Mark must have had his own reasons out of his own experience and that must have prompted him to write his impressions in his own chosen way.

Trevor you have rightly mentioned that behind the scene people do perform important work and you have very well expressed it- the most importance of front line people with customers and that does not mean “others are not important”. A Very good summing up

Appraisals and assessments of all the people in an organization is essential to expedite and maintain, enthusiasm, motivation, inspiration through encouragement that should not come in the way of identifying and distinguishing “who is important and who is not”. Every one is important-some are very important and some are most important- a negligible variation that’s all, just like listing priorities at work place and in family living.

By and large these days, in organizations people are treated alike with out discrimination in a humanitarian way even though the salary and perks packages vary and to my knowledge no one is treated like II class citizens. Its not the issue of raising the profile of one group but the roles performed by them- If the word “group” is removed and replaced with the word “Team” things will settled down to an acceptable way. That’s it.

Titanic is already sunk no useful purpose will be served by comparing or talking of Titanic and the way others have expressed their opinion/impressions on the topic goes to say that we in the “Simplicity” are all on the right path of 21st century approach and lead.

This comment is being send without any prejudice whatsoever but only with good intention of oneness amongst and between “Simplicity” friends.


Mark JF said...

Thanks, JK.

J.KANNAN said...

Dear Mark,

I thank you and may God continue to Grace & Bless you and all your near and dears ones.


Trevor Gay said...

Mark and JK - great exchanges - the sun is shining gloriously in Shakespeare’s County on this wonderful Friday - I hope you both have a wonderful weekend and thanks again for supporting Simplicity Blog with your excellent comments. I learn so much through this forum

John O'Leary said...

Sorry to join the party late - and to have missed this article in the very newspaper that gets delivered to my door everyday. Levy's actions are potentially ground-breaking, almost seditious. I'm anxious to see how this turns out. Levy may turn out to be another Ricardo Semler ("The Seven-Day Weekend") though he doesn't have the authority Semler had to turn his organization upside down.

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks John - what I love most about this story is that it provides hope for us all.

There are so many cynics about the motives of leaders and to me Paul Levy is simply a great inspiration tackling very difficult issues and challenges in healthcare. I wish him well.