Cineplex CEO's Road to Success? A Complete 360


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Hi Folks,

I trust that this finds you well. As I write this note I am feeling the aches of some sore muscles. This past weekend, for the first time in almost two years, I ran a half marathon (21 Km) .


This time around there were several things I found interesting (OK, read as "frustrating" at times). I was told the weekend races attracted some 7000 participants (their goal in two years is 12,000). There were some parts of the race route that were narrow, and the result was that the runners were like a herd of cattle, bunched up and tripping over each other as they try to get through the barn door. Even more challenging was the fact that some people seemed oblivious to their own actions, and how they impacted other runners.

In one case, when I was running, two people who were running together decided to stop in the middle of the pack to walk and catch their breath. This sudden stop meant that a few of us to had to swerve in order to avoid knocking them over. Like on a highway, the typical practice if you need to stop is to gradually move over to the outer lane where you can pull off on the shoulder of the road.


The second observation was a runner who took in some liquid at the water station, promptly gargled his last mouthful while running and spit it out. The strong winds on Sunday carried the liquid refuse from his mouth to the face of a woman running behind him. I thought to myself, as you would, "Wow, there certainly are a few inconsiderate runners here." It was obvious, however, that the runners who stopped suddenly in front of me and the gentleman who spit out his water like a mouthwash were unaware of their impact on other runners. Likewise, when working within our teams, or when managing or leading others, we can become unaware of our impact on the performance of others. In fact, without feedback, we may unintentionally be doing things that are counterproductive.


Having had a chance to reflect after the race, I wondered what impact some of my running actions might have had on those around me. I know enough to look behind me before I stop or spit, but did my sporadic passing pace cause anyone to stumble?


In terms of how we function at work and impact the performance of others, 360 Feedback  is a very powerful tool. When a leader or manager seeks feedback, learns from it and constructively acts on it, the resulting impact on his or her skills, career, and team's performance can be remarkable.

We have many clients that have made some changes in their management practices as a result of embracing their 360 feedback. Frankly, the feedback ignited a sincere desire to take their leadership abilities to a superior level. Like a runner seeing the sign that indicates the last kilometre of a race, some managers implement their developmental goals with renewed passion, energy and focus for goal achievement. 


Sadly, other managers fail to embrace the feedback or even deny its importance. It's hard to say what is worse - not receiving any feedback at all, or not doing anything constructive with the feedback, once received.

Managing without feedback is like running a race without and distance markers. Managing without accepting and applying feedback is like running a race, but arguing with officials that the distance markers are incorrect and therefore your finish time is not relevant.


Management author Peter Drucker once said, "Real leaders deal with the world as it is, not just as they'd like it to be." Just as you would look for the distance markers in a marathon that tell you where you are in the race, remember to seek annual feedback to support your continual leadership improvement.


Lead well!