Work it Wednesday: Above the line thinking

1:07 PM, Sep 22, 2010   |    comments
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John Palen of Allied Executives

ROSEVILLE, Minn. -- John Palen brings his experience as a CEO to another venture that helps other CEO's and business owners perform better.

Allied Executives brings together peer groups of CEO's and business owners for roundtable discussions on various topics that relate to leadership and business.  Sometimes group members bring up a topic, sometimes Palen brings in a topic he thinks will benefit members.

One of them is something called "above the line thinking," which has its roots in the field of personal growth.

"Above the line thinking has two translations to it," said Palen.

"One is every business is in business to make money.  The bottom line," said Palen. "The other translation is more personal.  I believe that what you think about, you bring about."

Specifically, Palen is teaching executives there is power to negative thinking, and it's not what leaders want to bring to their company.  Certainly not at a time when companies are trying to operate leaner and smarter in challenging economic times.

"If I wake up every day," said Palen, "and I hate my job, and I'm really frustrated about the impact the recession has had on me, and I wake up every morning and look in the mirror and say 'I really hate my job,' guess what?  I'm gonna be right."

The danger, said Palen, is that attitude from a leader will translate to the rank and file, and permeate a company.

Constantly correcting negative, or below the line thinking, to positive and forward looking above the line thinking forces a company to focus more on results.

Palen says part of that is defining success for a company, and celebrating that success.

"Companies that do this well, define excellence," said Palen, "they say, there are a certain set of standards that we have to live and operate by, and we're going to define that so clearly that every single employee is going to be involved in creating it, and identifying it and we're going to put measures to it so that on a daily, weekly basis we can communicate the progress to it."

Palen says above the line thinking by leaders, will eventually translate into more positive thinking by everyone in the company.  It is a long term and ongoing effort at culture change.

 Allied Executives holds a number of events throughout the year, in addition to monthly member meetings. For more information on how the organization works ,click here.




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