Case study : Progressive Medical Implements You Don't Need A Title ...

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We were pleased to receive the following email describing the benefit of implementing the principles of You Don't Need a Title to Be a Leader into one company's leadership training program. If you want to enjoy the benefits of You Don't Need a Title ... in your organization, you'll be pleased to know we've recently released a companion training program. More details on this powerful new leadership training tool are provided at the end of Mr. Lewis' email.

Progressive Medical LogoFrom: Andrew Lewis, Progressive Medical, Inc.

Date: Sun, 3 Feb 2008
To: Mark Sanborn, Sanborn & Associates, Inc.
Subject: You Don't Need A Title To Be A Leader

Mr. Sanborn,
I am writing you today to share the impact your book has had on a development opportunity I hold near and dear. The company for which I am privileged to work, Progressive Medical, is a small to midsized employer based in Westerville, Ohio. We have experienced sustained and rapid growth over the last 10 plus years growing from a small band of around 30 dedicated employees generating sales of approximately 3 million to over 400 hundred employees and sales of nearly 200 million.
Along the way we made a commitment to develop our leadership team to provide our employees the best environment possible in which to serve our customers. We also made a commitment to instill in all employees a leadership mindset - to afford them the opportunity to lead regardless of their title. Of course choosing to lead is just that a choice - as such in 2006 we launched a 9 month program, to be conducted annually, that would provide employees at all levels exposure to the type of development opportunities usually reserved for "titled" leaders or employees of only the largest of companies. Participation is a choice, in fact interested employees must advance through a detailed application process and a panel interview which includes our CIO and COO. We typically have room in the program for 30-40% of those that apply.
In 2007 we began including your text, You Don't Need A title To Be A Leader as the first assigned reading in the program and the focus of day one of the first three day retreat. The results have been fantastic. The text aligns with our program's theory and practices so well that it feels as though you've written it for our use. To see a roomful of our employees, both titled leaders and those that have made the choice to lead from their current role, spending a day deconstructing the Six Principles of Leadership and how they can apply these principles is a powerful thing. These employees have applied the principles to projects to which they are assigned in small groups. The conclusion of each year's program is a presentation by each group to the Executive Team, members of participant's departments, and other interested employees. The groups have especially embraced the principal of Power With People. Taking their assigned projects out to the employee base using Appreciative Inquiry methods they discuss their assigned topics seeking input from all employees on what we do well as an organization and using focus groups of employees to see how we can apply what we do well to other areas of our company. The results of these efforts have been impressive. These leaders, with the ideas of the employees as their guide, have "challenged those around them" to make adjustments and improvements to long standing processes and practices in order to build a better company. To date they have driven change in how we:
  • Recruit employees
  • Onboard new employees
  • Communicate financial results and keep employees "in the loop" on company initiatives
  • Educate employees on our business and how profits and margins are achieved
  • Collect, track and trend customer feedback to make operational improvements
  • Recognize employee achievements and efforts exceeding expectations

Not bad for a small segment of employees that believed they could be leaders if given the chance.
Thank you for writing your book. Thank you as well for writing in a format that reads easily. I am confident given your background you could have taken a more academic approach, or filled your text with complex theories and obscure, sterile case studies. Such a style I'm sure would have pleased the abundance of critics that review leadership texts and seem so willing to heap praise on a book based on the number of pages or the number of degrees required to decipher the supercilious language in which ideas are expressed. Of course they aren't who we are seeking, rather we search for genuine everyday leaders that can take us to uncommon heights as an organization.
Andrew Lewis

Andrew Lewis
Vice President of Human Development
Progressive Medical, Inc.


You Don't Need a Title to Be a Leader DVD Training KitBased on Markís bestselling book of the same title, this eight module, 3 DVD leadership training program with facilitatorís and participantsí guides will teach your team the skills they need to lead whether or not they have a title.

Includes bonus session on facilitation skills.

Available now in the Mark Sanborn Store (a new window will open).

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