25 years of HR and Labor Relations leadership with Carrier Corporation, Agway, Inc., Armstrong World Industries and subsidiaries provided me the experience and motivation for founding Luttinger Associates in 2004.
From plant to division to corporate to executive level, I was exposed to differences in people and to the unintended consequences a lack of awareness about these differences had on business performance at all levels. While I often heard about ‘strength lies in differences, not in similarities’, I saw differences become obstacles or stumbling blocks in interpersonal and leadership comfort and effectiveness.
Working with or leading others like us seems easier. Communications are less often misunderstood. Decision making is faster. There is less conflict when work, problem solving, planning, learning and decision- making styles, values and perspectives are the same. It’s easier to trust, anticipate, collaborate and work through challenges with others who are more like us. Everyone isn’t the same, however; we have natural, unconscious preferences that influence our behavior. When these preference differences collide we tend to misjudge, label, and ignore others, their input, views or suggestions. Our selection, training, evaluation and promotion of talent can be compromised. We can miss opportunities, markets, customers. We may experience low levels of morale, higher than desired turnover and underperformance.
Strength does lie in differences but harnessing that strength and leveraging those differences takes education.
Leaders that possess and apply an understanding of these differences select, manage, motivate and communicate more effectively. Teams that possess and apply an understanding of these differences function more collaboratively. Individuals with self awareness are free to make better decisions about work, career and others. Work environments where differences are understood and applied are more harmonious and invite higher levels of participation.
Instilling higher levels of self- and- other awareness to enable creation of strong and compatible organizations that attract and retain the people and leaders that keep them in business, is the cornerstone of my client talent, management advising and coaching work.
I bring diverse experience and employ ‘positive psychology’ assessment instruments such as the MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator), FIRO Element B, and the Thomas Kilman (Conflict) to provide the insights which serve as stepping stones to higher levels of individual, leadership and organization performance.