In his keynote speech at last month's WERC Conference, former NFL coach Brian Billick talked about the importance of developing team-oriented leaders to achieve success. He referenced the old joke about a bacon and eggs breakfast and how, while chickens were "involved," pigs were "committed."
He described the "pigs" as staff members who put the interest of the team or the business above their own individual situations. "Chickens," while important, are role players in an organization.
According to Billick, the great middle linebacker Ray Lewis, who he coached while he was with the Baltimore Ravens, was the ultimate pig. One of the perks of coaching Lewis was that Billick did not have to play an active role in enforcing team-oriented behavior. He didn't have to. Ravens players understood that, if they stepped out of line, they had to answer to Lewis.
When it comes to culture at 3PL companies, or any company, Billick stressed the importance of identifying the pigs in your organization, developing them, and putting them in the right positions. Many organizations make the mistake of elevating high-performing chickens to leadership roles only to find out, too late, that their ambitions are more focused on advanced themselves than advancing the business.
Chickens get you to good. True greatness over the long haul is possible only if you have enough pigs in the right positions.