The PeoplePACT

Achieving Exemplary Performance Through Humane Leadership

By Denise McNerney & Lynn Rolston

“Proof at last that boss can be more than a four-letter word…”

The contributions of people within an organization are the core of any business. The PACT is a guide for creating a mutual commitment aligning employees with their organization's goals and leaders with their employee's goals. This customized agreement, or pact, supports unique and equitable treatment of each individual, based on their personal goals. The authors have found that this individualized approach not only enhances innovation, motivation and productivity, it also translates to significant improvements in overall performance and the bottom-line.

The PeoplePACT creates a step-by-step outline of the PACT process, enabling seasoned as well as up-and-coming leaders to achieve brilliant results. Real work examples provide a clear basis for responding to complex leadership and management issues.

This book incorporates the materials that managers will need to start the PACT process. With detailed instructions and worksheets, this is a leadership/management tool. When this tool is put to use individuals and organizations can experience unprecedented success.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy, please contact us at Volume discounts are available.

About the Authors

The PeoplePACT Company focuses on teaching the PACT’ing process to organizations and individuals who want a more effective and more humane way of leading to exemplary performance.

The PeoplePACT principles, philosophy and practices come from the collective 50+ years of leadership experience of the co-authors Denise McNerney and Lynn Rolston. As the co-founders of the organizational and leadership development company – iBossWell, Inc., McNerney and Rolston have successfully lead, coached and developed hundreds of leaders throughout their careers. Additionally, they each have significant executive level experience in front-line operational management of multi-million dollar books of business.

Denise McNerney is a true innovator who has hired and developed hundreds of leaders and staff in the course of her successful 25+ year corporate career. McNerney is the Chief Executive Officer of iBossWell, Inc., a consulting company, focusing on developing and aligning vision, tactics and organizational culture, to lead organizations to exemplary performance. McNerney’s skillful efforts have had positive impact on the bottom-line of numerous organizations and the lives of the individuals within, through advancing their processes and skills, all the while utilizing humane leadership and PACT’ing. She has a Masters degree as well as work towards a PhD in Counseling Psychology and is known for her keen understanding of both business and people dynamics.

Lynn Rolston, an accomplished business leader with a proven track record as a motivator, is the author of a trailblazing workplace workshop that proved the value of quality work relationships on breakthrough productivity. Rolston, too, has hired and developed a great number of successful business people across a number of industries and led several teams to unprecedented success. A former pharmaceutical industry executive, Rolston is now the Chief Executive Officer of the California Pharmacist’s Association.

Principles & Process of Humane Leadership

People and their contributions are the core of any business. It is a leader’s challenge and responsibility to support their people so they can do the best job possible. The following process and principles support producing exemplary performance and extraordinary results in business.

The PACT is a process that commits both the leader and the employee to mutually beneficial goals and support in accomplishing those goals. The PACT establishes strong alignment between what the organization needs from the employee as well as what the employee wants from their work experience. This level of understanding between boss and employee can significantly reduce conflict, misunderstanding and frustration, which in turn can further enhance productivity and performance. Creating and keeping the PACT through an ongoing process of Performance Support leads to exemplary achievement.

Perspective provides an opportunity for greater alignment and insight into the strategies and needs of the business. Understanding the big picture provides a context within which everyone can create a plan for personal success that also supports the goals of the organization. Understanding how their contribution fits in is critical. Having clarity of expectations and focus, and how this aligns with organizational goals, is key to great results.

Acknowledgement is the most inexpensive and simple way to create a positive, supporting and motivating environment. Specific, sincere acknowledgement is critical to encouraging growth, and is one of the most effective ways to positively impact the performance and behavior of people. It costs nothing. People grow through strength and confidence building, so a good leader encourages this at every reasonable opportunity.

Collaboration is the art of communicating and working effectively with others to spur innovation and results. Employees typically want to feel they are making a contribution, and are more motivated to achieve if they feel included as part of the larger effort. Participating, sharing ideas and learning new skills through collaboration and mutual support encourage a desire to “give back” through high performance.

Trust is the foundation for a thriving work environment. Transparency and humane truth-telling can be the ultimate trust builder. To create a trusting environment, where people feel safe enough to take risks is the best preparation for greatness. People feel free to be most creative and productive where there are no “failures”, as long as learnings are gleaned from each experience. This is the kind of environment where high growth prevails and where people are happy, satisfied and give their best each day.

If you can put into practice the elements of the PACT, you will build such a strong, trusting, safe work environment, people will truly thrive. As you review the process, remember the following key points:

  • Begin by thinking about the qualities of the good bosses you have had. They likely treated you with respect, dignity, fairness and honor. You should do the same with your employees.
  • Make your relationships “win-win-win.” Your success is dependent on your employees’ success; you know it, and they should know it. Develop strategies that advance both parties’ interests. Make the PACT! The organization’s success is dependent on it too.

Where are you going, what do you want? Understand what is important to your employees. It’s not always obvious, and it’s never simple. Find out what they need and help them get it.

  • Focus on being fair. All employees should be treated fairly, but not all employees should be treated exactly the same. Each will have unique, personal needs and desires, and each should be considered as individuals. Don’t try to create the same conditions for everyone, but work towards creating an environment free from animosity and jealousy.
  • Support and encourage more, critique less. In a supervisory role you must expect a certain level of performance, but most of your employees will likely perform in at least a satisfactory way. Fulfill the requirements of your company as they relate to employee evaluation, but rather than harping on flaws and weaknesses, seek out ways to affirm the strengths and successes of your employees.
  • Share the big picture perspective. Explain to your employees the company’s strategy and tactics, and work to make the organizational culture explicit. These qualities of the organization should not be implicit or mysterious; they undoubtedly exist, so why not talk about them?
  • Clarify, clarify, clarify. Don’t allow your employees to “make stuff up”; when situations are unclear, you must make them clear. And…don’t make stuff up yourself. Don’t shy away from asking difficult questions.
  • Acknowledge successes. In a genuine, specific way, acknowledge work well done by your employees. For some managers this may not come naturally; if you are one of those, force yourself to do it. It will be worth it.
  • Provide regular feedback. Your job is to support your employees, and to do that you must be in constant contact with them. Be constructive and helpful; don’t let your employees’ work go unnoticed.
  • Emphasize “playing well with others.” It begins in pre-school, and it never ends. Stress with your employees the importance of constructive collaboration; lead with a compelling vision; show them the benefits of working together, and transform their conflicts into experiences marked more by growth than tension.
  • Tell the truth. Making the PACT will not work in an environment that does not have trust as its foundation. If your employees don’t believe you, you cannot successfully lead them.

While making the PACT is straightforward and outlined in our book, it is far from easy. Some of what you have learned, particularly if you were trained by a “command and control” boss, you need to “unlearn.” You must share how you feel with others; you must be vulnerable; you need to take risks, admit mistakes. You will have to accept messy desks, employees who leave work early (sometimes!) to see their children perform in a school play, and even —gasp!— employees who don’t necessarily want to climb the corporate ladder.

In the end, though, if you can focus on the fundamental tenets of the PACT, your employees will be more productive, more energized, and ultimately happier. When that happens…you will find that you will grow dramatically as a manager, a leader and a human being. And, the organization will grow to new heights! Trust us.


iBossWell, Inc. is our strategic partner in delivering consulting support to organizations seeking to advance their leadership and PACT’ing skills. iBossWell is a leadership and organizational development company, working with not-for-profits, for-profits and government agencies to bring success through building greater alignment between vision, tactics and organizational culture.

Their integrated approach includes planning facilitation, assessment, consulting, workshops, executive coaching and board training to help lead organizations to the next level of excellence. iBossWell is the exclusive provider for the PeoplePACT process approach to exemplary performance.

The PeoplePACT author, Denise McNerney, is CEO of iBossWell, Inc. Learn more about consulting services.

Author Speaking Engagements

Denise McNerney and Lynn Rolston are available to speak to groups about the PeoplePACT Philosophy and Practices of Humane Leadership. Email us today!