The quarter-to-quarter bottom-line results emphasized by today’s financial markets have spawned an epidemic of myopic decision-making among many business leaders.  The balance of bottom line results with the interests of varied stakeholders is disappearing in favor of a preoccupation with short-term share price.  The result has been the steady deterioration of sustainable business performance and long-term contribution to society due, in part, to an increasing dissatisfaction with these priorities among employees, customers and other stakeholder groups.

Mr. Neilson believes that a leader’s ability to achieve business success lies in the support and motivation of followers or stakeholder groups.  His model focuses on identifying an organization’s stakeholders, understanding their needs and motivations, and taking the appropriate actions to meet those needs within the context of the business goals and objectives.  By doing so the leader transforms followers or stakeholder groups into members who are motivated to work together to achieve a common goal.

He believes that a leader’s ability to sustain business performance requires a balanced effort to understand and meet the needs of ALL stakeholder groups over time.  In his model he demonstrates how commitment to business goals among stakeholder groups (membership) is earned by continuously understanding and meeting the different levels of needs of those groups.  Most importantly, his model demonstrates the power that progressively higher levels of commitment among stakeholder groups brings to an organization.

Mr. Neilson defines this Hierarchy of Commitment© for each stakeholder group.  He defines the different levels of “Need” by each stakeholder group.  Finally, in order to meet those needs, he identifies what actions are needed, for whom, and when, and what skills are required to perform those actions.