I've always been very disciplined. Even as a kid, I wanted to do things the "best way." I remember going to the dentist once and when he asked about my teeth-brushing habits, I proudly explained, "always twice a day, and I brush side to side." "I can see that," he responded. "But you should brush up and down instead." That's when I learned that even though I had the discipline and the right intentions, I wasn't executing correctly.
Whenever I speak to a group of executives about organizational health, I explain that leaders must "institutionalize a company's culture without bureaucratizing it." People universally respond to this, most likely because they understand the painful impact of creeping bureaucracy.
Am I the only person in the world who is tired of hearing people talk about Millennials? Whether it's a complaint about their entitlement mentality or a declaration of their brilliance, it all strikes me as shallow and simplistic.
Today is the beginning of the NFL Draft, professional football's annual hiring extravaganza. It has become something of an obsession for NFL fans, and even for people who simply enjoy the idea of hiring and strategy.
While there are a number of factors involved in making such a prediction, I'm convinced that there is one single indicator that demonstrates that a client really "gets it," that they are likely to experience the kind of transformation that only organizational health can bring about.
With all of the recent fanfare surrounding the release of "Star Wars, The Force Awakens," I thought it might be interesting to channel some of Yoda's Jedi wisdom to our approach to teamwork, specifically the model found in Patrick Lencioni's book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. In my ten years consulting to leadership teams, one thing that has become very clear to me is the importance of the role of the leader to the success of a team. Yoda's skill as a teacher, mentor, truth teller and leader impressed me as I think about the teams that I work with. Here are five of Yoda's teachings as they relate to some of the common issues we encounter with our client teams.
In my work as a principal consultant helping clients create clarity, I've seen a variety of responses and rates of success. Some find traction quickly. Others, however, are caught in old paradigms and cannot break out. It seems simple, but it's not always an easy task. The first thing I usually address is to make sure that people understand the purpose of clarity. Why clarity? What is its purpose and impact? The goal of clarity is not to generate new information. The goal is transformation. Answers to our six critical questions actually fuel effective problem solving and decision-making.
My mom and dad would have made excellent CEOs. At least, that's how I reflect back on their leadership capabilities now (believe me, I wasn't nerding out on their "leadership capabilities" when I was seven). They were excellent decision-makers because they knew how to bring my two siblings and me along in any decision-making process, yet always made it very clear that it was their decision to make.
Many leaders have something of an obsession with retention, and a corresponding fear of attrition. Whether we’re talking about employees, customers or even members of a church congregation, we seem to have an almost unconscious desire to do whatever we can to keep anyone from leaving.
Recently, while I was working with a long-time client, I was struck by the candor and intensity with which two of the teammates were interacting. Over a year ago, when our work together was still in its infancy, things were radically different (tense and strained are a couple of descriptors that come to mind). In fact, Bill, the head of a major division of this organization, and one of his peers, Samantha, were close to a breaking point. Their different communication and decision-making styles had caused such friction and tension that they had lost respect and trust for one another.