Grant-and-Patrick

The 4 Essential Things A CEO Cannot Delegate: Patrick Lencioni Interview

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Last month I spent time with Patrick Lencioni. I always get so much value when I spend time with him. He is an incredibly gifted writer and without doubt the leading voice in the world today on organisational health.

During our time together I asked Pat a variety of questions, all of which arise from the challenges and issues we encounter while working with executive teams, in South Africa and around the world.

It is a powerful and insightful interview and I hope you find it as interesting and stimulating as I did while making it.

We deal with issues such as:

1. What are the 4 essential things that a CEO cannot delegate?
2. What does it really mean to develop a performance culture?
3. Why are meetings often so unproductive and what can you do about it?
4. How do you get communication to flow in large organisations with lots of layers?
5. How to tell the kind truth upwards and why doing this will double your influence in your organisation?
6. Why do managers wait so long before addressing poor performance and bad behaviour?
7. What are the ideal attributes of a great team player?
8. Why is clarity more important than certainty when you are an executive?

Patrick Lencioni Interview

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First Who Then What Team Right People

Do you have the right people on your team?

A few years ago I had the privilege of working closely with Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and How the Mighty Fall.   Having the right people on the executive team is a subject he has researched deeply. It’s the whole basis of his work, captured in the maxim, “first who then what.”

It’s also a subject we are often asked to advise on by the leaders we work with.

The question is vital.  I see many organisations trying to achieve a significant performance improvement and culture shift – without really taking seriously the most important question of all, who is sitting around the table?

Team selection – applying the ‘first who then what’ principle – is arguably your most important job as the Chief Executive. At the top you’re not just selecting your team, you are creating the cultural blueprint of your organisation.

This is because what happens on your team, the tone you set and the behaviours you display, are magnified across the whole company.

I’m working with a newly appointed CEO. She inherited a team of 17 people. She knows they need to be fast, agile and responsive. But this team is too big, too unwieldy, too bogged down by consensus and other dysfunctional behaviours, so she must make changes.

(See our previous post on team size;  Is Your Team Small Enough?)

We spent time together talking about what kind of team she really wants.

She wants an executive that learns quickly from mistakes, bounces back from setbacks, where people argue and debate, not to improve their personal position but to find the best answers to support the cause.

She wants a team where people bring data, evidence, detail and logic to discussions but who are also fiercely passionate about the mission and believe in the work. She wants people on the team who enjoy the confidence and admiration of their peers and who have the respect of those they lead.

She realises now that whether they ever become this kind of team at all is a result of who is on the team in the first place.

‘First who then what’ is critical to her plans.

Patrick Lencioni has recently written about this subject.

His latest best-selling book The Ideal Team Player describes 3 essential human attributes for team membership. He asks if the people on your team, or those that you are about to employ, are humble, hungry and smart with people?

  • Put differently, do they think more of others than themselves and are they able to be vulnerable?
  • Are they eager to help? Do they love getting results and do they work hard?
  • Do they exercise good judgement with people and group dynamics, aware of the impact and effect of their words and actions?

Why team selection is so important is because people with these attributes are much more likely to create a true high performing team, which displays all the performance characteristics we wrote about last time.

In conclusion the qualities that people bring with them into your organisation and onto your team are essential and as a leader you should be selecting for these things as much as the person’s skillset and experience.

To help my client, the CEO, with her decisions, I have shared these attributes and the six characteristics Jim Collins describes for the ‘right people in key seats’ with her. It has benefitted her greatly.

Making changes will be uncomfortable, delicate and demanding. But to get the business onto a different path she knows it’s her most important task and it’s one that she has to tackle head on.

Please comment on the post below or send me a mail,  (grant@leadershipworks.co.za) and I will send the ‘right people in key seats’ characteristics on to you.

Next time I will write about a subject I am very passionate about. Lions.

In a lion pride, team selection and membership is an essential part of their survival. It’s a life or death issue. Prides that thrive have powerful individuals and everyone benefits.

I will talk with Ian Thomas, author of Power of the Pride and he will share his deep wisdom from a lifetime spent watching lions and working with teams.

matches pass passion along leadership works top teams

Do you have a real team at the top?

Last time I promised to write about how to start to tap into the gold mine inside your organisation.

The first step is to build a real team at the top.

When your company’s executive team are not on the same page about what’s best for the whole organisation and they put their own interests, needs and functional areas before the priorities of the larger organisation there is a problem.

A bank executive told me recently, when there is no cohesion and unity at the top, the stage is set for interdepartmental rivalry, backbiting, confusion and infighting everywhere else. This behaviour he insists does not serve the overall best interests of the bank and neither does it help the customer.

The journey to a healthy organisation begins then with the Executive Team.

When your executives, the people with the greatest influence on behaviour in your organisation, start sharing information, support group decisions, dismantle the walls that once protected their turf and outlaw political games and hidden agendas, the message about how to behave is clear to everybody else.

How your leaders behave plays a vital role in ensuring that people don’t turn instead to cynicism, apathy and escapism.

Almost every employee has a deep need and desire for a cohesive and unified team at the top. They want to be inspired, to respect their leaders and to not have to take sides and fight unwinnable wars on issues that should have been resolved above them.

For many this deep need remains unmet and it’s a huge contributing factor to why large numbers of people are not emotionally engaged in their work.

At the initial offsite with the top team the first really difficult question we ask executives is, which team is your first team?

It’s not a trick question.

Which hat you wear as you sit around the Executive table is vital to how you show up and behave. Surprisingly, many Executives have not thought much about this.

For most it’s first their functional area or business unit – the team that they lead – that gets their main loyalty. This is where they are most comfortable. Where their knowledge and power base is.

Yet in a healthy organisation – there needs to be a clear Team Number One.

This is a small group of people – the Executives – who have the total interests of the business at heart and who are guided by one overarching leadership question, “How do we unlock and release the future full potential of the whole business”.

This means they are also completely dedicated to stopping the turf wars, ambiguity and every other barrier and bad behaviour that gets in the way of survival, growth and winning in the market.

They know that the stakes are high.

They know that the competition is organised and that every ounce of human creativity and intellect has to be focused outward and not wasted on internal struggles and needless empire building.

An executive I worked with – a very straight and direct man – used to challenge his team by asking; “do you want to be Executives or do you want to be Branch Managers?”

A stinging question, not intended to demean the latter but to remind his Executives of their main purpose … to build a real team at the top.

A Team Number One, that positions the whole business to meet customer needs and to set the example for getting people to submerge their egos and co-ordinate seamlessly. This team works tirelessly to make sure they don’t squander more human capability and goodwill than they actually use.

This is the first step to building your healthy organisation.

Next time we will write about the actual characteristics your Executive Team needs.

In the meantime please visit our Resources Page and download “Do We Work Well Together?” Ten questions that will make you think deeply about your team and what you look like to the people around you.

As always we love hearing from you.

Please comment below. We’ve just received fresh copies of Patrick Lencioni’s best-selling book, The Advantage and will give away three copies to people who comment.

Leadership Works 2017

What is your most important priority as a leader in 2017?

Every business we work with today is experiencing major competition and change. Under this constant pressure everyone is striving to stay ahead.

Despite this, many leaders still limit their search for competitive advantage to conventional and largely exhausted areas like marketing, strategy and technology.

It’s not that these aren’t important. They are and always will be. But the obvious is being ignored. In every organisation there is an untapped gold mine sitting right beneath every leader.

Becoming a healthy organisation is how to access this gold.

As Patrick Lencioni asserts, instead of trying to become smarter (most organisations have enough of this already) leaders must shift their focus to becoming a healthier organisation, allowing them to tap into the more-than-sufficient intelligence and expertise they already have.

One of our clients is a well-known South African company.

They have great marketing, a distinctive strategy and the very best technology and systems in the world. Their products are stunning and they have terrific employee benefits and perks.

Yet there is also mistrust and fear. They are bedeviled by silos, turf wars and internal competition that wither away goodwill, damage trust and cause good team members to disengage.

In their marketplace there is what they describe as ‘hyper competition’. It’s real and it’s relentless. Areas where they have dominated for many years are for the first time being seriously challenged by global players. Yet just when they need every ounce of resourcefulness, initiative and commitment on the inside, people are holding back,

Morale and productivity – which should be high – as it is when people pull together to unify against a common threat, is low and in its place is ambiguity, victimism and interdepartmental rivalries.

This is only good for their competitors. Good people are leaving (or thinking seriously about it) taking valuable skills and years of hard earned experience with them.

They are also troubled by a recent survey that reveals that very few people in middle management aspire to become senior leaders in the organisation. This gap between top management and those close to the front line is worrying and has a big effect on productivity.

Ironically the leaders are really great people. I know them personally – predictably they too are also not having much fun.

It does not have to be like this.

For this organisation the warning bells have sounded and they have begun to take action.

What is your most important priority as a leader in 2017?

Will this be the year that you tap into the gold mine inside your organisation? Take up the challenge and use 2017 to defy and attack the root causes of dysfunction, politics and confusion inside your organisation?

  • Imagine if you got everyone rowing in the same direction?
  • Imagine if everyone was crystal clear on the goals and what your business needs to do to succeed?
  • Imagine teams where people submerge their egos, co-ordinate seamlessly, support each other selflessly and do whatever it takes to succeed?
  • Imagine too a genuinely cohesive team at the top. Where all the executives are on the same page, setting the tone, standard and pace in a credible and unifying way for every other person in your organisation.

Nothing about this work is touchy-feely or soft.

It is as tangible and practical as anything else a business does, and even more important.

When politics, ambiguity, dysfunction and confusion are reduced to a minimum, people are released to concentrate on the customer, empowered to design products, solve problems and help one another in ways that unhealthy organisations can only dream about.

Yes it takes hard work, commitment and courage – anything that’s really worthwhile does. The rewards for everyone are immense and when you do you will be satisfied that you have fulfilled the most important leadership responsibility of all – to create an environment of success.

Next time we will write about how to start.

We love hearing from you. Please share your thoughts on this post with us below. Do you think building a healthy organisation is the most important leadership responsibility of all?

tower_advantage

Four Disciplines for a Healthy Organisation

Most organisations that want to get better are not struggling because they lack good products, market opportunities or clever people.

Rather they are struggling because they are unhealthy.

A healthy organisation has minimal politics or confusion and sets high standards of performance. Here talented people work together on common goals while success is measured not by personal victories but by the progress of the joint plan.

It’s the polar opposite of a company fragmented by internal strife and paralysed by its own poisoned culture.

In these unhealthy cutthroat places, infighting at the top occupies more time than solving problems on the ground. Serving the customer comes second to securing one’s turf. Sometimes people worry more about enjoying their perks than the real problems facing the organisation.

Henry Ford once said; “the internal ailments of business are the ones that require the most attention.”

Fortunately, these ailments have a remedy. Like most things worth doing the remedy involves disciplines. Four actually and each one is essential.

Discipline 1: Build a cohesive team at the top.

This has nothing to do with touchy-feely exercises or theoretical discussions.

Rather it involves the team committing to collective results and then building the trust and commitment necessary to have direct, open conversation with each other and to hold one another accountable.

Discipline 2: Create clarity for the organisation.

Most organisations have a deep and unmet craving for clarity.

Healthy organisations meet this need and minimise the potential for confusion by clarifying the answers to a few simple questions that deal directly with why the organisation exists, how people must behave and what is most important.

Discipline 3: Over-communicate clarity.

This discipline is the key to dealing with the disconnect between executive leadership and the rest of the organisation – a problem that plagues almost every business we work in.

It involves the senior leadership conveying what’s most important to the business and doing so over and over again.

The best leaders build commitment not only by conveying clarity but by personalising it too.

These leaders build emotional connections by telling stories, constructing metaphors and making themselves vulnerable. They constantly repeat the same messages so people believe they are sincere.

Vitally they understand that it is essential to not only communicate information but inspiration too.

The payoff is massive – building a community of people who want to perform together is the key to having a distinctive competitive advantage for a long time to come.

Discipline 4: Reinforce clarity with human systems

In healthy organisations systems are in place to ensure:

  • People who are hired also fit in.
  • Successful performers are rewarded.
  • Underperformers are managed.
  • New hires are effective right away.
  • The right people are promoted.

This is about institutionalising clarity and making sure it is actually embedded into the fabric of the organisation.

These disciplines take both effort and time. But less time than you may think.

With commitment and persistence from the top along with a willingness to courageously confront the issues, an organisation will succeed in becoming healthier.

Very few organisations are truly dysfunctional – most just need the leaders to boldly set the tone, create the clarity and be an example for everyone else.

These disciplines are the blueprint for doing so. They are not a nice to have, they are in fact the most important strategic choice your business will ever make.

We love hearing from you. Please comment below – which discipline do you feel would make the biggest impact on your organisation right now?

patrick-interview-leadershipworks

The Ideal Team Player

Teamwork is a subject that receives so much attention.

Almost every organisation wants more of it and is willing to invest in getting it – especially at the top where it is often in the shortest supply.

But do we know what qualities to look for in someone who will make a good team member?

The Ideal Team Player Book Patric Lencioni

Well this month Patrick Lencioni released his latest book, The Ideal Team Player.

It’s written in his usual style as a fable and it’s a wonderful read. In the book he describes the qualities of an ideal team player. I had a discussion with him about these qualities.

Question: Patrick what is your latest book all about?

This book is focused on individual team members rather than the dynamics of the team as a whole. I wrote it because while I’m confident that almost any group of people can become a team with the right amount of guidance and support, there are some individuals that greatly accelerate the process because they share three distinct attributes.

Question: What are these attributes?

The first and most important virtue of an ideal team player is humility.

A humble employee is someone who is more concerned with the success of the team than with getting credit for his or her contributions. People who lack humility in a significant way, the ones who demand a disproportionate amount of attention, are dangerous for a team.

Having said that, humble team players are not afraid to honestly acknowledge the skills and talents that they bring to the team, though never in a proud or boastful way.

The next virtue of an ideal team player is hunger – the desire to work hard and do whatever is necessary to help the team succeed.

Hungry employees almost never have to be pushed by a manager to work harder because they are self-motivated and diligent. They volunteer to fill gaps, take on more responsibilities and are eagerly looking around corners for new ways to contribute to the team.

The final virtue of a team player is not about being intelligent, but rather about being wise or smart in how to deal with people.

Smart employees understand the nuances of team dynamics, and know how their words and actions impact others. Their good judgment and intuition help them deal with others in the most effective way.

Question: What is the payoff for the team of these attributes?

The impact of ensuring that members of a team value and demonstrate these attributes cannot be overstated. Most teams that struggle are not lacking in knowledge or competence as much as they are unable to access that knowledge and competence because of dysfunctional behaviours.

A team full of people who are humble, hungry and smart will overcome those dysfunctions quickly and easily, allowing them to get more done in less time and with far fewer distractions.

Actually I’ve come to the conclusion that these three seemingly obvious qualities are to teamwork what speed, strength and coordination are to athletics—they make everything else easier.

Question: Of the three do you think any is more important than the other?

Yes, undoubtedly for teamwork the most important of these virtues is humility. The ultimate foundation of being a team player is a person being willing and able to put the team’s interests above his or her own. Only a truly humble person can do this effectively.

Question: Finally Patrick how do managers cultivate these qualities in their teams?

The most reliable way to ensure that teamwork takes hold is to hire only ideal team players. Of course, that is neither possible nor practical, especially considering that most leaders don’t have the luxury of creating their teams from scratch.

But all leaders can certainly do their best to try to recruit, select and hire people who are humble, hungry and smart when an opportunity arises to bring on someone new.

In my book I’ve outlined interview questions and assessment resources that can help managers and leaders mine for the qualities in potential job candidates. By interviewing thoroughly and checking references with an eye towards a candidate’s reputation and behaviour, a manager can hire people with a high degree of confidence that they’ll be good team players.

Patrick-Lencioni Interview LeadershipWorks

This book is a must read for any organisation that’s serious about teamwork.

All too often an organisation launches into the team building process without first thinking about this critical piece of the teamwork puzzle – the individuals and the qualities they possess.

We still have a few copies of the book to give away.

Please comment below – tell us what individual qualities are important to you in the members of your team and we’ll send a copy of the Ideal Team Player to selected contributors.

Leadership Qualities

What Qualities Matter Most In Your Leaders

We recently worked with a very well known global company in Asia. They are a household name and have a proud history of innovation and product design.

Along with its success the business has also become large and complex. Silos and bureaucracy have grown to compound the problem. The business has increasingly developed an inward focus and although everyone is working very hard they are not working together.

All this worries the CEO. It gives him sleepless nights.

Together with his executive team, they are working furiously to simplify the business’s structure and return to putting the customer first. One executive, in a moment of incredible honesty, told me they spend more time “doing business with themselves” than truly caring about the customer.

The CEO knows the company has to transform in order to survive into the future. Customer needs, technology changes and intense competitor activity are driving this need. To transform they will have to encourage greater creativity and risk taking – two vital ingredients of their early success that they lost along the way.

The constant pressure of delivering day-to-day keeps them locked in their current way of doing things.

It’s a fascinating challenge. Balancing the strategy of transformation with the tactics of everyday performance.

To get an outside view on his challenge the CEO invited the leader of an Asian based technology start up to speak to his leadership team.

This business is three years old. It is growing rapidly and disrupting a very established industry. They are winning new clients from huge companies who are finding it hard to change.

Her core-advice to the CEO and his team was, “Start by picking the right leaders. This is the key.”

She went on to explain the four vital qualities she looks for in the leaders who work in her business.

1. A track record of triumphing over adversity. People must be able to quickly get back onto their feet after a setback. Change is tough and adversity is a constant companion. As she explained “there is probably always a valid excuse for every failure and we look for people who overcome those valid excuses.”

2. No politics, no bureaucracy, no poison. These are the real obstacles. “I look for people who are totally collaborative. Not brilliant jerks that get the short-term numbers but damage the organisation in the long run.”

3. A desire to contribute and make a difference. People must be driven by the difference they can make in the world. “When personal gain is the first thing on people’s minds it’s very difficult to get the full power of teamwork released.”

4. Listening is vital. Leaders must walk the line between telling and listening. Find out what’s really going on. Put tools in place for listening. Skip levels. Know what needs to be done on the ground. Wisely she cautioned, “If people are not heard and obstacles not removed they stop caring and lose their desire to make a difference.”

In closing she said, “Everyone’s intelligent. Nowadays that’s a given, but we are trying to get to the future faster than our competition and they have far greater resources than we do. All four of these qualities are necessary, above intelligence, so we can innovate and stay ahead.”

As she spoke I felt her deep conviction that these qualities, embedded in her leaders, are what makes their business a success.

How did the CEO and his team respond?

It deepened their resolve to not just concentrate on the technical side of their transformation. It was a timely and sharp reminder that the “business of business is people” and that to the people and therefore the business the qualities of the leader really matters.

(See also our South West Airlines post, November 2015.)

It’s these qualities that make it possible to blast through the corporate inertia. It’s these qualities that build the belief and momentum and the hope that change is possible.

How about your business?

Are you clear what qualities your leaders need to make your business succeed?

Please let us know by commenting below. We love hearing from you.

At the end of this month Patrick Lencioni will release his much-awaited new book, The Ideal Team Player. In it he describes the three crucial qualities vital to teamwork.

We will send five people who comment on this months article a copy of this brand new book and next month we will post extracts of an interview we did with him on the book.

South West Airlines Pilot Heart

Does your organisation have a heart?

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Does your organisation have a heart?

Southwest Airlines (SWA) in the United States is the world’s largest domestic airline. Incredibly it has been profitable for 43 consecutive years in what has been called the world’s largest non-profit sector – the airline industry.

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”” background_color=”rgba(255,255,255,0)”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_separator style_type=”none” sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_sharing tagline=”Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!” tagline_color=”” title=”” link=”http://www.leadershipworks.co.za/does-your-organisation-have-a-heart/” description=”” pinterest_image=”http://www.leadershipworks.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Southwest-Heart.jpg” icons_boxed=”” icons_boxed_radius=”4px” box_colors=”” icon_colors=”” tooltip_placement=”” backgroundcolor=”” class=”” id=””][/fusion_sharing][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container backgroundcolor=”” backgroundimage=”” backgroundrepeat=”no-repeat” backgroundposition=”left top” backgroundattachment=”scroll” video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” bordersize=”0px” bordercolor=”” borderstyle=”solid” paddingtop=”20px” paddingbottom=”0px” paddingleft=”0px” paddingright=”0px” menu_anchor=”” equal_height_columns=”no” hundred_percent=”no” class=”” id=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_text]The story started in 1971 with 200 employees and 12 flights per day. Today it employs 46 000 people and runs an incredible 3600 flights daily. It’s a massive company, which above all is famed for its legendary customer service.

Few other organisations over that period of time have made their unique brand of culture stick longer than them.

People the world over want to know how they do it.

How do you build an incredible culture of customer service? How do you sustain excellence through the good and the bad times and become one of the worlds most admired and written about corporations?

These questions are on the minds of many CEO’s in South Africa today.

I got a unique personal insight into Southwest Airlines last month. I was in America participating in an event with The Table Group, Patrick Lencioni’s company – which has the distinction of being the only leadership consulting business invited to work inside the airline.

It was here that I met Dave Ridley.

He has been an executive with SWA for 27 years and has worked everywhere in the business, most recently as the Chief Marketing Officer. He retired from operational roles earlier this year, but still retains an office at Southwest and serves in the enviable role as senior advisor to the CEO.

The undisputed highlight of his long and successful career was working with two fabulous leaders, the company founder, Herb Kelleher and present CEO Gary Kelly. It was Kelleher who coined the now well-known phrase that ‘the business of business is people’ and that people are ‘motivated more by love than by fear’.

Intentionally and with much hard work they have in essence built the company around these two simple ideas.

I asked Dave to tell me more.

It’s a spectacular company but not a perfect one he told me with humility. It’s a place where people work very hard, but where there’s lots of laughter and fun. “The inside looks like the outside,” he added, meaning there is minimal politics and what you see is not fake PR designed to make them look good. It’s genuine and it’s real.

At their core is a value system. Just three values that they live out and protect passionately.

  • Warrior Spirit … work hard
  • Servants Heart … care about others
  • Fun Luving … have a good heart

The language is very appealing. It is fresh, surprising and incredibly simple. Not infected by corporate jargon that is the death of so much corporate communication.

I asked him how you make your culture stick, a question many executives ask me.

All success is about leadership. Culture depends on it. Hire the right people, establish the values, and ensure all the smart things are in place – the strategy, technology and processes, but most importantly have the right kind of leaders.

Ultimately it depends on the people and the people ultimately depend on the leadership.

As Dave explained culture is really about organisations that are trying to make a difference with their customer service delivery. This is where they start. They want great service and they want people to be happy.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container backgroundcolor=”” backgroundimage=”” backgroundrepeat=”no-repeat” backgroundposition=”left top” backgroundattachment=”scroll” video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” bordersize=”0px” bordercolor=”” borderstyle=”solid” paddingtop=”0px” paddingbottom=”0px” paddingleft=”0px” paddingright=”0px” menu_anchor=”” equal_height_columns=”no” hundred_percent=”no” class=”” id=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_2″ last=”no” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text]But what they miss is that you have to back it up with hiring the right people and treating them as your # 1 priority, which then gets you to leadership. As he explains “you have to be obsessed about treating your people right and if you don’t your culture efforts are doomed to failure.”

To stick, the inside has to look like the outside. It has to be genuine for people to really commit.

Painted on the underside of their planes is a large multicolored heart and the tagline reads, “Without a heart it’s just a machine.”

My meeting with Dave reminded me that your culture is the heart of your business and without one it is just a machine.

People need a heart to give of their best. And when they do you have something that is very precious – a unique and genuine source of competitive advantage.

Does your organisation have a heart? We love hearing from you.

Comment below and we will send you Patrick Lencioni’s The Three Signs of a Miserable Job Model – a great place to start thinking about how to improve your corporate culture.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_2″ last=”yes” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”center” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] South West Airlines Heart[/fusion_imageframe][fusion_text]

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Clear-as-a-Bell-Leadership-Works

Is your team in need of clarity?

We recently worked with an executive team that was working very hard but not seeing the results.

Perhaps you are part of a team like this? You are dedicated, work long hours, are constantly online, perhaps even take conference calls at 2.00 am, but your company is just not seeing the results.

What is missing is clarity.

Clarity means knowing what to focus on to get results. Clarity drives consistent behaviour and it eliminates unnecessary activity. Without true clarity you end up having too many priorities (which really mean none at all) and your behavioural standards are unclear.

Clear-as-a-Bell-Leadership-Works

This leads to confusion about what is most important and how to behave. Instead of the concentration of effort on a few things done really well that everyone supports, precious resources are scattered and diluted on too many things.

That’s exactly what was happening with the team I was working with. Some regions were doing better than others but overall when you added it all together, the sum of the parts was disappointing.

Effort was not being rewarded with results and it was taking a toll on them.

The confidence and energy in the team was low. What hurt the most was that good people were leaving for the competition and they felt powerless to stop it.

The real problem was they were working hard but not together. They did not have clarity on what was most important for the organisation. Each person had their own version of the goal but they were not the same. Due to these different goals the harder they worked the more they moved apart.

The pressure was on. “I need to get everyone rowing in the same direction” the CEO told me.

To do this we first needed every executive to see that their number one priority was to act in the best interests of the whole organisation. Their 1st team was the executive team and not the functional or regional teams they were leading back in operations. So often in the team at the top we see a lack of understanding on this important concept.

Individuals think that if their department is winning they are achieving their goals, but unless the business as a whole is victorious no one can be.

This was very hard for some. They had so much invested and they kept putting the hat back on of the team they were leading. What they lacked was the clarity around the bigger picture – the business’s single purpose and how they should contribute to it.

To find this clarity the team set about answering the six critical clarity questions.

These are the questions that get everyone at the top on the same page, focusing on the main goal and purpose of the business. They also ensure that each person’s effort is assisting the main cause and that the resources of the company are being properly channeled.

Through this process the team was now asking the right ultimate question – ‘how do we as executives unlock the full potential of the whole organisation?’ The moment this happened the energy of the team went up.

One of the six questions asks – ‘what is most important right now?’ What is the team’s single most important priority in the next 6-12 months? This question creates the focus and concentration of resources that leads to a breakthrough in performance.

For this team they felt that they had lost their ability and belief to close really big deals. This was a major contributor to their disappointing results and everyone believed passionately that this was their collective number one priority.

Within a few hours we had written up the main goal and identified five key activities that everyone was involved in to achieve the goal.

The excitement in the room was tangible. The rallying cry of the team had been set and the momentum and tone of the team had shifted materially. They couldn’t wait to get back to their teams and communicate the outcome, anxious now to get the whole organisation committed to the main cause.

So will the team turn the tide on its results?

It’s very early to tell. The task ahead of them is demanding. But everyone on the team is now in the same boat, rowing together. Now they have a fighting chance. They have even had their first big win and the belief is coming back.

Do you want to start this process with your own team?

Please add your thoughts and comment on the article in the space below and we will send you a copy of the six essential clarity questions.

Patrick-Lencioni-South-Africa-Interview-LeadershipWorks

Building High Performance Business Teams – Patrick Lencioni Interview

Patrick Lencioni is a best-selling author, speaker and consultant. He has worked with thousands of senior executives in organisations ranging from Fortune 500 corporations and professional sports teams to universities and nonprofits.

He is the author of the international best sellers The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and The Advantage, which are weekly fixtures on international bestseller lists; his books have sold over three million copies.