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The Advantage

The Advantage

By Patrick Lencioni

– The greatest thing that any organization can achieve is organizational health.

– The health of an organization will determine size, financial ability and every other facet about an organization. Health is much more important than the name, talent or gain of an organization house.

– Organizational health does not require any great intelligence rather discipline, commitment and commonsense.

– Most people live on an adrenaline rush so it is very hard for them to get organized. But organizational health is like the old race car saying: you have to slowdown to go faster.

– The success of the company has little to do with how smart or how dumb one is, it has almost everything to do with how healthy they are.

– What does an organization have to do to become healthy:

1. Build a Cohesive Leadership Team

• If an organization is led by a team that is not cohesive, there’s no way it can be healthy.

• If a parent has spouse relationship problems, the family will probably have problems as well – and so it is with an organization.

• Teamwork at the very top is critical.

• Teamwork is not a virtue, it is a choice and a real one.

A. Trust – members of a cohesive team must trust each other.

Vulnerable enough to show weaknesses and tell the truth.

Personal history – Find out who every person really is.

Profiling – everyone has strengths and weaknesses and they must be determined.

If the leader is not going to be vulnerable, the team members will not be either.

B. The mastery of conflict – we cannot and should not run from conflict, we should learn to lead and accept healthy conflict.

Avoiding conflict can result in artificial harmony of the group or it can fester and bring bigger problems later.

• Keep each other accountable.

Not holding people accountable is selfishness – many times think we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, but holding people accountable is the best thing we can do for them. Great leaders and great team players confront each other about things before it’s too late.

• Great leaders try to help everyone do their job to make the team better.

• The leadership team should be small enough to be effective.

• A cohesive team must have the teams best in mind, not just their own section.

2. Create Clarity

• Why do we exist? Understand the fundamental reason why your organization was founded and exist. If the company does not benefit people in some area, they will and should decease to exist.

• A purpose statement should be true, not just something that looks good on paper. Find out why the organization was started and for what purpose.

• How do we behave? How do we exist? What do we do?

• If you don’t say anything because you’re waiting for the perfect plan, people will become frustrated and fail.

• You must have a strategy.

• If everything is important, than nothing is.

• You must have goals and you must put priority on the goals – somethings are more important than others.

• The team must agree on what goals must be accomplished within a certain amount of time in order to be successful in the organization. For example: what must be accomplished in order to say that you did your job at the end of the year.

• If you can accomplish only one goal in the next nine months but what would it be?

• Without clarity of who does what on a team, little will be done and there will be a lot of inner fighting.

• Regardless of how clear written-out responsibilities are on the team, they should always be explained so that workers understand and have it clear in their mind.

3. Over-Communicate Clarity

• There’s no such thing as too much communication.

• Over communicate clarity – over and over and over and over again.

• Employers do not believe what is communicated to them until they have heard it 7 times. People in general are skeptical of what they hear unless they hear repeatedly.

• The message should be repeated for clarification and for emphasis. It should be given in a timely manner – not before someone runs out the door to leave or on break, etc. It needs to be done in person, not just through an email. • Can the employees easily articulate the goals and plans of the organization?

• If there’s not clarity in the leadership, there certainly will not be amongst the employees.

4. Reinforce Clarity

• Every process and every activity should be done to show the clarity.

• Hire the right people – it is a shame that the hiring process is taken so flippantly in many organizations.

• Orientation – the first week or month someone works at a job, they should learn the values and importance of the job.

• Feedback – employees should receive feedback in every area or they will never be able to perform as expected. Healthy organizations realize that in order for there employees to succeed, they must receive good and constant feedback.

• Compensation and re-wards – honoring those who excel in their jobs.

• Recognition – Direct and personal recognition. A leader who does not recognize his people for a job well done, might as well be telling them that they are not doing a good job.

• Meetings – You must have meetings to explain and discuss things.

A meeting should not have too much information and should not be too long.

– There are different types of meetings, but more meetings with the team is better than less meetings with the team. A daily meeting of 10 minutes, a weekly meeting and a monthly meeting are all important.

• If you can get away for a few days with the team, you can build cohesiveness amongst the team. Building a healthy team is like building a marriage, it’s not a one-time thing rather a constant working at it.

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