All blogs of type Thoughts From The Field
By now you’ve likely heard all about the importance of vulnerability. It’s the foundational behavior in Patrick Lencioni’s framework, and research from the likes of Brene Brown and Google continues to pile up and reinforce its significance. Vulnerability is the ability to acknowledge a mistake, to admit a weakness, to ask for help when you need it, even to put a crazy idea out there. And to know that you can do any of that without fear of judgment. Vulnerability truly is the not-so-secret ingredient that allows teams to perform at an epic level.
You read The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and perhaps held an offsite on the disciplines from The Advantage. You had several great conversations, made initial progress, then hit a ceiling and have since stalled. Unfortunately, this happens.
In my work consulting to leadership teams around organizational health, I find most teams are comprised of well-intentioned people trying to do the right thing for their team. Despite those good intentions, however, teamwork is often undermined when members inadvertently act in ways that are not in the best interest of the team.
In my work guiding clients to lead healthy organizations, I see pretty clearly that a team meeting is a great indicator of its health. One IT team I recently met with is a perfect example: our offsite was the only time the team had all been in the same room over the past six months.
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.
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.