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.
When you were a kid, did you ever have a power outage at your home, maybe in the middle of a big storm, and find yourself without access to distractions like television and other forms of technology? Most of us who grew up before iPads and iPhones and "mobile everything" know what I'm talking about.
This time of year is fraught with inaccurate and dangerous messages for high school graduates ? and for that matter, college grads ? about their futures. It is a message that is rooted in the same flawed logic that makes executives focus on making their companies smart while ignoring the more important issue of culture, or organizational health.
Virtually every executive team faces the important hurdle of running effective strategic meetings. These meetings, where teams discuss critical issues affecting long-term success, can serve as important inflection points for a team to advance the organization's goals - or be seen as a huge waste of time that erodes the credibility of the leadership. It all depends on how well they are executed.
When I entered the workforce after college, I first became acquainted with the term ‘micromanagement.’ I quickly learned that this wonky sounding word actually had deceptive power.