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The Journey

By Patrick Lencioni - September 2007

Friends, Family and “Cousins”

I am glad to report that The Three Signs of a Miserable Job made the New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller lists during these past weeks and month, and I want to thank our friends and family and “cousins” of The Table Group who went out and purchased copies of the book right after it hit the shelves. Your support means a great deal to me and everyone at The Table Group, and we wish we could thank you all individually.

In addition to making those lists right out of the gate—something that has never happened with any of our other books—sales seem to be growing. I have never received so much e-mail from readers and I’m glad to report that so far, it’s all been very positive.

Of course the most important part of this is the potential it has to make a difference. Given the amount of time that people spend at work, the ability of managers to positively impact the lives of their employees by avoiding the three signs is truly extraordinary. Our hope is the book continues to do well so that, manager by manager, organizations can transform their cultures and the lives of their employees.

The Journey

All of this reminds me of a lesson we’ve been learning since the founding of The Table Group, which happened almost 10 years ago to this day. Back then, we could not have imagined what would happen to us over the next decade. Every little step along the way seemed to exceed our expectations and leave us saying to ourselves, “even if it never gets better than this, it’s been awesome.”

I remember how excited we were when we first realized that we could sustain a small consulting business and pay our bills. And how ecstatic we were when a publisher agreed to publish The Five Temptations of a CEO. And then, when it sold 5,000 copies, well, what more could we want?

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that we tried to avoid getting ahead of ourselves, yearning for some kind of extraordinary end game to play out. We usually enjoyed, appreciated and were amazed by every incremental accomplishment, and in those times when we failed to do that, we usually struggled.

Sometimes I meet people who have great aspirations but who are so laser focused on their ultimate goal that they never really feel a sense of accomplishment or appreciation along the way. Ironically, their desire for greater success often impedes their ability to attain it.

But don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating complacency or the absence of setting big goals. We certainly spent time at The Table Group putting together a vision of what we might some day achieve. It’s just that I think it’s unwise to allow your sense of success to depend upon achieving some long term, ideal goal. By appreciating every moment as though it might be the final rung on your ladder of success, you can pursue other goals with a sense of joy and confidence, rather than stress and fear.

And so, as we look back at these past ten years, we’re keenly aware that we’ve been blessed far more than we deserved. We are grateful that we have been able to make a living doing something we love with people we love, and we are grateful for all of your help, large and small, along the way.

Patrick Lencioni