Seeds Conference 2015 | Main Session 3 – Patrick Lencioni

Seeds Conf - MS 3

Message Recap: Patrick Lencioni

Patrick is one of my favorite voices when it comes to leadership and specifically building healthy organizations.  His book, The Advantage, has helped change my thinking on organizational change and health, go check it out.

Let me warn you: this recap has A LOT of lists because Patrick is a lists guy.  If you like lists, you’ll love this one.

The main focus of his message the importance of Teamwork.  He stressed the importance of asking “Why teamwork?”  He said it is essential if we want to build the healthiest possible organization.  He argues, as he does in his book above, that organizational health is the most important feature of a healthy organization.

Patrick said that there are two requirements for success in business:

  • Smart. This includes strategy, marketing, finance, technology, even theology in Churches. Most businesses are smart, and they aren’t smarter than you, so that means you need to gain an advantage in the next one.
  • Healthy. This looks like minimal politics & confusion, high morale & productivity, and low turnover.  This is the best competitive advantage you can have.

He briefly mentioned the 6 Questions teams need to ask themselves to move toward greater organizational health:

1. Why do we exist?

2. How do we behave?

3. What do we do?

4. What’s our strategy?

5. What’s most important right now?

6. Who has to do what?

Then he made this statement about the importance of having a solid strategy (AKA, bombshell):

Without a strategy, we are striving to be a generic church.

He then transitioned to four disciplines of healthy organizations, which include:

1. Build a cohesive leadership team.

2. Create organization clarity.

3. Over-communicate clarity.

4. Reinforce clarity with human systems.

This all begs the questions: How do you build and sustain a cohesive leadership team?  This leads us to Patrick’s 5 Dysfunctions of a Team:

1. The Absence of Trust

  • You don’t want predictive trust (I know you, I know what you’ll do).  You want vulnerability-based trust (when people are nakedly honest with each other).
  • When people aren’t vulnerable, you aren’t able to have to have organizational health.
  • This is important: The leader HAS to go first. 

2. The Fear of Conflict

  • Constructive conflict is a good thing for teams.
  • When we avoid conflict, we can crush people’s spirits without disagreeing with their ideas. 
  • Avoiding conflict to spare feelings increases the likelihood that we’ll hurt people later.
  • Love this insight: Scar tissue is stronger than normal tissue.

3. The Lack of Commitment

  • If people don’t weigh in on a decision, they WILL NOT buy in. 
  • This isn’t about getting a full consensus.  Input needs to be heard, but a decision needs to be made.
  • Don’t miss this: Worse than sabotaging an idea is passive commitment
  • Conflict enables commitment.

4. The Avoidance of Accountability

  • When people don’t commit to a decision, they don’t hold each other accountable.
  • The greatest form of accountability is peer pressure, because we don’t want to let people down.
  • If the leader is willing to hold people accountable, others will follow suit.
  • THIS IS GOOD: Don’t be a people pleaser, because you’d called to be a God pleaser.

5. The Inattention of Results

  • Results are what we pay attention to, but they have to be the results of the WHOLE, not just a single department.
  • Silos CANNOT be allowed, the team must be emphasized.
  • We are innately selfish and will always drift towards selfishness for our results.

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