global leadership summit 2012: patrick lencioni

These are the latest in the series of notes I’m posting from the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit. Hope these have been helpful to everyone. In this session Patrick Lencioni, founder and president of The Table Groupand author of 10 best selling books, killed it talking about organizational health! Enjoy the notes.

  • People need to be reminded more than they need to be instructed via Samuel Jonson
  • The single greatest opportunity for improvement and competitive advantage is free, accessible, and untapped. It is building a healthy organization.
  • What does it take to be a great company?
    • #1 Be Smart: finance, strategy, marketing, etc. this is what gets most of the attention because it’s easiest
    • #2 Healthy organization: What does a healthy organization look like? Minimal politics and confusion, high degrees of moral, low turnover among the best people, high productivity
  • There is a big difference between simple and difficult
  • It is impossible in this day and age to build a competitive advantage based on knowledge. But you can build a competitive advantage by building a healthy organization. Every team has a enough experience, talent, and industry knowledge…what they don’t have is a healthy organization.

Building a healthy organization

  • #1 Build a Cohesive Leadership Team:
    • If a leader on the team can’t be vulnerable first he won’t have a culture of vulnerability and trust on his team
  • #2 Create Clarity:
    • 6 questions to align around:
    • Why do we exist? When you know your purpose it informs and guides decision making
    • How do we behave? A core value is something you’re willing to get punished for. Permission to play values are minimum standards for qualifying to be on the team. It’s not unchristian to reject an applicant because they don’t fit your culture
    • What do we do?  Core business. Great organizations define what the 2 or 3 things are that drive them and then they’re relentless about them.
    • What’s the most important thing for us to do right now?
    • How will we succeed? Strategy should be accessible to everyone. Strategy is the myriad of decisions that you make which differentiates you between you and your competitors. Effective strategies make decisions easy and empower your teams to make decisions that reflect and build your culture and values
    • Who around this table needs to do what next?
  • #3 Over-Communicate Clarity:
    • People have to hear it 7 times before they remember it.
    • Great leaders never get tired of repeating themselves.
    • If you’re people can’t do a good impression of you when you’re not around then you’re not saying it enough
  • #4 Reinforce Clarity:
    • If your company tries to be everything to everyone it will end up becoming nothing to no one


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