Top positive review
Even More Important In the Post-Covid World!
Reviewed in the United States on June 23, 2020
I recently heard Patrick Lencioni give a speech about his latest book: The Motive: Why So Leaders Abdicate Their Most Important Responsibilities and immediately the book! It is, by far, his shortest book with the main premise centered around the "why" one chooses to be a leader. Is it for the glory, prestige, or "rewards" for achieving the pinnacle of success OR is it for the responsibility of leading a successful organization? Those "reward- centered leaders" believe they can pick and choose what they want to do, abdicating five core responsibilities that cannot be delegated:
1. Developing the leadership team. Often delegated to HR or an external consultant, the leader has to spend time developing their team members' interpersonal dynamics and collective behaviors.
2. Managing subordinates. We are not talking about micromanaging highly paid executives! The leader needs to set the general direction of the work ensuring that it is aligned with and understood by their peers and stay informed enough to identify potential obstacles and problems as early as possible. And the leader needs to make sure their subordinates one level below are managing their people too.
3. Having difficult and uncomfortable conversations. While having difficult conversations is certainly one part of managing a team and subordinates, the leader must confront difficult, awkward issues and behaviors quickly and with clarity, charity and resolve. Left unaddressed, these issues eventually degrade the organization's performance.
4. Running great team meetings. Meetings are one of the most unpopular and underestimated activities in business. Yet this is where leaders make critical decisions and set the tone for all of the meetings within the organization. If team meetings are boring and a chore to get through, the fault rests squarely on the leaders' lap!
5. Communicating constantly and repetitively to employees. Just because a leader has expressed themselves once or twice, doesn't mean that people heard it or understand it. Employees have to hear a consistent message at least seven times before they believe executives are serious about it. Leaders need to have a consistent drumbeat - and if they get bored saying the same thing, they need to get creative in their messaging.
These five areas are not a list of the key responsibilities of the leader of an organization (that would be in his book, The Advantage), yet they are good reminders of specific situations and responsibilities that leaders avoid all too often.