4 Disciplines of an Organizational Leader

UnknownEvery organization operates differently. Organizational culture is different, patterns of work and communication are different, and the people that carry out these tasks are different.  I have never seen 2 organizations that are alike!

In Patrick Lencioni’s book, “The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive”, (Josey-Bass ©2000), he identifies 4 “disciplines” that help to identify a healthy organization.

Today, I want to simply remind you of what these 4 disciplines are and ask you to evaluate the organization you’re currently working in.  If you are the principal leader, are you using these to build a healthier organization?  If you are a part of the leadership team, you should talk about these!  If you are a part of an “unhealthy” organization, and you think it’s unhealthy because of the lack of any of these disciplines, then forward this post to your boss, and dive into the conversation.

Lencioni walks through these in order:

#1)  Build and Maintain a Cohesive Leadership Team

Cohesive teams build trust, eliminate politics, and increase efficiency by:

– Knowing one another’s unique strengths and weaknesses

– Openly engaging in constructive ideological conflict

– Holding one another accountable for behaviors and actions

– Committing to group decisions

#2)  Create Organizational Clarity

A healthy organization minimizes the potential for confusion by clarifying:

– Why the organization exists

– Which behavioral values are fundamental

– What specific business it is in

– Who its competitors are

– How it is unique

– What it plans to achieve

– Who is responsible for what

#3)  Over-Communicate Organizational Clarity

Healthy organizations align their employees around organizational clarity by communicating key messages through:

REPETITION:  Don’t be afraid to repeat the same message, again and again.

SIMPLICITY: The more complicated the message, the more potential for confusion and inconsistency.

MULTIPLE MEDIUMS:  People react to information in many ways; use a variety of mediums

CASCADING MESSAGES: Leaders communicate key messages to direct reports; the cycle repeats itself until the message is heard by all

#4)  Reinforce Organizational Clarity Through Human Systems

Organizations sustain their health by ensuring consistency in:

– Hiring

– Managing performance

– Rewards and recognition

– Employee dismissal


You can get the full insight into these things by reading his book, but by simply looking at this list, can you identify things that you’re not doing real well?  Areas that you need to adjust?  Do you see the value of having these 4 values as a part of your organizational system?

We want our organizations to be healthy.  Healthy organizations function at a higher level, and in the end, make a greater impact.

Do what you need to do today to improve the way you are functioning. Begin with the people who sit around the leadership table with you, and talk about ways for that to move throughout your organization.

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