Getting Your Team to Championship Level
November 23, 2015
“The single greatest advantage any company can achieve is organizational health. Yet it is ignored by most leaders.” – Patrick Lencioni.
I love the game of basketball. I grew up in a small Indiana town (remember Hoosiers?), and then moved to Chicago in the late 1980’s. At that time, Michael Jordan was a scoring machine, but the Chicago Bulls could not make it past the first round of the playoffs. It wasn’t until he had the right collection of people around him, and the right coaching staff, that the Bulls dominated the NBA by winning 6 championships in 8 years.
Basketball and business are both team sports. You can have all sorts of talented superstars, but individuals don’t win championships or reach corporate goals…great teams do. Don’t get me wrong, having a super-talented, naturally gifted person in your organization can really be a plus. But, recruiting top people to fill the various positions does not guarantee success.
Patrick Lencioni, in his book The Advantage, states “I’ve become absolutely convinced that the seminal difference between successful companies and mediocre or unsuccessful ones has little, if anything, to do with what they know or how smart they are; it has everything to do with how healthy they are.” By healthy, Lencioni is speaking about things such as: Minimal Politics, Minimal Confusion, High Morale, High Productivity, and Low Turnover. These are all things leadership desires.
I have found that business readily invests in the development of the “smarts”, but are hesitant to invest in the “health” - at least until a problem becomes too difficult to manage internally. Why not invest proactively? This is exactly why Lencioni states that this is the single greatest advantage any company can achieve. It takes time. It can be hard work. It is difficult to quantify the benefits. But it can produce Championships!
At Associates in Professional Coaching, we have utilized Patrick Lencioni’s The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team material as a guide to assist in identifying strengths and areas for growth in teams. His model has worked wonderfully in this process, and really makes sense.
Here is a brief synopsis of his model.
- The foundation is a need for trust.
- Without trust, teams fear and avoid healthy conflict.
- Without honest conflict and communication, commitments are soft at best.
- Without firm commitments, accountability suffers.
- All these add up to negatively impact the desired results.
Michael Jordan stated, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”
Rod Ogilvie MA, Executive Coach