By Brad Haynes
This month’s Thoughts from the Field (October, 2022) is written by my colleague Brad Haynes (Germantown, TN).
This article is in memory of Michael Lorsch, one of our fellow consultants, who died of a terminal illness in July. Michael was larger than life. Prior to coming to The Table Group, his job was granting wishes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He was a great friend, mentor, and a role model for doing client work well. Michael reminded us that when we choose to partner with a client, we make a promise to that client that we are going to help them transform their organization into a healthy organization. In other words, this work is about transformations not transactions. He will be missed.
One of Michael’s core values for client work was to make it sticky, meaning that the principles we share become second nature. In light of that, this month’s note is a bit shorter and has a challenge for each of you.
If you have read Pat Lencioni’s book, The Motive, you will remember that he discusses the difference between a reward-based leader and a responsibility-based leader. The essence of the model are five behaviors that all great leaders must embrace:
1. Develop their leadership team
2. Manage their subordinates (and making sure they manage theirs)
3. Be willing to have difficult and uncomfortable conversations when necessary
4. Run great meetings
5. Communicate constantly and repetitively to employees
To begin this work, I challenge you to rank yourself from 1 to 5 on which of these behaviors you are best at, and which needs the most improvement. Get input from your team on how they would rank you across these five behaviors, and commit as a team to work on one behavior per month to improve.
To continue the improvement, keep the behavioral objective front and center for your team, and admit when you have done a poor job. Their role is to give you individual and collective feedback in real time throughout the month.
Here are a couple of tips:
During your weekly meetings ask the team how you are doing and what you can do to improve. Challenge your leaders to rank themselves and make it a group development conversation. Be careful not to overcomplicate this part. You just want raw direct input into what is working and what is not. You are not creating surveys or complex processes to generate feedback.
If you have a relationship with one of our consultants, ask one of us to give you feedback. In most cases we will have worked with you and have a sense of your strengths and weaknesses.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Time is the most valuable resource we have.