Before Patrick Lencioni wrote The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive in 2000 and The Five Dysfunctions of a Team in 2002, he wrote an earlier book called The Five Temptations of a CEO: A Leadership Fable (Jossey-Bass, 1998). While this book was not as well-known as the previous titles and did not become a best-seller, it still contained some important insights which many leaders this summer need to explore.
The book focuses on five temptations that every person in a leadership position faces on a regular basis. They are as follows:
- choosing status over results
- choosing popularity over accountability
- choosing certainty over clarity
- choosing harmony over productive conflict
- choosing invulnerability over trust
In each of the above temptations, leaders have a choice. The difficulty is that many times we do not think before we choose. We just choose to get things done, and move quickly on to the next thing on the list.
This summer, following the advice of Lencioni in the above book, I hope you will “make results the most important measure of personal success”, “work for the long term respect of your direct reports, not their affection”, “make clarity more important than accuracy”, “tolerate discord as tumultuous meetings are often signs of progress while tame ones are often signs of leaving important issues off the table”, and “actively encourage your people to challenge your ideas…. as a CEO, that is the greatest level of trust that you can give.”
We all have important work to do this summer. Making wise choices is the first step.
Geery Howe, M.A.
Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer in
Leadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational Change
Morning Star Associates
319 - 643 - 2257