Foster leadership cohesion

Foster leadership cohesion

Patrick Lencioni tackles this topic masterfully in his book, The Advantage which we strongly recommend. Several concepts in this guidebook borrow from his writing.

In a nutshell, Patrick argues you must establish trust and unlock genuine vulnerability. In other words, leadership teams are most effective when each executive trusts that the other is i) fully bought in to the MVV, ii) committed to the common objectives, iii) competent and iv) transparent about their own shortcomings. These are the conditions for early issue raising, productive conflict, peer-to-peer accountability, and clarity around the path forward. Easier said than done.

Lencioni’s checklist below can act as a quick gut check, but keep in mind this is highly simplified. Just like real life has many shades of gray, there are many layers of nuance to each bullet. For a deeper understanding of this topic and practical tips, read ‘Discipline 1’ of the book – it’s well worth it.

Regarding the last bullet, try inverting the question using the ‘selfish fisherman test’: the selfish fisherman yells at the other side of boat, "your side is leaking!" Is anyone more focused on their department's success than the company's?

The simple grid from Radical Candor is another useful tool in the toolbox when considering leadership interplay.

Relatedly, personality tests and services like CloverLeaf can be useful in establishing trust and eliminating misunderstandings. For more on this, refer to the ‘Utilize Personality Tests’ section.