In the last few posts I have been digging into The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni. The last two posts focused on building trust and handling conflict within your leadership team, so today we are going to address the last 3 essentials.
Commitment of the leadership team means the entire team agrees to move forward and is publically “on board” with a decision that has been made. Commitment from your leadership team does not mean waiting for a consensus before doing something, but instead using a concept called “disagree and commit.” Only after everyone in the leadership team has been given a chance to speak up and give his/her input should the leader make the final decision. That being said, as the leader you need to have an open mind and realize that someone besides you may have a better idea to solve a problem.
“Most people are generally reasonable and can rally around an idea that wasn’t their own as long as they know they’ve had a chance to weigh in.” There may be some push back here but I believe this needs to be true of your leadership team.
He also recommends leaving a few minutes at the end of every leadership team meeting to go around the room and ensure that everyone understands what has been agreed upon and what they are committing to do. I think this a fantastic idea-I know even in our tiny group I am not always good about doing this which allows things to slip through the cracks!
Accountability is a lot like conflict-it can be tough and sometimes uncomfortable, but it is necessary to have a healthy leadership team. Lencioni talks about overcoming the “wuss factor” and I think this happens in a lot of animal hospitals.
If the leader is reluctant to confront difficult situations and hold people accountable when necessary, then no one else in the hospital will do that either.
We must all understand that “at its core, accountability is about having the courage to confront someone about their deficiencies and then to stand in the moment and deal with their reaction.” This is definitely difficult but necessary.
He also talks about behavioral accountability vs. measurables. I have been in the situation before where I have had to confront people about their behavior and this is so much more difficult, but what we all must realize is that “behavioral problems almost always precede-and cause- a downturn in performance and results.” How many times have you seen this to be the case- I certainly have!
Without results, your hospital will not survive. If you don’t make any profit, you have a hobby not a business so results are necessary. This is the last component of a successful leadership team and honestly is you have spent the time and energy ensuring the other four happen then results should not be very difficult to achieve.
Your entire hospital needs to be focused on the same priorities and you need to make sure that everyone gets that from the leadership team down to the kennel assistant.
Lencioni did not say working on these 5 components of your leadership team would be easy. At times it will not be, but if you truly want to have a healthy hospital as well as a smart hospital, it will be worth it. In fact, doing these things will easily set your hospital apart from the one a mile down the road.
Where do you think your leadership team struggles the most- with commitment, accountability or results?