Back To All Stories
10 gems of great advice - blog

10 gems of great advice for leaders from Patrick Lencioni

Global leadership author of 11 business bestsellers

“If you have the opportunity to attend a Lencioni event, don't miss it!"  - Gregg Kelley, CEO, California Olive Ranch  

When Patrick Lencioni talks, the best business leaders listen.

The globally-renowned speaker and author has penned 11 best-selling business books considered classics on the topics of organisational health, leadership and teams.

In March 2019, Lencioni will visit Australia for the first time to speak at the National Growth Summit.

Here we share 10 pieces of Lencioni wisdom for business leaders:

  1. At the heart of a great organisation is a humble leader, somebody who’s doing it because they feel a great weight and responsibility in being the leader.
  2. ​I believe management is a ministry. You are having a greater impact on your employees’ lives as a manager than any charity work. You can fundamentally change a person’s life by doing these things. It costs you nothing, and your company nothing, and not to do so is like throwing money in the fire.
  3. There are two schools of thought about becoming a CEO. One is that it’s the reward for a lifetime of hard work, you’ve arrived. The other is that it’s a huge responsibility and you are now more on the hook for your performance than you’ve ever been. I look at it like athletes who get drafted. Is it, finally, I’ve arrived and now I get to enjoy a great life, or, Oh no, now if I don’t play well, I’m gonna blow it? The best athletes are the ones who have that second attitude.
  4. Whether it’s treating women wrong, abusing your power or abdicating responsibility for what you’re doing, it’s usually rooted in the idea that, “I’m entitled to this job, so I should get to do what I want,” versus, “I’m responsible for this job so I have to do what’s necessary.”
  5. A leader who is not vulnerable, not capable of admitting their mistakes and weaknesses, is not going to be followed. It is counterintuitive but it totally works.
  6. The kind of people that all teams need are people who are humble, hungry, and smart. Humble being little ego; Hungry, meaning they have a strong work ethic; Smart, meaning inner personally smart.
  7. Four things healthy organisations do:
    1. They build and maintain cohesive leadership teams;
    2. They create clarity by answering six simple questions (which are listed below).
    3. They over-communicate. People have to hear things seven times before they believe it. Most leaders don't like to over-communicate because they think it's redundant and inefficient.
    4. They reinforce the answers to those six questions, and thus, reinforce clarity.
  8. Six questions to help organizations create clarity:
    1. Why do we exist? What's the reason we started this organization?
    2. How do we behave? What are our core values? What are two or three things that make the company values real?
    3. What do we actually do?
    4. How will we succeed? (This strategy should come down to three core values, no matter what the industry or company.)
    5. What is most important right now? What's the big thing the company is rallied around in the near-term?
    6. Who does what? What are the roles in this team?
  9. Three things that can destroy people’s ability to enjoy their work:
    1. Anonymity - feeling that employees are not known by the person they work for.
    2. Irrelevance – feeling they don’t see how their job really makes a difference
    3. Immeasurement - a word we coined because the principle we’re getting at is this, all human beings in any kind of a job need some way to assess their own performance that’s objective.
  10. Finally, it’s not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.


Patrick Lencioni is being hosted by The Growth Faculty for his first ever Australian visit.  Building High Performance Teams is the theme of the National Growth Summit in Sydney on March 13 and Melbourne on March 15.  Members of The Growth Faculty receive the greatest ticket discount.

Not a member? Join The Growth Faculty today to access exclusive content, including an interview with Patrick Lencioni On Demand at the Business Book Club.

Christine Kininmonth is a journalist and former panellist on ABC TV’s The New Inventors.  An avid reader, Christine knows reading is essential to business success. She presents The Growth Faculty’s Business Book Club each week.