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Pat Lencioni draws sell out crowd in Australia to discuss healthy work culture

Key highlights from our 12th National Growth Summit ‘19

pat in crowd

“Great talk about how to empower your team members, how to keep them satisfied and the org healthy. Heaps of useful tools.”  Tweet by @normanerck

“Deceptively simple concepts that every leader should listen to.”  Tweet by @_Qulture

More than 2500 business leaders and teams from as far away as New Zealand travelled to see bestselling author Patrick Lencioni at his first ever Australian event, the 2019 National Growth Summit hosted by The Growth Faculty. 

The U.S.-based author  of 11 bestselling books, including The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, The Advantage and The Ideal Team Player, headed up an all-star trio of speakers with Thinkers 50 disruption expert Whitney Johnson and CEO coach Kevin Lawrence, at The Star in Sydney on March 13, and the Melbourne Convention Centre two days later. 

The Growth Faculty managing director Karen Beattie introduced Patrick, telling the crowd his talk on organisational health was timely, given recent news-making headlines on Australia’s unhealthy cultures in its banking, sporting and religious institutions.
pat and karen

Three questions were covered in the summit:

What is our greatest opportunity for productivity and competitive advantage? 

Here The Four Disciplines Model, explained in Patrick Lencioni's book The Advantage, was brought forward.  The model, said Lencioni, "so led to success that it was almost impossible to prevent."  Four Disciplines is how organisational health is achieved:
  1. Building a cohesive leadership team;
  2. Creating clarity;
  3. Reinforcing clarity,
  4. Over-communicating clarity.
Patrick Lencioni’s framework The Five Dysfunctions of a Team was explained in detail;
  1. How trust forms the base of a pyramid of traits and behaviours within a healthy culture.  
  2. Trust offers a safe place to engage in conflict.
  3. And, people cannot get commitment without conflict, because there is no buy-in.  
  4. Accountability and results follow.  

Research was presented showing employees who are KNOWN in their jobs are satisfied and less inclined to leave. Pat asked the crowd to imagine if every employee in their organisation could say:
  1. My manager knows me
  2. I know why my job matters
  3. I know if I'm doing a good job
As well, Lencioni told the summit: 
  • Job misery comes from irrelevance, immeasurement, and anonymity.
  • The best team players are HUNGRY. HUMBLE. SMART.  Pat challenged leaders to ask themselves, What is our weakest link?
  • Peer pressure is what makes teams great.  When it comes to accountability the primary source is peers.
  • Pat said you cannot have silos in your executive team. ie. Marketing vs Finance ... Everyone must be working for the collective results of the company.

How do the best leaders build an A-team ?
  • Whitney Johnson, author of Build an A Team showed how the disruptive innovation S-curve can be equally applied to people, not just products.  
  • Johnson told the crowd: Everyone in your organisation is on a learning curve, including you, the leader.
  • Your organisation is a collection of learning curves, she said. You want 15% in the lower end, 70% in the middle and 15% at the top.
  • She explained that people needed to be personally disrupted at their work to remain motivated, engaged, innovative and productive.
  • The typical learning curve is four years. To keep people learning, try offering stretch assignments, a business coach or a new role.

What habits must I adopt or discard to help me thrive as a leader?
  • Kevin Lawrence, author of Your Oxygen Mask First, suggests: take 10% of your best energy and dedicate it to yourself. He told the crowd: You will have far more energy to be generous with people in your life and in your work.
  • He told leaders to be consciously selfish to be sustainably generous.
  • Plan, plan, plan again. He emphasised that people rarely go great places by accident.
  • Kevin set out the Mental Health Continuum : HEALTHY > REACTING > INJURED > ILL
  • He asked: As a leader how good are you at giving tough feedback within 24 - 48 hours?
  • His advice? Your job is to put yourself out of the job, so you can go and work on other things. 
  • Kevin asked the business leaders in the room: Can you build a team so strong you don't need to be there to run day to day?
Members can see interviews with the three speakers at the 2019 National Growth Summit:  Patrick Lencioni, Whitney Johnson and Kevin Lawrence by visiting the On Demand Business Book Club.

Members of The Growth Faculty also receive the greatest ticket discount at events. 
Not a member? Join The Growth Faculty today 


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