Saturday, October 16, 2010

Getting Naked To Lead

Patrick Lencioni, the author of several leadership books including The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team recently came out with a new book titled Getting Naked.  It’s quite a catchy title to support a very catchy concept.  Patrick believes that service providers will provide best service to their clients if they let go of three primary fears:
1.    The fear of losing the business,
2.    The fear of being embarrassed,
3.    And the fear of feeling inferior.
What great lessons for those constantly trying to manage their business and maintain significant relationships with their clients. And this is not just a lesson for those of us delivering our services as outside consultants, coaches, trainers, etc.  We work with leaders and executives helping them develop the skills necessary to effectively lead the people in their organizations or in other words the clients they deliver their service to. Many leaders are learning today that the old style of command and control or being strong in order to be powerful are leadership styles that are best meant for the history books rather than effective leadership styles for the workplace of today.
Powerful leaders today are realizing that several seemingly vulnerable traits are contributing to their success. Lencioni reveals some of these traits to include:
1.    Asking dumb questions,
2.    Making dumb suggestions,
3.    And celebrating mistakes.
Can you imagine these as effective leadership tools a generation ago?
Further to that consider the next four:
1.    Honor the clients (employees) work,
2.    Make everything about the client (employee),
3.    Do the dirty work,
4.    And take a bullet for the client (employee).
He finishes with four more under the Fear of Losing the Business category, which includes:
1.    Always consult instead of sell,
2.    Give away the business,
3.    Tell the kind truth,
4.     And enter the danger.
Let’s consider these the new top 10, or 11 with a bonus trait thrown in, leadership and relationship skills for the effective leader of this generation. How many would you prescribe to? Which ones are big gulp stretches for you? Give yourself a grade rating for each. A 10 would be you walk on water with this skill; a 1 would be it is absent or very weak in your portfolio of skills. Which would you identify as your top three? What are you doing to enhance these skills?
If we are to grow as leaders in the work systems of today then the art of “Getting Naked” is likely the new skill set necessary to achieve the pinnacle of significant leader.