Patrick Lencioni’s book, The Advantage, is primarily about how to have a healthy process and environment in your organization, and why that is the most important thing you can do for your organization. The premise is based on four disciplines that healthy organizations adhere to:
- Build a cohesive leadership team (using the strategies laid out in one of his previous books, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team)
- Create clarity by ensuring that the leadership team is aligned to six critical questions (why do we exist, how do we behave, what do we do, how will we succeed, what is most important right now, and who must do what?)
- Over-communicate clarity “repeatedly, enthusiastically, and repeatedly” (with an intentional emphasis on repetition)
- Reinforce clarity, by establishing simple, basic processes and systems the for people that support that clarity
After explaining these ideas (with his usual flair for using analogies and stories to explain the point), Lencioni adds a few more helpful principles that are necessary for health, including a plan for incorporating effective meetings, steps for establishing momentum, and the importance and role of leadership.
Like his other books, The Advantage is a very practical guide for organizational health, with lots of great examples and illustrations. I finished reading this just as I finished my first six months as headmaster in a new Christian school, and I found the ideas to be a tremendous benefit. I already had a previously scheduled planning meeting with my Lead Team, and providentially it then coincided with the completion of this book, so I was able to incorporate the insights and wisdom into the planning process that took place. Based on this experience, I would wholeheartedly say that this is an excellent tool for your leadership and book for your shelf.
Lencioni, P. (2012). The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco, CA.