3 4 page recap

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Hello there, please write 3/4 of a page for each artical on your opinion, what you learned from the article and
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The Four Obsessions of an

Extraordinary Executive

A Leadership Fable

by Patrick Lencioni

Summary

The Heart of the Matter

The key to successful management is to spot a few things that will make a difference in

your organization and then concentrate on doing them.

Successfu l organizations are smart and healthy. A smart organization shows its intelligence

in its thoughtful strategies, well-designed products and solid fi nancial infrastructure. A

smart organization uses careful and caring personnel policies, in-depth communication

and sound, effective marketing to beat its competition. Healthy organizations get smarter

and smarter. They are unifi ed, not splintered by politics and infi ghting. They survive and

prosper even in hard times. Employees stay committed to them.

Only the boss, the top dog, the CEO can make an organization healthy. All health and

goodness fl ows from the corner offi ce. The boss has the touch of kings. To exercise this

healing touch, the boss has to do four things obsessively:

1. Build a united leadership team.

2. Dispel confusion at the upper levels and maintain unity.

3. Communicate, communicate, communicate.

4. Use human systems to sharpen and clarify the organization’s focus.

Here is a fable that will make this advice crystal clear.

Rival

Vince Green was founder and CEO of Greenwich Consulting. It earned revenues of $80

million per year. Another man might have been happy, but Vince was not. Vince was

bitter. He wanted his big competitor, Telegraph Partners, to be extinct, defunct and dead.

Everybody seemed to love Telegraph. The press lavished attention on Telegraph. Its

clients spread great word-of-mouth about Telegraph, and stayed with it even when times

were bad. Telegraph easily recruited the best and the brightest employees. It made even

more money each year than Greenwich. Most galling of all, Telegraph’s CEO, Rich

O’Connor, seemed to ignore Greenwich. He never mentioned Greenwich, his biggest

competitor! Never took notice!

Vince Green had spied on Telegraph, researched Telegraph, done everything he could to

discover Telegraph’s secret formula for success. Alas, he couldn’t fi nd anything he could

use. Then he caught a break.

Reconnaissance

Vince Green had hired a consultant to compare Greenwich and Telegraph. The consultant

surprised him by saying that such a comparison was almost impossible because

Greenwich and Telegraph had very little in common. How could this be?

The consultant explained that Telegraph had a unique culture. Employees loved the

place. They never sued over wrongful termination. Clients loved it. It was hard to put

a fi nger on why, precisely, but Telegraph had a very healthy culture, overall, and was a

very strong organization. Vince Green was shocked, perplexed and apoplectic. For this,

he’d paid a consultant? But then he had an idea. He had a phone number somewhere of

someone who might help.

A Tale of Two Chiefs

Would Vince Green have resented Telegraph’s CEO Rich O’Connor so deeply if the

two men hadn’t shared a past? They’d both gone to one of California’s best colleges.

Vince had graduated near t he top of the c lass, had made a lot of excellent business

contacts, worked for a prestigious consultancy and followed the stock market religiously.

O’Connor, by contrast, had supported himself by working as a waiter, did not network

and, in fact, did not do anything that ought to have spelled success.

People h ad h igh expectations f or V ince G reen w hen he s tarted G reenwich, his own

consulting fi rm. People had no expectations for Rich O’Connor when he started Telegraph,

a competing consultancy. No one noticed O’Connor. Why should they? For a while, the

two companies competed on fairly equal terms. Then Telegraph opened a huge lead.

Revelation

Despite Telegraph’s success, Rich h ad b een thinking o f selling h is c ompany. The

pressure just seemed too great. He was missing his kids’ Little League games, had no

time to play with his children, worked 70 hours or more a week and couldn’t give his

family the time it needed.

But how could he sell the company he had founded, nurtured and loved? No, that wouldn’t

do. Instead, he decided to try something radical — he would reduce his work week to

merely 50 hours and see if he could bring things into balance. It didn’t seem to help.

One night he asked himself what one thing really had to happen at the fi rm. He ended up

writing down four disciplines on a yellow sheet of paper. The next day, he taped the list to

his desk where he could see it all the time. Soon, everyone at the company was talking about

“the yellow sheet.” Oddly, Rich never told anyone what was on it, and no one ever looked.

What Rich’s List Told Him to Do

Rich cut way back on the things he did at the company, but he insisted on personally

interviewing every new candidate for employment. Eventually, he had to limit himself to just

interviewing senior people — the company was growing too fast for him to meet prospective

fi le clerks and janitors. He had to expand his workweek to 55 hours a week just to keep

up with everything he really needed to f ollow. A third of h is t ime went to interviewing

employees — not only new employees, but old ones, too, to stay linked with them.

The Vacation that Wasn’t

Rich was working so hard that his wife insisted he take a vacation. Six whole days away

from the company! Rich had never done anything that bold. When Tom, his loyal Chief

Operating Offi cer, called him during his trip, Rich was covertly delighted.

But then Tom said he wanted to offer a relatively senior job to a guy Rich had never met.

Tom said that everyone at Telegraph who had gotten to know Jamie liked him and that

his values seemed to refl ect the fi rm’s principles. Rich went against his usual habit and

practice and allowed Tom to hire Jamie without meeting him. Big mistake.

Tense Moments

Rich knew right away that he’d made the wrong decision. He knew it deep down. He

came back to the fi rm nagged by all kinds of doubts and hesitations. He had actually

allowed a new, high-ranking employee to join the company without having met him

fi rst. He tried to convince himself it was no big deal, but in fact it was a very big deal.

Rich just didn’t have a good feeling about Jamie. Yet the people who had hired Jamie

didn’t understand why.

Jamie knew he had friends at the company, but he didn’t know how he could unite

them behind him for a battle against Rich. Alas, politics had snaked its way into the

Eden of Telegraph.

The Problem with Jamie

Jamie didn’t fi t the Telegraph culture. Rich wanted to fi re him, but his lawyer said that

wouldn’t be a good idea. The company hadn’t given him a negative performance review

or a warning. A wrongful dismissal suit could be very costly. Rich’s lawyer told him to

go through the necessary preliminary steps fi rst.

Rich called Jamie into his offi ce, and bluntly said he didn’t think Jamie was a good fi t. Jamie

crossed his legs confi dently and observed this was something they could discuss. Rich said

that from what he had seen, Jamie hadn’t “developed real, honest relationships with the rest

of my team.” Moreover, Rich himself didn’t feel any particular connection with him.

Jamie brushed Rich’s concerns aside, rationalized them, fl attered Rich, told a lie and

pretended to think deeply about Rich’s comments, but he had a secret agenda. He asked

to see the yellow paper listing Rich’s core business tenets. Rich generously had his

assistant make a copy for Jamie. He felt dirty when he handed it over; he felt as if he’d

given a bit of himself away cheaply.

Betrayal

Jamie made plans to take Rich’s secret to Telegraph’s biggest competitor: Greenwich! He

had interviewed with Greenwich before joining Telegraph. And, what a coincidence —

Vince Green had just telephoned him again.

But It’s Not Just the List

Unf ortunately, the list w as n ot m agic, as J amie a nd V ince s oon learned. T he l ist

described the basic disciplines that Rich practiced. But just knowing the disciplines was

not the trick: the magic lay in practicing them consistently. Persistence made Rich’s

company a big success. Vince’s Greenwich was an unhealthy company because Vince

himself was unhealthy, unbalanced and undisciplined. To change the organization, he

would have to change himself.

The First Discipline: Build a United Leadership Team

To build a united and effective leadership team, the members (starting with the CEO) have

to know themselves and be open and honest with each other. They have to respect each

other and value each other’s time. They should be polite and attentive at meetings. They

must shun infi ghting and patch up any differences before they have a chance to fester.

The Second Discipline: Dispel Confusion at the Upper Levels

Once the leadership team is aware and unifi ed, they can approach the second discipline:

making the fundamental values of the organization very clear to everyone in it, by actions

as well as words. By offering a clear set of visions and goals, they join people together.

The Third Discipline: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Organizational clarity leads not only to communication but to deliberate, enthusiastic

over-communication. Over-communication, that is, tons of repetition, is a good thing —

it means no one ever has to wonder what top management is really thinking or planning.

The Fourth Discipline: Human Systems Should Fortify Clarity

Because of over-communication, organizations can implement the fourth discipline —

strengthen your clarity and sharpen your f ocus t hrough human systems. This means

hiring the right people, rewarding and recognizing them appropriately, and having the

right approach to dismissing them when that proves necessary.

The f ormula f or Telegraph’s s uccess r esided i n f our simple d isciplines s cratched o n

yellow paper and taped to a desk. They were not secret; the only secret thing about them

was the need for constant practice.

About The Author

Patrick Lencioni i s author o f the b est-selling The Five Temptations of a CEO and

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. He’s president of the Table Group, a managementconsulting

fi rm in the San Francisco Bay area.The Four Obsessions of an

Extraordinary Executive

A Leadership Fable

by Patrick Lencioni

Summary

The Heart of the Matter

The key to successful management is to spot a few things that will make a difference in

your organization and then concentrate on doing them.

Successfu l organizations are smart and healthy. A smart organization shows its intelligence

in its thoughtful strategies, well-designed products and solid fi nancial infrastructure. A

smart organization uses careful and caring personnel policies, in-depth communication

and sound, effective marketing to beat its competition. Healthy organizations get smarter

and smarter. They are unifi ed, not splintered by politics and infi ghting. They survive and

prosper even in hard times. Employees stay committed to them.

Only the boss, the top dog, the CEO can make an organization healthy. All health and

goodness fl ows from the corner offi ce. The boss has the touch of kings. To exercise this

healing touch, the boss has to do four things obsessively:

1. Build a united leadership team.

2. Dispel confusion at the upper levels and maintain unity.

3. Communicate, communicate, communicate.

4. Use human systems to sharpen and clarify the organization’s focus.

Here is a fable that will make this advice crystal clear.

Rival

Vince Green was founder and CEO of Greenwich Consulting. It earned revenues of $80

million per year. Another man might have been happy, but Vince was not. Vince was

bitter. He wanted his big competitor, Telegraph Partners, to be extinct, defunct and dead.

Everybody seemed to love Telegraph. The press lavished attention on Telegraph. Its

clients spread great word-of-mouth about Telegraph, and stayed with it even when times

were bad. Telegraph easily recruited the best and the brightest employees. It made even

more money each year than Greenwich. Most galling of all, Telegraph’s CEO, Rich

O’Connor, seemed to ignore Greenwich. He never mentioned Greenwich, his biggest

competitor! Never took notice!

Vince Green had spied on Telegraph, researched Telegraph, done everything he could to

discover Telegraph’s secret formula for success. Alas, he couldn’t fi nd anything he could

use. Then he caught a break.

Reconnaissance

Vince Green had hired a consultant to compare Greenwich and Telegraph. The consultant

surprised him by saying that such a comparison was almost impossible because

Greenwich and Telegraph had very little in common. How could this be?

The consultant explained that Telegraph had a unique culture. Employees loved the

place. They never sued over wrongful termination. Clients loved it. It was hard to put

a fi nger on why, precisely, but Telegraph had a very healthy culture, overall, and was a

very strong organization. Vince Green was shocked, perplexed and apoplectic. For this,

he’d paid a consultant? But then he had an idea. He had a phone number somewhere of

someone who might help.

A Tale of Two Chiefs

Would Vince Green have resented Telegraph’s CEO Rich O’Connor so deeply if the

two men hadn’t shared a past? They’d both gone to one of California’s best colleges.

Vince had graduated near t he top of the c lass, had made a lot of excellent business

contacts, worked for a prestigious consultancy and followed the stock market religiously.

O’Connor, by contrast, had supported himself by working as a waiter, did not network

and, in fact, did not do anything that ought to have spelled success.

People h ad h igh expectations f or V ince G reen w hen he s tarted G reenwich, his own

consulting fi rm. People had no expectations for Rich O’Connor when he started Telegraph,

a competing consultancy. No one noticed O’Connor. Why should they? For a while, the

two companies competed on fairly equal terms. Then Telegraph opened a huge lead.

Revelation

Despite Telegraph’s success, Rich h ad b een thinking o f selling h is c ompany. The

pressure just seemed too great. He was missing his kids’ Little League games, had no

time to play with his children, worked 70 hours or more a week and couldn’t give his

family the time it needed.

But how could he sell the company he had founded, nurtured and loved? No, that wouldn’t

do. Instead, he decided to try something radical — he would reduce his work week to

merely 50 hours and see if he could bring things into balance. It didn’t seem to help.

One night he asked himself what one thing really had to happen at the fi rm. He ended up

writing down four disciplines on a yellow sheet of paper. The next day, he taped the list to

his desk where he could see it all the time. Soon, everyone at the company was talking about

“the yellow sheet.” Oddly, Rich never told anyone what was on it, and no one ever looked.

What Rich’s List Told Him to Do

Rich cut way back on the things he did at the company, but he insisted on personally

interviewing every new candidate for employment. Eventually, he had to limit himself to just

interviewing senior people — the company was growing too fast for him to meet prospective

fi le clerks and janitors. He had to expand his workweek to 55 hours a week just to keep

up with everything he really needed to f ollow. A third of h is t ime went to interviewing

employees — not only new employees, but old ones, too, to stay linked with them.

The Vacation that Wasn’t

Rich was working so hard that his wife insisted he take a vacation. Six whole days away

from the company! Rich had never done anything that bold. When Tom, his loyal Chief

Operating Offi cer, called him during his trip, Rich was covertly delighted.

But then Tom said he wanted to offer a relatively senior job to a guy Rich had never met.

Tom said that everyone at Telegraph who had gotten to know Jamie liked him and that

his values seemed to refl ect the fi rm’s principles. Rich went against his usual habit and

practice and allowed Tom to hire Jamie without meeting him. Big mistake.

Tense Moments

Rich knew right away that he’d made the wrong decision. He knew it deep down. He

came back to the fi rm nagged by all kinds of doubts and hesitations. He had actually

allowed a new, high-ranking employee to join the company without having met him

fi rst. He tried to convince himself it was no big deal, but in fact it was a very big deal.

Rich just didn’t have a good feeling about Jamie. Yet the people who had hired Jamie

didn’t understand why.

Jamie knew he had friends at the company, but he didn’t know how he could unite

them behind him for a battle against Rich. Alas, politics had snaked its way into the

Eden of Telegraph.

The Problem with Jamie

Jamie didn’t fi t the Telegraph culture. Rich wanted to fi re him, but his lawyer said that

wouldn’t be a good idea. The company hadn’t given him a negative performance review

or a warning. A wrongful dismissal suit could be very costly. Rich’s lawyer told him to

go through the necessary preliminary steps fi rst.

Rich called Jamie into his offi ce, and bluntly said he didn’t think Jamie was a good fi t. Jamie

crossed his legs confi dently and observed this was something they could discuss. Rich said

that from what he had seen, Jamie hadn’t “developed real, honest relationships with the rest

of my team.” Moreover, Rich himself didn’t feel any particular connection with him.

Jamie brushed Rich’s concerns aside, rationalized them, fl attered Rich, told a lie and

pretended to think deeply about Rich’s comments, but he had a secret agenda. He asked

to see the yellow paper listing Rich’s core business tenets. Rich generously had his

assistant make a copy for Jamie. He felt dirty when he handed it over; he felt as if he’d

given a bit of himself away cheaply.

Betrayal

Jamie made plans to take Rich’s secret to Telegraph’s biggest competitor: Greenwich! He

had interviewed with Greenwich before joining Telegraph. And, what a coincidence —

Vince Green had just telephoned him again.

But It’s Not Just the List

Unf ortunately, the list w as n ot m agic, as J amie a nd V ince s oon learned. T he l ist

described the basic disciplines that Rich practiced. But just knowing the disciplines was

not the trick: the magic lay in practicing them consistently. Persistence made Rich’s

company a big success. Vince’s Greenwich was an unhealthy company because Vince

himself was unhealthy, unbalanced and undisciplined. To change the organization, he

would have to change himself.

The First Discipline: Build a United Leadership Team

To build a united and effective leadership team, the members (starting with the CEO) have

to know themselves and be open and honest with each other. They have to respect each

other and value each other’s time. They should be polite and attentive at meetings. They

must shun infi ghting and patch up any differences before they have a chance to fester.

The Second Discipline: Dispel Confusion at the Upper Levels

Once the leadership team is aware and unifi ed, they can approach the second discipline:

making the fundamental values of the organization very clear to everyone in it, by actions

as well as words. By offering a clear set of visions and goals, they join people together.

The Third Discipline: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Organizational clarity leads not only to communication but to deliberate, enthusiastic

over-communication. Over-communication, that is, tons of repetition, is a good thing —

it means no one ever has to wonder what top management is really thinking or planning.

The Fourth Discipline: Human Systems Should Fortify Clarity

Because of over-communication, organizations can implement the fourth discipline —

strengthen your clarity and sharpen your f ocus t hrough human systems. This means

hiring the right people, rewarding and recognizing them appropriately, and having the

right approach to dismissing them when that proves necessary.

The f ormula f or Telegraph’s s uccess r esided i n f our simple d isciplines s cratched o n

yellow paper and taped to a desk. They were not secret; the only secret thing about them

was the need for constant practice.

About The Author

Patrick Lencioni i s author o f the b est-selling The Five Temptations of a CEO and

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. He’s president of the Table Group, a managementconsulting

fi rm in the San Francisco Bay area.

 

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