The Motive Patrick Lencioni Part 9

5 actions responsibility-centered leaders do that others don’t: Running Great Team Meetings. 

“Think about it this way. The best place to observe whether a surgeon is good at her job, a teacher is good at his, or a quarterback is good at his, is to watch them during an operation, a class session, or a game, respectively. What is the best place to observe a leader? That’s right – a meeting.” P.155

Many, many leaders hate meetings. They’re boring, slow and meander on to the high heavens!  Personally, I really enjoy a good meeting. I believe meetings are great places to communicate love and care while leaking future vision and gaining real time feedback. They are invaluable! Working (at this point) with volunteers and busy people, my greatest hiccup is coordinating schedules! Besides that, meetings can be great!

Now, let me walk that back just a bit because I don’t believe all of my meetings are exciting. Far from it. It’s something I’m still learning to do well because if I have someone traveling in a half hour and have coordinated four other calendars so we can all meet, you best bet, I want to make it worth their time to come in while not keeping everyone there for forever (a good agenda). I also want to balance my ability to be direct and blunt while building a collaborative atmosphere where everyone can have a say while maintaining the direction we are heading in (this I still haven’t figured out and am racking my brain about).

One of the obscure things about meetings I’ve heard from Lencioni (from where I can’t remember at the moment), is that great meetings are built on tension. This is quite counter-intuitive as most people would think to be a great team we have to all be on the same page in a meeting. This is definitely not the case just as the best sports teams in practice will battle against each other hard (so they’re the best team they can be when they go into a game), so too must a team battle it out in meetings (so they can be at their best when they’re running their respective duties/departments/roles). Without this knowledge, many are afraid to enter into difficult conversations leaving much unsaid on the table and potentially company-changing results because of it!

Of course, before the meeting ends, the team has to come together because great teams must speak with one voice and be on the same page with the same heart. One cannot leave the meeting thinking that they are no longer on the same team. When players scrim in practice, they know they’re not on the same team. But when practice ends, its obvious the ‘training’ is done and they’re back on the same page. In leadership meetings, we must adopt these rules if we’re going to seek after exciting, life-giving meetings.

Think about having this type of meeting with your 18-year-old son, where you battle it out so that he can gain confidence in his next actions having a greater clarity in his next few large life decisions. Or how about having this type of conversation with your sister challenging them on their relationship with their spouse to help them best think through how to have the best relationship so it will bless their children? What might you be missing out on if you don’t have those conversations? What opportunities are not being thought through if you just side with your son or sister on what their actions are going to be? What if challenging them in a healthy, exciting way finds a new answer that might drastically change their decisions and ultimately their outcomes?

Meetings are where organizations, groups and businesses are made or broken. What type of meetings are you having?

Parkland Community Church:
We Exist to Develop People Who Love Jesus and Serve Others.

William Con

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