Do You Have a Healthy Organization?

I’m an advocate of both working out and mentoring.  It’s a strange mix, I know. But bear with me. Recently, I set goals with two of my daughters’ boyfriends, Tate and Colton, to see how big we could get our arms by the end of January.  The neat thing about this is we changed the way we went about working out.  I’m a big proponent of what I call E2 — exercise and education.  My wife makes fun of me because I always have to have an acronym for most things.  I am a lifelong learner and a forever workout guy so I decided to combine them a few years back.  When I run I listen to audio books.  When I am on the treadmill or elliptical I listen or watch online speeches and classes.  And when I workout I listen to podcasts.  It’s awesome because I accomplish two important things at the same time.

So I started working out with the young men and introduced them to podcasting rather than the head banging and explicit music to which they were accustomed.  At first, they weren’t excited about it, but now they are growing in both a mental-life balance and in physical-health capacities.  When I come home it’s great to see that they are already working out; they are listening to podcasts and asking me real-life, family, and business questions.  Warms my heart a bit.

As all of this was going on, I did my other normal educational activities and I noticed a common theme of health.  It was about being healthy spiritually, personally, professionally. I then read Patrick Lencioni’s latest book “The Advantage”, which is about organizational health.

I fully believe that being healthy in all aspects of life provides huge benefits, not only for your immediate circle, and your company, but the world.  I’ve always thought that if you are healthy physically and mentally, you can be a positive leader with the right energy for you, your co-workers, the people you lead, and especially your family and friends.

When one is out of balance at work, few people leave it at the office.  They take the stress home and negatively influence their personal life.  Small issues become larger because you are already ready blow.  Everyone loses.

In Simon Sinek’s latest presentation on Start with WHY he said, “Bad leaders are literally killing their employees”.  He backed it up with facts that were a real eye opener.  Due to high stress, team members spend a lot of time and energy because they are not sure of the future — or where the leader is taking them.

You can have the right strategy, technology, finance, and marketing, but if the organization is not “healthy”, you will never thrive.  Creating alignment is key.

Below are Lencioni’s four disciplines for a healthy organization:

1.  Build a Cohesive Leadership Team – The first step is all about getting the leaders of the organization to behave in a functional, cohesive way.

2.  Create Clarity – The second step for building a healthy organization is ensuring that the members of that leadership team are intellectually aligned.

3.  Over-Communicate Clarity – Leaders of a healthy organization constantly repeat themselves and reinforce what is true and important. They always err on the side of saying too much, rather than too little. This quality alone sets leaders of healthy organizations apart from others.

4.  Reinforce Clarity – This means any process that involves people, from hiring and firing to performance management and decision-making, is designed to intentionally support and emphasize the uniqueness of the organization.

Alignment, vision and over-communication are the key takeaways.  Too many times teams are not aligned when implementing technology solutions.  It causes dysfunction and is a leading factor for failed projects.  I am hyper-aware of this as it will be the reason why a project will fail.

I recently was in Chicago doing strategic planning, facilitating a “C” level meeting.  The biggest thing we had to accomplish was alignment of priorities.  Everyone had items of importance they wanted to accomplish from a business and technology strategy standpoint, but we couldn’t get it all done at once.  The biggest hurdle was setting the order of priorities.  Here’s how it went:

Day 1 – Brainstorming, reviewing individual initiatives and making sure everyone in the room understood them.

Day 2 – We prioritized the initiatives – both mentally and physically.

We put the initiatives on 3×5 cards, stuck them on a wall, and had the team line up in order and take turns moving one card up or down.  A person could only move one card at a time and had to stay in order.  This accomplished a few things; like collaboration and discussions on why they thought one initiative was more important over another; clarity on relationships of initiatives; but the most important was alignment of the priorities. This is a big thing because without agreement, sabotage and lack of full engagement creeps in and corrupts the project.

So, it’s time to get healthy — as a person and as an organization:


  • Watch the Simon Sinek video
  • Read The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni
  • Implement your own E2 (Exercise and Education)
    • Read email on a treadmill
    • Start walking and listening to podcast (a few podcast recommendations below)
  • Replace “I HAVE TO” with “I GET TO” in all you say and think.  I say this when mentoring and talking with people.  It changes the whole meaning of a task.
    • Has made big impact when mentoring AND leading
  • Make sure your business plan is strategic, not just tactical
    • Use a facilitator if needed, it is just too important to you and the families you impact
  • Remember, leadership is not a rank, it’s a decision – Simon Sinek

What are your thoughts?  I’d love to hear from you!


Podcast to Listen List

What (Who) Type Focus Link
EntreLeadership(Dave Ramsey) Podcast Business and Life
This is Your Life (Michael   Hyatt) Podcast Leadership
Your Move(Andy Stanley) Podcast Faith and Life

Click Here to Join
BTW – we hit our arm goals – me 17″, Tate 13 5/8″, Colton 14″


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

3 thoughts on “Do You Have a Healthy Organization?

  1. Another great article, Craig. Thanks for the reminder. It is so important to strike that balance — and to work in a healthy organizations. I sure have worked in my fair share of unhealthy ones and it is no fun whatsoever! Keep up the great work.

  2. Pingback: Being SMART!

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