Three Ways To Demonstrate Courage – Live Blogging Catalyst West With Patrick Lencioni

Today, I’m live-blogging from the Catalyst West conference in Irvine, California. Throughout today and tomorrow, I will be sharing leadership insights from the best and the brightest in the church and business world.

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Patrick Lencioni is the founder and president of The Table Group. This firm is dedicated to providing organizations with ideas, products, and services that improve teamwork, clarity, and employee engagement. Lencioni is also the author of The Advantage.

Jesus wasn’t just spiritual. He was fully God and fully man. He suffered profusely for us and He didn’t have to.

The suffering Jesus went through was so profound so I decided I had to start my talk with the ending (Sorry, I’m not going to spoil it for you just yet).

Suffering is part of our lives. It is redemptive. This doesn’t mean you want to suffer.

Yet our society tells us something wrong. Society tells us that if we suffer we have the wrong mindset or doing something wrong.

I’ve come to realize there is no other kind of leadership than this: servant leadership.

Partick Lencioni then pulls a young woman named Lori from the crowd to interview him.

Lori) Where did your interest in courage come from?

Lencioni) As a kid, I read biographies. And the Bible. All these leaders of courage I read about. I thought one day I’ll be like them. I watched Star Wars and wanted to be courageous.

The older I got, I started to realize motivation might have been off. When these people displayed courage, they didn’t know there were going to be books or movies written about them.

But when we display courage, we don’t have the end of the movie moments like George in It’s A Wonderful Life. Many leaders who display great courage die in a prison camp and get no glory. They die alone.

Most of us won’t have to be martyrs for our faith. We have to learn to exercise courage as leaders in subtler moments.

Lori) Are there specific ways a leader must demonstrate courage?

Lencioni) There are three ways a leader must demonstrate courage:

Be Vulnerable
Embrace Conflict
Hold People Accountable

Lori) What does it mean to be vulnerable?

Lencioni) We have to genuinely say I’m sorry, I was a jerk to you. Or I don’t know the answer to your question. Maybe it’s I need help. Or teach me to be like you.

This is a demonstration of courage.

Lori) Didn’t Andy Stanley just talk about that?

Lencioni) Yes, he did. I was preparing for this and heard him talk about conflict.

What does conflict look like? Conflict looks different from family to family, business to business.

Conflict requires courage. You know what kind of organizations have the worst conflicts, right? Churches…

The reason why is because churches tend to hire people with big hearts. But they’re misguided.

When someone offers up a bad idea, we pretend to write it down and we validate the bad ideas. Then we talk about her behind her back.

We talk behind her back, calling her a dingbat. We don’t crush their ideas.

Be willing to ask questions about ideas that sound stupid. Ask how they’re going to help the organization.

Lori) What is the third thing?

Lencioni) We have to hold people accountable.

I ask this one to a lot of CEOs and they’ll tell me I should skip over this one. They’re tough enough already. They just fired someone last week.

But that’s not what holding people accountable means. Holding people accountable is stepping into the fire with people.

It’s one thing to say I don’t like your idea. It’s another thing to say you need to do something differently.

Saying this requires a lot more courage. Asking for change takes more courage than saying you don’t like something.

It’s about holding people accountable for their behavior. Behavior leads to results.

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