Is Your Organization Simple?

How simple is your organization?  If you are currently stuck, it might be because you have allowed things to become too complex.

Reflect on this quote by Peter Drucker and ask yourself if this describes your leadership environment… “No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings.”

Again, how simple is your organization?

My friends don’t call Drucker the source of the leadership Nile for nothing (pardon the grammar Mrs. Waldrop – my fourth grade teacher).

Drucker sold a gazillion books because he understood simplicity.

If you are spinning your wheels, go back and review your mission and strategy, renew your commitment to learning, and make your environment relational.

Simple stuff that will work for any old average human being. Even you.

Leadership Begins at Home,


What is your favorite example of a simple organization?

Comment Below …

High Performance Organizations Build the Bench

The Chess Not Checkers project set out to discover the “secrets” of High Performance Organizations (HPO).

Mark Miller and his team spent years to determine what separates the best from all the rest. In the end, they identified four primary “moves” all HPOs make… They Bet on Leadership, Act as One, Win the Heart and Excel at Execution. But, this was not enough; they wanted to know HOW they do these things so well. The answers were found in their “Best Practices.”

After the book, Chess Not Checkers was completed, Mark knew leaders would want the more tactical, application ideas embedded in the best practices. So, his response was to create the Chess Not Checkers Field Guide.  Mark asked me to be the co-author on this effort. Below is an excerpt from the Field Guide section on how HPOs Build the Bench!

Build the Bench

One of the most underrated best practices you can pursue if you are attempting to Bet on Leadership is to remember to Build the Bench. Sports teams are mindful of this; recognizing at any moment, at every position, someone needs to be ready to move from the role of backup to starter. Whether through turnover or injury, a next-man-up mentality is vital for a program’s success. Business should be no different.

If an organization intends to grow, a key focus of the leadership team must be to Build the Bench. Strong leaders do not have a scarcity mindset, fearing for their jobs if they help their direct reports grow. Actually, the opposite is true. Anytime you find leaders who can replace themselves, they are the last people you want to leave.

Like successful coaches, High Performance Organization leaders not only recruit great talent, they also enhance it. By identifying a clear picture of what they are trying to develop, they are able to create a clear path and close skill gaps that block the way. Organizations who focus on building the bench are also locked in on finding emerging leaders. They are always looking to fill a spot with a talented backup. These teams have development plans for those on the rise, and they systematically challenge everyone in the organization to grow to the next level.

If you truly want to create a leadership culture, don’t forget to build your bench. At some point you will need it,  especially  if  you  expect  to  achieve  championship  results.

Leadership Begins at Home,


What are doing to develop your leadership bench?

Comment Below …

Do You Have Your Leadership Bumpers Up?

I recently read, “A person becomes the average of the five people closest to him.”

The statement caused me to stop and take inventory with regard to my friendships. Perhaps you should do the same?  Studies show that we spend like our friends spend, weigh what our friends weigh, live in houses like our friends houses, send our kids to the same schools … the list goes on and on.

I know for me personally, the books I read, the places I hang out, where I eat, and even my level of fitness is affected by those closest to me.

When you stop and think about it, the value of friendship is a lot like bowling. Have you been bowling recently? If so, perhaps you noticed that some people choose the option of bowling with bumpers in their gutters. The bumpers are designed to keep the ball on track and make the game more enjoyable for little kids. Occasionally, adults who are bad bowlers will even volunteer to bowl with the tikes just so they too can be protected by the bumpers. I’m not naming any names.

Don’t you wish they offered bumpers on the other areas of your life? Actually, they do. They’re called friends, and they determine the direction of your life. If you are surrounded by friends who have integrity, you are much more likely to stay on track yourself. If you isolate yourself and go it alone, chances are you will find yourself continually in the gutter.

As a leader, you may be tempted to think, “It’s lonely at the top.” But let me remind you that loneliness is a choice. To quote my mom: “If you want to have a friend, be a friend.” I would take it a step further by saying, choose friends who have integrity. Stupidity is a choice too.

You weren’t designed to go it alone. Find yourself some friends to be your bumpers who will keep you on track. Your integrity and influence are on the line!

Leadership Begins at Home,


Why do you think so many leaders isolate themselves relationally?

Comment Below …