In his book, The Advantage, business leader Patrick Lencioni writes, “Any organization that wants to maximize its success must come to embody two basic qualities: it must be smart, and it must be healthy.”

According to Lencioni, the smart organizations are the ones who are good at strategy, marketing, finance, and technology. Healthy ones, on the other hand, avoid politics, lack confusion, are highly productive, and enjoy high morale among team members. He makes the case that most companies and teams spend their time on the being smart rather than on being healthy.

Yesterday, millions of people watched the Seattle Seahawks win the Super Bowl over the Denver Broncos. Few would argue that either team represents an unhealthy organization. The matchup was not a fluke. Both teams have been knocking on the door for the past couple of years.

Watching the game I couldn’t help but wonder what the fans in Cleveland, Oakland, and Jacksonville were thinking – all three mired in mediocrity for nearly a decade.

So what is “The Advantage?”  — The cultural norms that make some organizations healthy while others stay stuck. Lencioni builds a case that the healthy ones, “build a cohesive leadership team, create clarity, over-communicate clarity, and reinforce clarity.”

This week we will discuss each of these important disciplines. In the mean time, if today finds you frustrated because your team has been spinning its wheels for several years, I suggest you turn your attention away from trying to be smarter and focus on becoming healthy.

Leadership Begins at Home,


On a scale of 1-10, how would you assess your organizational health compared to it’s potential?

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