As we headed into the holiday season, I encouraged the CEOs, presidents and owners I work and interact with to make time to rest and recharge.
2020 was a strange and especially stressful year for many of us. And I think we can all benefit from making self-care a higher priority as we start off the new year.
This will benefit us certainly, and also our leadership teams, companies and communities.
One excellent resource is a book I use with CEOs that represents, what I believe, is the missing link for CEOs of mid-sized growth companies.
Written by my colleague, senior Gravitas Impact coach, Kevin Lawrence in Vancouver BC, Your Oxygen Mask First is a breakthrough in the art of leadership, self-management AND self-care.
We can find dozens of fantastic books and tools to learn the nuts and bolts of growing a successful company. And there are a few methodologies, like our Scaling Up method and 7 Attributes of Agile Growth, that bring many of those essential tools together to make them more accessible for mid-size companies. However, the missing link is the CEO factor: the leader themselves and their skills for taking care of themselves first, so they can take better care of their people and their business.
Your Oxygen Mask First makes clear that it’s a myth that CEOs can build successful companies sustainably by putting everyone else first. In truth, this leads to burn-out and tragedy. It’s a dirty secret we need to talk about.
Kevin wrote Your Oxygen Mask First based on the experiences and tools he gained over 20 years as a coach and advisor.
The book covers the 17 habits Kevin has tried and tested for leaders to lead well AND take care of themselves, so they have a great company AND a great life. I highly recommend it to any CEO, president or executive leader.
Book: 231 pgs, 3h46m audio. Find the book, ebook and audible book here.
Are you ready to grow a great top team, company and life?
Try our complimentary Growth Fitness Self-Assessment to find out where you, your leadership team and company shine and where you could improve in order to grow, improve profitability, consistency and your quality of life.
I’m always delighted when I read Patrick Lencioni. I enjoy both his simple take on things and his user-friendly writing style. So picking up his classic book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, was a no-brainer.
In the business fable style that Lencioni is famous for, he tells the story of the leadership team of a technology company. In it, he shows how teams can improve results by using his simple model to deliberately working on their team’s effectiveness.
Lencioni covers the five critical dysfunctions of a team, each building on the other. They include:
1) absence of trust, which leads to
2) fear of conflict, and therefore
3) lack of commitment, which results in
4) avoidance of accountability, and
5) inattention to (team) results.
After the story, further details on the model follow with tips for working on each dysfunction.
Out of all the team effectiveness frameworks I’ve studied and used, this one is the simplest. Yet, it’s still totally relevant and applicable.
The five dysfunctions framework is also one of the tools in the Scaling Up system I’m now using. And Patrick Lencioni is a Gravitas Impact Premium Coaches faculty member, who has presented at some of our leadership summits.
Book: 229 pgs, 3h45m audio. Soundview Summary: 8 pgs, 19m audio. Get-Abstract summary: 5 pgs, 10m audio.
Given we’re coming up to Christmas, I thought I’d share a little gift: for those new to Jim Collins’ Good to Great, an overview of one of the best books on organizational health; and, for those who’ve read it, a brief reminder of the insights from this in depth body of research.
Released in 2001, Good to Great studied what made 10 “great” companies great. Greatness was defined by a minimum 20 years of growth and sustained financial success that far outpaced the market or industry average.
The book debunked a number of myths and identified 7 key factors to greatness:
1. Be a humble, determined leader.
2. Get the right people on your team before setting your strategy.
3. Confront the brutal internal and external facts (yet never lose faith).
4. Identify and focus on your simple, reliable competitive advantage.
5. Create a culture of disciplined (and empowered) thought and action.
6. Use technology not as a sole strategy in itself, but to strengthen your competitive advantage.
7. Build momentum over time with small consistent, aligned actions.
Book: 320 pgs, 6h audio. GetAbstract summary: 5 pgs, 10m audio.