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by SixFigureStart | October 06, 2009


Here’s something that somehow escaped our attention until today: GE CEO Jack Welch has been in hospital with a severe staph infection for the best part of the last three months—although he may be fit enough to return home today, according to former GE exec Bill Conaty, who spoke earlier at the World Business Forum . We wish him all the best with his recovery. The official WBF tags we’re wearing around our necks show that Welch was scheduled to be speaking right now—the 11am to 12.30pm slot. Instead, former Bain consultant, speaker and best-selling author Patrick Lencioni is doing a more than capable job filling in for him—and raising more laughs than anyone might have expected from a presentation titled "Building Winning Teams."

Lencioni opened his remarks with the admission that “everything I’m about to cover today is simple. In fact you already know it.” And, truth be told, he’s lived up to that; his mantra is a Samuel Johnson quote that says “people need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.” In other words: leaders shouldn’t worry about repeating themselves or feeling like they’re offering something new to employees to have an excuse for communicating with them.

The simple nature of Lencioni’s message is underlined with a chart he put up titled “Two requirements for success.” In it, he separated requirements into the following categories: things that make a company smart, and those that make it healthy. Here’s what he included in each category:


  • Strategy

  • Marketing

  • Finance

  • Technology


  • Minimal Politics

  • Minimal Confusion

  • High Morale

  • High Productivity

  • Low Turnover

The difference between the two lists? “We’re spending a disproportionate amount of time making our organizations smarter, but not nearly enough making them healthier.”

Not exactly groundbreaking stuff, right? But that’s exactly Lencioni’s point—that we all know the theory of what it means to be a good leader or employee, but that it’s hard to live up to and put into practice on a day-to-day basis. So take every bromide, old saw or maxim you’ve ever heard about the art of doing business, dust it down and think about what it means to you, and how to put it into practice every single day. And, while you’re at it, throw in this one from Lencioni:
“Great leaders have to overcommunicate.”

--Posted by Phil Stott, Vault Staff Writer


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