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Leadership Gems


The Golden Combination: Smart AND Healthy

It’s one thing to be a smart organization; it’s another to be both healthy and smart. The golden combination is virtually impossible to compete with in any industry or market.

Smart teams have the decision sciences of their industry mastered, including technology, finances, marketing and strategy. Most teams and organizations must manage each of these areas well to stay in business. Teams who have figured out their decision sciences are all around us.

Healthy teams have the behavioral sciences figured out. They’re practicing four simple disciplines: building team cohesion, creating clarity, over-communicating and reinforcing clarity through structure. These behaviors anchor the highest performing teams, regardless of what’s happening around them. These teams are harder to find.

The power in this golden combination lies in the opportunity to maximize. Healthy teams maximize the smart components – getting the best from their people, their decision making and their innovations. Being healthy and smart strengthens engagement, relationships, retention, and productivity, while decreasing politics, silos and absent accountability.

Getting and staying healthy as an organization is a lot like being physically healthy – you can’t take your eye off it; it remains a constant. Being physically healthy takes discipline, energy, consistency, productive habits and great choice management. It isn’t something you attempt once or short-term if you expect to reap any benefits.

Being healthy is a lifestyle you choose. If you want the lasting results in your body, you must make and manage your choices well. Organizational health requires the same well-managed choices to produce the highest possible return on investment.

When you assess the successes and failures of your team and organization, be careful about doing bad forensic analysis. Many times, the smarts of the business get all the credit, whether good or bad. For example, you cannot attribute success only to strategy, marketing, or technology. Equally so, you cannot entirely blame failure on poor strategy, weak marketing or old technology. Seeking a truer analysis requires us to also consider the behavioral components involved, such as team trust levels, ability to have healthy conflict, peer accountability and collective clarity.

Business leaders understand that an absence of smarts puts a team out of business quickly. It is imperative to recognize that lacking organizational health will yield the same result. For example, a leader who’s unwilling to model vulnerability-based trust or to mine for healthy conflict amongst their leadership team will experience more than his/her fair share of leadership team mistakes, missed opportunities and lack of cohesion. It’ll be an uphill battle to achieve lasting success.

The process of becoming both healthy and smart isn’t easy, but it is a profoundly simple, intentional, and well-managed decision that your team will thank you for making and managing.


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