…adapted from a reaction paper that I wrote a couple years ago–this post is presented in a explain then apply format.
The Five Temptations of a CEO taught me several concepts that I only had limited knowledge of. The author Patrick Lencioni begins with a statement that’s speaks of a reality. It is the idea that when an individual becomes a CEO, they will be presented with incredible difficulties. These challenges are the result of falling prey to one or more of the five temptations. These five temptations are presented to us by means of a fable. This allows us to truly absorb the meanings of the temptations so we can more easily associate with them. The five temptations are:
- Results vs. status
- Accountability vs. popularity
- Clarity vs. certainty
- Conflict vs. harmony
- Trust vs. invulnerability
Results vs. status
What does results vs. status mean? In simple terms, it’s deciding whether a leader has more dedication for results or status. Another way to say this is, am I concerned with my ego or the bigger picture? The reason why this is a pitfall is because a leader may become so absorbed by their status or ego that they will fail to consider the effects of this upon the company in which they lead. An example that is provided by the author states that once a person’s ego is first fulfilled, their energy is projected towards enjoying all the perks. Another way to envision this is to have a look at a rollercoaster. A person works diligently to get their way to the top (this is seen as the rollercoaster is rising), once it hits its peak, it suddenly drops steeply. They have earned it so now the bigger picture (organization) is less meaningful. This is incredibly dangerous for the fact that a leader may not realize this until serious damages begin to occur. At this point the leader seeks to blame others and things instead of the source of the problem—him or herself. This temptation applies to me as a leader because as long as I aim for the big picture, the benefits will come along automatically. This leads to the next temptation, accountability vs. popularity.
Real-world application: Is your company’s vision about promoting its ideals or yours? [Read more…] about Book summary: The Five Temptations of a CEO