Friday, May 4, 2012

Hard truth

Patrick Lencioni, author of nine best-selling books and capstone speaker at today's powerful Chick-fil-a Leadercast, forced me to face a hard truth. Pat talked about Organizational Health and I have some good notes to share with my co-workers next week. But tonight I have to deal with a question I would rather not have to face.

During his talk Pat asked which was more important, work or family. He then half jokingly added that he'd send a book to anyone who raised their hand for "work". When you hear that question you know the answer; of course family is more important. When you are young your parents and the elders who raised you deserve attention. Then you move forward in life and start a family of your own and they become the reason you go to work and the reason you stay sane.

I raised my hand for work. Not because work should be the most important thing, but if you look at my behavior it gives a more honest answer than any words.  If I had a middle name it would probably be "guy who makes dumb choices way too often". Pat talked about Organizational Health and Core Values and I try to lead at work and yet fail to prioritize the most important team.

Some leaders are hired because of their long track record of success, some for their demonstrated wisdom in moments of crisis. I am the leader at work because everyone senior to me left. If there is a leadership track at work I did not make the cut; my studying and time come from my pocket and from my vacation days. Work life is doing the best I can to take care of my team and encourage my co-workers.

Pat said "Great leaders are humble and willing to do what it takes." I can not speak for great leaders but those of us who are brokenly desperate and in need of wisdom will set ego aside and ask for help. I reached out to Amy Hiett, General Manager at The Table Group, and told her what Patrick had said and my response. In less than an hour she had asked for my address.

I do not know what Pat's book will say to me but I know that his team speaks with the same encouraging voice that he shared on today's stage. I do not know what I need to know but there is hope because people like Amy and Pat walk their talk and encourage people like me to face hard truths and change our lives.

Whatever struggles you face in life I encourage you to reach out. There are good people who will help you grow. I met two of them today.