Smart vs. Healthy

Being smart is only half the equation in a successful organization. Yet it somehow occupies almost all the time, energy, and attention of most leaders. The other half of the equation, the one that is largely neglected, is about being healthy.

– Patrick Lencioni, The Advantage

In Patrick Lencioni’s latest book The Advantage, you will find the following chart:

Lencioni comments: “Whenever I list the qualities for leaders, I usually get one of the following reactions, and sometimes both. Often they laugh quietly, in a nervous. almost guilty kind of way. Or they barely sigh, like parents do when they hear about a family where the kids do what they’re told the first time they’re asked. In either case, it’s as thought they’re thinking, ‘Wouldn’t that be nice?’ or, ‘Can you imagine?’

None of the leaders – even the most cynical ones – deny that their organizations would be transformed if they could achieve the characteristics fo a healthy organization. Yet they almost always gravitate to the left side of the chart above, retreating to the safe, measurable “smart” side of the equation.


Because it’s relatively safe and predictable, which most leaders prefer. That’s how they’ve been trained, and that’s where they’re comfortable.

It takes discipline to move beyond the safe and predictable, into the sometimes awkward and messy area of organizational health.

Tomorrow: Four Disciplines of Organizational Health

Adapted from The Advantage, by Patrick Lencioni


One thought on “Smart vs. Healthy

  1. Pingback: Four Disciplines of Organizational Health « 27gen

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