October 18, 2008
Book Short: The Anti-Level-5 Leader
The Five Temptations of a CEO, another short leadership fable in a series by Patrick Lencioni, wasn’t as meaningful to me as the last one I read, The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive (post, link), but it wasn’t bad and was also a quick read.
The book to me was the 30 minute version of all the Level-5 Leadership stuff that Collins wrote about in Good to Great and Built to Last. All that said, it was a good quick read and a reminder of what not to do. The temptations are things that most CEOs I’ve ever known (present company very much included) have at least succumbed to at one point or another in their career. That said, you as a CEO should quit or be fired if you have them in earnest, so hopefully if you do have them, you recognize it and have them in diminishing quantities with experience, and hopefully not all at once:
– The temptation to be concerned about his or her image above company results
– The temptation to want to be popular with his or her direct reports above holding them accountable for results
– The temptation to ensure that decisions are correct, even if that means not making a decision on limited information when one is needed
– The temptation to find harmony on one’s staff rather than have productive conflict, discussion, and debate
– The temptation to avoid vulnerability and trust in one’s staff
I’m still going to read the others in Lencioni’s series as well. They may not be the best business books ever written, but they’re solid B/B+s, and they’re short and simple, which few business books are and all should be!