Up or Down?

In Jim Collins’ new book, “How the Mighty Fall,” he provides a very helpful outline from his research, showing the characteristics of organizations on their way up versus those on their way down.

Take a gander and determine where the leadership-team dynamics of your organization leans:

Teams on the Way Down Teams on the Way Up
People shield those in power from grim facts, fearful of penalty and criticism for shining light on the harsh realities. People bring forth unpleasant facts – “Come here, look, man, this is ugly” – to be discussed; leaders never criticize those who bring forth harsh realities.
People assert strong opinions without providing data, evidence, or a solid argument. People bring data, evidence, logic, and solid arguments to the discussion.
The team leader has a very low questions-to-statements ratio, avoiding critical input and/or allowing sloppy reasoning and unsupported opinions. The team leader employs a Socratic style, using a high questions-to-statements ratio, challenging people and pushing for penetrating insight.
Team members acquiesce to a decision yet do not unify to make the decision successful, or worse, undermine the decision after the fact. Team members unify behind a decision once made and work to make the decision succeed, even if they vigorously disagreed with the decision.
Team members seek as much credit as possible for themselves yet do not enjoy the confidence and admiration of their peers Each team member credits other people for success yet enjoys the confidence and admiration of his or her peers.
Team members argue to look smart or to improve their own interests rather than argue to find the best answers to support the overall cause. Team members argue and debate, not to improve their personal position, but to find the best answers to support the overall cause.
The team conducts “autopsies with blame,” seeking culprits rather then wisdom. The team conducts “autopsies without blame.” mining wisdom from painful experiences.
Team members often fail to deliver exceptional results, and blame other people or outside factors for setbacks, mistakes, and failures. Each team member delivers exceptional results, yet in the event of a setback, each accepts full responsibility and learns from mistakes.
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~ by Dave Smith on December 19, 2009.

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