I often get asked, “What is the #1 most important factor that leads to a successful EOS® engagement?” The lead domino for a successful implementation is a healthy team above all others. I can go so far as to estimate that a team’s success or lack of traction can be 70% attributable to team health. Healthy teams are functional, cohesive and are willing to ask the tough questions and deal with the most challenging issues.

In Order to Get Healthy, You Have to Enter the Danger

One of my clients calls me the “truth teller.” I believe my duty as an EOS Implementer is to ask the difficult questions. I want to be known as the “trusted partner” who has the courage to address the “sacred cows.” Playing this role is not always easy or fun.

As a Traction Coach (EOS Implementer) I am sometimes uncertain and a bit anxious before “entering the danger.” Entering the danger means I am charged with going into uncomfortable territory and helping you pull out the identify, discuss and solve key issues. I know deep in my soul that entering the danger is a gateway to building a strong and resilient healthy team. Patrick Lencioni wrote a great blog post about how he discovered the concept of entering the danger and has successfully employed it with his clients for the last 25 years:

As an EOS Implementer, it is my job to go where the “eyes roll.”  It is my duty to take risks and walk into potential conflicts. I am fanatical about resolution and have to be comfortable with conflict in my line of work. I don’t always know the outcome or have the answer, but I know the rewards far outweigh the risks.

Prior to starting EOS, my clients often say it felt like “Groundhog Day.”

Once we have established a functional healthy cohesive leadership team, the transformations are mind-boggling.

36 Hours of Pain

In Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, Gino Wickman talks about a concept called “36 Hours of Pain.” The 36 hours refers to the time between deciding on terminating an employee and executing a transition plan. Once this is done, everyone is free. You are free from the mental burden. Your company is free to move forward. Finally, the terminated employee is free to pursue greener pastures.

It is amazing how many weeks, months and sometimes even years that teams have anguished over a tough decision. On the other hand, once the decision is made, it takes only 36 Hours of Pain before everyone moves forward. I have never met a client who complained about firing someone too soon. Upon reflection, the terminations are almost always executed far too late.

Organizational health will one day surpass all other disciplines in business as the greatest opportunity for improvement and competitive advantage. – Patrick Lencioni “The Advantage, Enhanced Edition: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business”

Have you made one great “People” move this quarter?

Do you want to know where your team health stands?