Do you hire team players?

by edcallahan on August 23, 2016 · 0 comments

The Ideal Team Player

Patrick Lencioni latest book, a business fable, The Ideal Team Player, is a perfect companion to his now famous The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

In Five Dysfunctions Lencioni identifies what happens when a team has low trust among them. He does this with his now well known Dysfunction Pyramid.  I described the Dysfunction Pyramid in this earlier post.

In the Ideal Team Player he identifies how to avoid the Dysfunctions by consciously hiring great team players. He identifies three traits which he believes accomplish the goal,- humble, hungry and smart. These form the three pillars on top of which vulnerability based trust can be built quickly and easily. They could be part of your core values, but I see them more as being thought of as permission-to-play values or traits, given that Core Values are largely unique to companies and these traits ideally would be used in all companies.

Read the book to find out how these traits get you great team players. You can order it here. If you aren’t a book reader, here is a short summary. Let me leave you with some observations about the three traits,-

  • Humble – We all love people who are not self promoters, who are willing to do the least important tasks if that is what it takes for the team to succeed, and who always give credit first to others.
  • Hungry – Who wouldn’t want a co-worker who always volunteers for more, who helps out if someone else is falling behind? Some one who always is improving their skills and knowledge. Someone who is hungry to be better.
  • Smart – I like the clarification brought out in the fable – by smart Lencioni means people smart. Human beings with people smarts instinctively recognize that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to working with different people. Styles are different. Different people react differently under pressure. Recognizing the different needs people have is important for a team to run smoothly.

How do you test for these traits when interviewing? Lencioni addresses this concern by adding a workbook-like section at the end of the fable, where he provides interview questions to help probe for these traits. He also explains why all three traits are important. How missing any one of them can lead to major issues.


As a member of the EOS Worldwide Leadership Team for two and a half years now and a seven and a half year member of the EOS Worldwide Professional EOS Implementer Community I am proud that I do see parallels to these traits in the EOS Worldwide Values, as follows:

  • Humble: This clearly equates to the EOS Worldwide value of being Humbly Confident.
  • Hungry: This is very much equivalent to the EOS Worldwide value of believing you must Grow or Die.
  • Smart: People smarts is like a combination of the EOS Worldwide values of Help First and Do The Right Thing, although I’ll let my EOS colleagues decide if I am reaching here.
Book Cover by Lencioni and Amazon.

Make it hurt, don’t be hurtful

by edcallahan on July 12, 2016 · 0 comments

Wall Street

Dale Williams, a soon to be Professional EOS Implementer, sent me a article which he noted seemed very EOS-like. The title of the article is News Without Novocain.  It is a summary of an interview with Jimmy Dunne III senior managing principal of the investment banking firm Sandler O’Neill & Partners. It was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant. It was published in the NY Times on May 6, 2016.  You can read the whole article here.

I agree the article described some EOS-like principles, even though it described them in Wall Street jargon in a Wall Street setting. Note that our typical EOS client is not a Wall Street firm. We work with small business owners employing between 10 and 250 people.

Attack the Issue, not the person

The most EOS-like principle is when Dunne espouses confronting team members in public and attacking issues, not people. If we change ‘public’ to an EOS company’s weekly leadership team meetings we might be describing the IDS portion of that meeting. IDS stands for Identify, Discuss and Solve. It’s that portion of the weekly leadership meeting where the senior leaders of a small business bring all the obstacles, impediments and barriers to the company’s success to be addressed and resolved in priority order. It is a high trust environment where you know that speaking the truth is what is expected and won’t get you fired or chastised for doing so.

Each leader when teeing up the issue uses a technique we call: Who, Who, What. The first Who is the leader who put the issue on the issues list. The second Who is who you are addressing, typically the leader who is responsible for the portion of the company where the issue resides. The What is a brief description of the issue, best if said in one sentence. The issue bringer should “make it hurt, but not be hurtful” which means to make clear the pain the issue is causing the company but to be sure to focus on the issue not the person who owns the function where the issue resides. To learn more about Who, Who, What read my earlier blog post on the subject here.

Thanks for sharing the article Dale. Confronting issues when and where they occur and solving them by attacking the issues and not the people is the right way to go in any size company.

Photo Credit: Dave Center



Your Ideal Life

by edcallahan on June 14, 2016 · 0 comments

Ed's pic Ed’s pic

Have you defined your ideal life? Allow me to offer one to you. It’s the one I have been striving to live for the past almost eight years. I am almost there. I’d love your thoughts about it. It has 5 aspirations.

1. Doing what I love to do

I am passionate about teaching. It’s what I trained to do in college. Like sometimes happens, I got diverted from that goal and only have in these past almost 8 years returned to it in my role as an EOS Implementer. I am a teacher, facilitator and coach. It is what I am genetically encoded to do. It is all I am ever going to do until I stop doing anything.

2. Doing it with people I respect

Life is too short to spend it with people whom you don’t respect and enjoy being around. My EOS clients are respectful, appreciative, a bit frustrated, willing to be vulnerable and always interested in learning and getting better. We like working with each other.

3. Making a substantial difference in their lives

During the course of our work together, not only do we become friends, but I have the opportunity to help them make a huge difference in their own lives by implementing EOS, the Entrepreneurial Operating System. The journey we take together allows them and their company to grow and thrive and it also allows them, if they want it, to find balance in their lives and a life outside of their business.

4. Being compensated well for the value I bring

The ultimate proof of this claim of large value is that we don’t ask our EOS clients to sign a contract – ever. There are no upfront retainers. And they only pay us for each session if they believe they got value. The actual compensation is what you want it to be. The definition of well is individual. I am more than satisfied.

5. Having enough time to pursue other passions

What I am talking about here is one or two weeks a quarter to enrich your life. Maybe even a month. Travel, hobbies, family, faith based activities, charitable endeavors. You choose.

How do you you do this?

First of all, let me assure you that it a journey. Three steps forward, two steps back. Progress. There are many ways to do this. Find the one that works best for you. Decide upon your ideal life.

I pursue this definition of an ideal life as a professional EOS Implementer. I refer to it as my EOS Life.

If this particular definition of an ideal life intrigues you, you can learn more about it by attending one of my almost weekly, free, 90 minute webinars. You can sign up for one here.

Please share your definition of an ideal life in a comment below.