Message From Our Founder

Welcome to the 102nd issue of CEE News!


If there had been Three Wise Women instead of Three Wise Men, they would have:
– Asked for directions
– Arrived on time
– Helped deliver the baby
– Cleaned the stable
– Made a casserole
– Brought practical gifts

That’s a joke shared by Susan Packard, Cofounder of HGTV, in her 2015 book, New Rules of the Game:10 Strategies for Women in the Workplace. I picked up Packard’s book when I attended the San Diego Women’s Week annual Leadership Conference in recognition of Women’s History Month that year. This year, I had the honor of speaking at the conference as a panelist to discuss the topic of Mastering the Art of Building and Leading Teams.

Since I’ve been in the management consulting industry for nearly twelve years, I chose to approach the subject wearing my consultant’s cap. One of my favorite ways to help teams achieve peak performance is to use an assessment developed by The Table Group to complement Patrick Lencioni’s book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

I’ve used the assessment with several teams at Yale University, a senior leadership team with a communications manufacturing company in Salt Lake City, and a team at the Port of Long Beach. Each team member responds to a set of questions that measures collective performance in five key areas: Trust, Conflict, Commitment, Accountability, and Results. The resulting report displays the team’s aggregated responses in the shape of a pyramid, where each of the five areas are shown in a red/yellow/green schema. The results for Trust is at the base of the pyramid for an important reason.

As Lencioni explains, “trust is the willingness of team members to be vulnerable with one another, to admit their mistakes, weaknesses, and fears, and to rely on one another for support and guidance.”  Teams that take the time to build vulnerability-based trust with one another are more likely to engage in constructive conflict, focus on their commitment to collective goals, hold themselves and one another accountable, and achieve results.

In the competitive, power-based, often cutthroat world of business, admitting mistakes, weaknesses, and fears, and relying on others for support and guidance are not common behavioral styles. Entire organizations are more typically led by senior leadership teams where bravado, politics, and power-grabbing are the norm. In turn, the workforce finds itself struggling with gaslighting, mental health issues, and imposter syndrome.

Three Wise Women would have asked for directions. It’s not hard to imagine that they would have used their collective resources to show up on time, quickly assess the situation, and provide valuable support.

Women’s History Month is an opportunity to study, observe, and celebrate the vital role of women in American history. It’s also a time to reflect on what leadership styles are more likely to result in predictive team success, and what styles are about as useful as myrrh was to Mary.

Sheri Nasim | President & CEO



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