Posts Tagged ‘manager’

There is a story told in Patrick Lencioni’s book Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars that illustrates the power of a common purpose all can be passionate about.

The main character in the story, Jude, is a consultant charged with bringing unity to a divided workforce at a local hotel. The front desk staff is upset with the cleaning staff for not getting the rooms turned around quickly. The cleaning staff is upset at the front desk staff for not letting them know that rooms have been vacated in a timely manner. The restaurant staff is upset with the bell boys for rolling carts in front of restaurant windows, causing noise and an unpleasant view for restaurant patrons. The bell boys think the restaurant staff are overpaid and should get over it. Everyone is frustrated with everyone else. Everyone is self-seeking and hotel guests can feel the tension upon entering the front doors. Definitely not what you want when running a guest service business.

Jude is having trouble coming up with a solution to the division at the hotel when he experiences a life changing event at a local emergency room. Jude’s wife, Amy, is pregnant with twins and begins bleeding one night a few months before her due date. Jude calls an ambulance to rush his wife to treatment. Upon arrival, the EMT immediately begins assessing the situation. They call ahead and let the ER know what to expect. When they arrive at the ER, the security guard helps unload Amy and even holds some IV bags until an orderly can take over. Amy is wheeled into a room to await a doctor. The receptionist noticed that a tray containing examination tools had been knocked over during the process, so she rushes over to get them out of the way so they would not cause an accident. The two nurses treating Amy call out for someone to page Dr. Smith. A member of the janitorial staff who happens to be nearby quickly picks up the phone and calls for Dr. Smith. Dr. Smith arrives a few seconds later and is able to stabilize Amy and the twins with no permanent damage to either.

After the dust had settled and a few days had passed, Jude was able to reflect on his experience. The overwhelming conclusion was this: The sole focus of everyone involved with the event was to make Amy and the babies better. That was it! Job title didn’t matter, education level didn’t matter, and time on the job didn’t matter. What mattered was making the patients better. Everyone was willing to do whatever necessary that would achieve the one focus of making the patients well. A receptionist was doing the job of a janitor, a security guard was doing the job of an EMT, and a janitor was doing the job of a nurse. No one was acting selfishly, but performed whatever job that was required to achieve the common goal of making people better.

A common goal all can believe in and be passionate about changes the way people function in their jobs.

Jude had his solution for the hotel. If everyone at the hotel had the common purpose of ensuring that each guest had a memorable stay, selfishness would cease and unity would be created.

What is the purpose at your organization?

Are you willing to do whatever is necessary to achieve this common goal, even if it is “outside your job title?”


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