“Organizational health” and “page-turner” in the same sentence. Really.

When Patrick Lencioni was a boy, his father came home from work in the evenings and lamented all the dysfunction where he worked. Young Patrick listened. Really listened.

Interesting inspiration for Lencioni; decades later he is a best-selling author who The Wall Street Journal calls one of the most sought-after business speakers in America. He also is the founder of The Table Group, a consulting firm. And the currency behind all of his success is organizational health.

If you are not in management, you might think organizational health is as tasty as unsalted crackers. Not so, when Lencioni delivers a buffet of what he calls “leadership fables.” Lencioni creates fictional characters and tells how they prevail over organizational challenges. The most complex workplace issues inevitably are solved with a recipe of compassion, empathy and a lot of common sense.

The challenges that make up Lencioni’s settings are so common in the workplace that the stories will resonate with almost everyone. I read his Silos, Politics and Turf Wars on a flight from Dallas to Boston, cover to cover. I guess most of my fellow passengers thought I resembled a bobbing-head doll, because I was nodding in agreement in every chapter.

Management and business lessons often double as life lessons, because relationships are at the heart of every organization, including families, teams, and book discussion groups … you name it. In fact, I wrote a blog just a couple of years ago explaining how Lencioni’s Three Signs of a Miserable Job (which actually is a leadership fable about engaging employees in the organization’s mission) perfectly applied to Little League practice with a dozen 8- and 9-year-olds.

Take Lencioni for a test drive. Chances are, you will discover that the most daunting difficulties in your organization are surprisingly simple to navigate when the focus is on the outcome. The Denton Public Library includes six of Lencioni’s books in its collection. Find out how a successful, semi-retired entrepreneur found himself working in a small pizza joint among Colorado ski slopes … and turned the organization around. These are great stories, fun reads, and relevant:

Randy Simmans – North Branch Library

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