Can You Smell Your Own Stink?

Video: A Whirlwind Tour of EOS
June 14, 2017

I promise this article is only about business ‘hygiene’ – and the title of this post came from a quote I heard from Brad Pitt in an NPR interview about his new movie “War Machine”….

Are you aware of dysfunction in your own business? It’s there – I guarantee it. It’s just that the leadership team does not know about it – or a certain leader doesn’t know.

If you don’t know, you don’t “smell it”.

It’s like the smell your house has. You don’t notice it because you’ve become ‘nose blind’ to it. But your guests smell it. You smell it when you visit someone else’s house.

To know if there is a bad smell and be able to do something about it, you need open and honest feedback. Do your people speak openly and honestly? Most people avoid confrontation. If your team is not healthy, you are not going to get the information you need to effectively manage and grow your organization (to understand and solve problems).

You need: 1) good information and; 2) the people to give it to you – straight up.

Good Data
There are a few key numbers that can objectively tell you how your company is doing. Revenue and cash can certainly tell you how you’ve done in the recent past – but how about a few forward-looking numbers? Leads, proposals, and contracts in negotiation stage can forecast a bit into the future.

Watch the data on a weekly basis. Look for trends. Know when trouble is coming.

Healthy Team
To define the most common ailments of an unhealthy team, I like Patrick Lencioni’s book: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. In it, he outlines the 5 circumstances that lead to unhealthy teams:

  1. At the foundation is trust.  A lack of trust causes people to hide their weaknesses and mistakes.
  2. People who fear conflict, don’t speak open and honestly. They don’t address important issues and they avoid controversial issues that may be critical to team success.
  3. Without a clear vision for the company or defining priorities, teams can suffer from a lack of commitment.
  4. Teams that avoid accountability create resentment and encourage mediocrity.
  5. With each of these dysfunctions in place, teams tend to fail to focus on results.

With good data and a healthy team, you can keep your business clean and fresh.

Good data (in the form of a weekly scorecard) and healthy teams are two of the concepts at the foundation of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) – a system designed to help you get more of what you want from your business.

Next Steps:

  • Download your free chapter of Traction.
  • Contact Paul for a free, no-obligation overview of EOS