Patrick Lencioni took the stage at the Vistage National Conference this morning, boldly stating…”I’m a Catholic, so I’ll start with a confession: Everything is simple—intelligence and complexity are overrated.”
Lencioni’s fundamental belief is that it’s time to embrace the power of simplicity. We can’t afford to not look at the hard things that are simple. Making the point that “cost is not the biggest issue in life—it’s trust and relationships that prevail in the ‘new normal,’ “ Lencioni went on to share the importance of being a vulnerable leader. It’s about being vulnerable enough to let your clients in so that they will be compelled to help you.
Today, every business is gravitating toward ‘Naked Service.’ As Lencioni shared, getting ‘naked’ entails overcoming three fears:
#1: Losing the business. When we overcome this fear, it’s amazing how much more business you will receive. To do this we need to always “consult instead of sell,” and “tell the kind truth,” or have the courage to tell people something they don’t want to hear.
#2: Being embarrassed. Our clients want us to be human with them. Don’t be afraid to ask dumb questions, and make stupid suggestions. Remember to celebrate your mistakes and that it’s OK to let them see you ‘sweat. ‘ People don’t expect perfection—they expect honesty.
#3: Feeling inferior. We should be a dignified ‘servant’ for our clients. Don’t be afraid to take a bullet for the client, and do some dirty work.
Doing all of these things and overcoming these three fears is not that complicated—but it’s hard, says Lencioni. We are fallible human beings. The risk is there, but the potential for reward is great! However, if you do get past these fears, you’ll experience levels of trust and loyalty that you never would have imagined. We have to be ready to incur the cost, and we need to get back to getting naked.
Writer Rachel Kowalski is blogging for the Vistage National Chief Executive Conference.