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Published by Do it Best Corp., 2018-11-28 14:21:00

Ownership Series Toolbox Workbook

18-leaders-Ownership Series toolbox-workbook-FINAL

Ownership Series

Own your perceptions, effectiveness,
and team's results

Session 1: Own your perceptions
Session 2: Own your leadership effectiveness
Session 3: Own your team's potential and results


Table of Contents Introduction

Preparation for Session 1 The Ownership Series is an in-depth exploration of
...............................3 leadership expectations at Do it Best. Beginning with
increased self-awareness, learning objectives build
Session 1 Learning Objectives toward ownership of your team’s results. Influenced by
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 the work of Dr. Brené Brown, Coach Mike Krzyzewski,
Simon Sinek, and others, each session presents an
Session 1 Application Exercise opportunity for growth and development. Group
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 exercises and application assignments are designed to
drive participation.
Preparation for Session 2
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Series Preview

Session 2 Learning Objectives Session 1: Own your perceptions
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Session 2: Own your leadership effectiveness
Session 3: Own your team’s results
Session 2 Application Exercise
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Preparation for Session 3
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Session 3 Learning Objectives
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Session 3 Application Exercise
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43


Session 1: Own your perceptions

Preparation for Session 1

• Read Courage over Comfort by Dr. Brené Brown on pages 3 - 7.
• Submit your definition of ownership through SurveyMonkey
• Complete and score the Thinking Styles self-assessment on pages 8 - 9.

Courage over Comfort: Rumbling with Shame, Accountability,
and Failure at Work

March 13, 2018

By Brené Brown

Adapted from Rising Strong

I think the people who wade into discomfort and vulnerability and tell the truth about their stories are
the real badasses in this world.

This is especially true of people who rumble with failure. These are people who choose courage over
comfort, accountability over blame, and are able to embed key learnings from failures into their lives.

For early interviews about the rising strong process, I was able to meet with Andrew — a senior leader
at a successful advertising agency and a total badass.

I recognized some of myself in his story, and I think you might, too.

Andrew is known around his office as a listener, a thinker, an expert in strategy, and the keeper of
culture. He’s the guy who doesn’t say much, but when he does, everyone listens. His point of view is
sought by colleagues throughout the successful advertising agency where he’s worked for twelve years,
especially when it comes to estimating costs and putting together bids for pitches. One colleague said,
“Andrew is the reason it all works. His word is gold and everyone trusts him.”

In most advertising agencies, teams respond to proposals from potential clients by creating pitches
that include their creative concepts and the estimated cost of executing them. This is notoriously
stressful work, with fierce competition among ad agencies for clients and frequent tension between a
company’s creative and business teams. The creatives strive to wow the clients, while the business team
has to make sure the project nets a profit. One of Andrew’s primary responsibilities is overseeing the
financial estimates and approving the final budget that accompanies every bid — basically, telling the
prospective client, “We can do it for this much money.”

Because Andrew has always framed the tension between art and money as necessary and valuable to
the process, he is highly respected and liked by both sides of the organization. A colleague from the

Preparation for Session 1 3

creative side said, “If Andrew tells me that we need to bring down expenses to make it work, I know he’s
thought about it, and I know he understands what he’s asking me to do. I do it.” One of Andrew’s direct
reports said, “I’m learning from him and I trust him 100 percent. He’s one of the most thorough people I
know. And he’s a straight shooter.”

The trust and influence that Andrew has earned over the years have also positioned him as the
unofficial watchdog of the company culture. He accepted that there would naturally be tension
between colleagues from time to time, but he had little tolerance for gossip, favoritism, and
back-channel negotiations. Even in heated arguments, which there were plenty of, he was always
up-front, respectful, and appreciative. This set the tone for the entire agency.

Everyone at Andrew’s agency was ecstatic when they were asked to pitch a huge ad campaign for
a well-known and influential brand. The proposal was especially exciting because the brand’s needs
intersected very well with the agency’s strengths. The creative team was grateful for the big-budget
opportunity to showcase their work and hoped to add the high-profile company to their individual
portfolios. The business team saw the tremendous revenue potential in this new strategic partnership.
Within hours, the atmosphere in the office was electric. People were calling home to let their families
know they’d be spending long hours in the office over the next two weeks. This pitch would require all
hands on deck.

Andrew wasn’t quite as excited as the rest of the team. Everyone was already stretched thin. They had
just the right number of projects in various places on the design and production timeline. Adding
another — especially one of this size — could tip the balance. He also had mixed feelings about the
client, who had a reputation in the industry for treating partners poorly. One of his good friends, a
colleague who worked in a related field, had once described the client as a bully. Andrew was mulling
over these concerns when Manuel, a senior member of the creative team, showed up in his office.

“We’ve got this,” Manuel said. “People are psyched about the project, and we can do it.” His enthusiasm
was contagious, and Andrew didn’t want his doubts to squelch the team’s passion, so he jumped in. “I
know. We can do this.” Andrew was generally measured in his responses, but he also liked a challenge
and wasn’t immune to the growing energy.

For the next couple of weeks, Andrew worked long hours with the team to develop their pitch for the
first round of selection. Managing internal relationships and building team cohesion during that period
felt like a full-time job. When people are stretched, their coping skills start to fray. A mere twenty-four
hours after Andrew spoke the words "We can do this", the account manager and the creative director
stood in front of him, having it out with each other.

Despite the fatigue and tough group dynamics, the entire agency came together to celebrate when
they found out they had made it to the second round of the selection process. The win felt like a balm
for the frazzled, emotionally and physically exhausted team.

But Andrew was still worried about the burden the heavy workload was placing on everyone, and he
continued to have some nagging concerns about the client’s reputation. Still, he was invested now, so
he pushed down his uneasiness and joined in the celebration.

4 Preparation for Session 1

The second round of the process required Andrew and the pitch team to fly to the Midwest for a face-
to-face meeting with the company’s branding team. In Andrew’s words, “This is where things went

“For almost an hour, I watched our team put heart and soul into explaining our ideas and concepts,” he
said. “Meanwhile, the entire branding team sat there typing away on their laptops, rarely, if ever, looking
up. We’re used to some degree of inattention during these meetings, but it was obvious that these side
conversations weren’t even related to our pitch.”

Two people on the branding team then asked questions that had been addressed in the presentation,
confirming that they had been too busy emailing or doing whatever it was on their laptops to even
pay attention. After a third member of the branding team made an inappropriate and disrespectful
comment to the presenter, Andrew told me, “I did nothing.”

He looked at me. “Within minutes of that meeting ending, I thought to myself, I am a screwup. I am
a failure. I let them down and they will no longer trust me. It was absolutely a facedown moment for
me. My team had worked sixty-plus hours a week for two months only to be completely dismissed by
a group of people I had known, in advance, had the capacity and propensity to do that. Why hadn’t I
done something to prevent this? How would they ever trust me again?”

Nobody talked much on the car ride to the airport or on the plane ride home. The team members were
deflated and angry, and absolutely exhausted. The long hours had taken a toll on their health and their
relationships both inside and outside of work. Andrew said, “The only thought in my head during the
entire trip back was, I’m a screwup. I didn’t protect my people. I didn’t do my job. I’m a screwup. I failed.
I’ve lost their trust. The tape was on a constant loop in my head.

“When I woke up the next morning, my first thought was, I’m a failure and a screwup. My second
thought was, I need to get out of this. I need to make this work. I need an easy fix. Who else is to blame?
Who else was responsible for this mess? Then it hit me. I’m hustling. Not only that, I’m underneath a
rock. I need to get out from underneath this rock first. I can’t make any good decisions from under here.
I thought of your work and realized, shit, I know this rock. It’s shame. I called a friend who is also familiar
with your work and told him the story. I told him that I couldn’t get past the voice saying I’m a screwup.
I couldn’t get past how much I had let everyone down, including myself. I couldn’t get past losing their

Andrew told me that making that call to his friend was incredibly difficult, but the rising strong talk was
still fresh in his mind, and he realized he was in it. He added wryly, “I was willing to give it a shot —
desperate times call for desperate measures.” His friend’s reply was, “I get it. And I think you might have
screwed up. But you make a hundred judgment calls every day. Do you think you’re going to make the
right call every time? Does making a bad call make you a failure?”

He went on to ask Andrew what he would say to someone who worked for him if she had made a
similar mistake. Andrew replied automatically, “That’s different. Making mistakes is a part of the process.”

After hearing himself say that, Andrew sighed. “No mistakes allowed,” he said to his friend. “This is my

perfectionism talking, isn’t it?”

Preparation for Session 1 5

“Maybe so,” his friend replied. “That’s probably why you called me. This is my stuff, too.”

Andrew described the feeling that came over him during that conversation as relief. “It was so helpful
to recognize that rock as shame and to make the choice to get out from underneath it. It doesn’t mean
that what’s ahead is going to be easy, but it does mean that I can stop hustling. I can start making
decisions that are in line with my values. At this point in my career, I need to know how to own my
mistakes and set things right.”

When Andrew got to work that day, he was greeted by a team that was still emotionally spent, but also
completely confused. Despite their reading of the pitch meeting as a disaster, it turned out that they,
along with one other agency, had made it to the final round. No one knew how to react. That’s when
Andrew called a meeting to decide their next move.

“I have to tell you,” he said, “when we decided to take on this project, I was so focused on proving that
we can do this that I forgot to ask the most important question: Should we do it? We were stretched to
the max before we started, and I knew this client was potentially a bad fit for us. It was my job to step
back and ask questions, and I didn’t. I screwed up. I made a mistake, and I apologize. I hope I can regain
your trust.”

The room was quiet until Manuel finally responded, “Thank you for saying that. I do trust you. What
happens next?”

Andrew told them that given the time everyone had put in, and the money and resources invested
by the agency, they needed to decide as a team if they should continue or not. His vote, he said, was
to walk away. Manuel seconded Andrew’s vote and looked toward Cynthia, the account manager. The
tension between Manuel and Cynthia was no secret, and everyone in the room knew that Cynthia could
probably tell you, to the penny, what the aggressive pitching process had cost the agency over the past
two months. Cynthia leaned forward in her chair and said, “I saw the way they treated Manuel yesterday.
I vote hell no.” The rest of the team agreed, and the vote was unanimous.

In addition to the financial consequences, Andrew knew that fallout was likely in the advertising
community. It’s highly unusual to get that far in a pitch process and pull out. But this was a risk that he,
the team, and the agency’s owners were willing to take. During the call to the client explaining their
decision, Andrew did not blame the decision on the poor behavior of the company’s branding team,
but instead took responsibility for not accurately assessing the fit and timing. Several months later, he
received a call from a leader in the company’s branding division asking about his team’s experience.
Andrew had the sense that the brand was trying to understand its growing reputation as a difficult
partner. This time he told her more directly what he thought about the culture clash and the behaviors
he found to be unprofessional.

Andrew and his colleagues told me that something changed the day they decided not to pursue
the pitch. Andrew attributed it to Manuel and Cynthia coming together to protect the team. His
colleagues agreed about the power of that moment, but they also said that Andrew’s willingness to
own his mistake and apologize shifted something in the spirit of the place. The one thing they could
say emphatically was that the levels of trust, respect, and pride within the team skyrocketed after that

6 Preparation for Session 1

experience. Andrew said, “We worked together. We fell together. We climbed up together. That changes

I love Andrew’s story because of what it teaches us about failure, shame, and accountability.

Here’s a person who didn’t have to own anything — a leader who could have shifted the blame to
his own team or to the brand’s disrespectful team. But instead, he had the courage to feel pain, to
recognize that he was feeling shame, to reach out and be vulnerable with a friend, to own his part, and
to stand in front of his team and be accountable.

The difference between I am a screwup and I screwed up may look small, but in fact it’s huge. Many of
us will spend our entire lives trying to slog through the shame swampland to get to a place where we
can give ourselves permission to both be imperfect and to believe we are enough.

Failure can become our most powerful path to learning if we’re willing to choose courage over comfort.

Preparation for Session 1 7

Thinking Styles Self-Assessment

Developed by Dr. Carol M. Archer and Dr. Stacey Nickson
1. Read each set of words and mark the two within each set that best describe you.

1. a. imaginative 7. a. competitive 13. a. challenging
b. investigative b. perfectionist b. practicing
c. realistic c. cooperative c. caring
d. analytical d. logical d. examining

2. a. organized 8. a. intellectual 14. a. completing work
b. adaptable b. sensitive b. seeing possibilities
c. critical c. hardworking c. gaining ideas
d. inquisitive d. risk-taking d. interpreting

3. a. debating 9. a. reader 15. a. doing
b. getting to the point b. people person b. feeling
c. creating c. problem solver c. thinking
d. relating d. planner d. experimenting

4. a. personal 10. a. memorize
b. practical b. associate
c. academic c. think-through
d. adventurous d. originate

5. a. precise 11. a. changer
b. flexible b. judger
c. systematic c. spontaneous
d. inventive d. wants direction

6. a. sharing 12. a. communicating
b. orderly b. discovering
c. sensible c. cautious
d. independent d. reasoning

8 Preparation for Session 1

2. After completing the test on page 8:

In the columns on below, circle the letters of the words you chose for each number.
Add your totals for columns I, II, III, and IV. Multiply the total of each column by 4.
The box with the highest number describes how you most often process information.

1. C D A B
2. A C B D
3. B A D C
4. B C A D
5. A C B D
6. B C A D
7. B D C A
8. C A B D
9. D A B C
10. A C B D
11. D B C A
12. C D A B
13. B D C A
14. A C D B
15. A C B D

I x4= Concrete Sequential (CS)
x4= Abstract Sequential (AS)
II x4= Abstract Random (AR)
III x4= Concrete Random (CR)

My dominant thinking style (the way I generally process information) is:
(the box with the highest number)

Preparation for Session 1 9

Learning Objectives

• Recognize and disrupt dangerous thought patterns
• Replace blame with accountability
• Experiment with the hypothesis of generosity
• Get better at handling apologies

Ownership Defined

"Ownership isn’t assigned or given. Ownership is taken."


Ownership Realized


10 Session 1

Your Thinking Style Abstract
Sequential (AR)

(CS) Concrete



Benefits of Self-Assessment

Self awareness

Targeted Strengths

development identified

Session 1 11

Digging Deeper

Concrete Sequential (CS)
+ Exceptional task masters
- Uncomfortable with lack of structure
Abstract Sequential (AS)
+ Process abstract thought into action, organized
- Struggle accepting others’ ideas
Abstract Random (AR)
+ Value relationships as much as the results
- Perceive constructive criticism as personal judgment
Concrete Random (CR)
+ Intuitive problem-solvers, hands-on risk-takers
- Easily frustrated by repetition

Make the connection Session 1

Your thinking style influences the way you ACT:
• InterACT
• SatisfACTion you derive from leadership


Group Exercise #1: Recognize dangerous thought patterns

Ownership begins with recognition of dangerous thought patterns.
You’ll work together to identify negative, unproductive thoughts
harmful to a leader’s professional development and reputation.


Step 1 As a group, use the space provided below to list

dangerous thought patterns experienced by leaders.

Use the examples to get you started.


Judgmental thinking: Condemning others for their shortcomings
and being unable to forgive.

Assumptive thinking: Jumping to conclusions without looking at situations from several angles
and talking to a number of people for perspective.

Step 2 Work together to answer the following questions.

1. Of the dangerous thought patterns you identified together, which has the most
potential to derail a servant leader?

2. How can you tell when you are stuck in a negative or unproductive thought pattern?

3. What do you do to get yourself (or someone else) “unstuck”?

Session 1 13

Observations and Vulnerabilities

An invitation to connect

Nervousness vs. Excitement

While everyone is susceptible to nervousness, sequential thinkers are typically more
vulnerable to this dangerous thought pattern. New projects lacking a linear timeline can
move both concrete and abstract sequential thinkers out of their comfort zones. Connect with
random thinkers when faced with this particular form of discomfort. They will help you find the
excitement present in the unknown.

Us vs. Them

Random thinkers can accidentally fall victim to "you’re either with us or against us"
mentalities. This vulnerability, when left unchecked, can damage leadership credibility.
Leaders that fall into a pattern of us vs. them thinking can quickly become exhausted. If you find
yourself here, reach out to sequential thinkers that can help you refocus on shared goals and
upcoming tasks. Getting into your left brain will lead to healthier, more productive thinking.

14 Session 1

Blame vs. Accountability

Key takeaways from Dr. Brené Brown’s message on blame:

Blame is often cleverly disguised as accountability. All leaders, regardless of dominant
thinking style, should be wary of the damage caused by blame. Blame destroys trust and
collaboration. Recognizing and disrupting this particular dangerous thought pattern is important
to every servant leader’s development. Connection, once again, is the best way to avoid blame.
Ask others to point out when you’ve accidentally blamed others. Observe peers and leaders
practicing accountability when it would be easier to choose blame.

Make the connection

Servant leaders let their first responses be caring responses. Accountability springs from
a genuine care and concern for those you’re called to lead. Blame, on the other hand, is
rooted in self-preservation and self-interest.

Session 1 15

Group Exercise #2: Cross-divisional blame

For this exercise, imagine your group is comprised of leaders
representing multiple operating divisions. Together, you’re leading a
cross-divisional team responsible for an important company initiative.
Your last team meeting signaled that the team is heading down a
dysfunctional path. Excitement has turned into nervousness. Key
members of the team are unsure of their ability to execute on-time,
which is feeding doubt experienced by others uncomfortable with the
unknown. Potentially worse, you feel disconnected from each other as
a leadership team. This disconnection has, on occasion, contributed to
finger-pointing (blame). Conversations are happening without certain leadership team members.
It’s clear that perceptions are shaping reality, and now’s the time to get things back on track.
Budget 15 minutes for this exercise.


Step 1 Outline a plan to disrupt the negative thoughts shared by your leadership team.

Step 2 Decide how you’ll work together to help the team work through their nervousness.

How can you reignite their excitement?

16 Session 1

Blame Antidote #1: Hypothesis of Generosity

Blame Antidote #2: Handle Apologies Better 17

Better apologies:

1. Take responsibility
2. Express regret
3. Ask forgiveness and promise you’ll try to
prevent it from happening again

Make the connection

Do you receive apologies? Here’s a helpful checklist:
 Be gracious
 Thank the person (out loud) for apologizing
 Say “I understand” or “I hear you”
 Accept the apology

Session 1

Group Exercise #3: Brainstorming Solutions

We’ve shared a couple of antidotes for blame: the hypothesis of
generosity and handling apologies well.

Step 1 Use the space provided below to list additional antidotes
and how they cure blame (or promote accountability).

Step 2: Choose a spokesperson to share your team’s ideas with the
larger group.

Antidote Explain how it cures blame

Antidote Explain how it cures blame

Antidote Explain how it cures blame

Antidote Explain how it cures blame

Antidote Explain how it cures blame

Antidote Explain how it cures blame

Application Exercise

Perception Action Plan

Take a moment to reflect on this session’s learning objectives. Consider your personal
leadership development, including your strengths and weaknesses and complete the
following steps.

Step 1 Select one of the following areas of opportunity:

I allow excitement to degrade into nervousness

I’ve fallen into an “us vs. them” mentality

I’m a serial blamer

I default to judgmental thinking

I default to assumptive thinking

I default to thinking (identified during group exercise #1)

18 Session 1

Step 2 Based on your selection, link your opportunity to one of the following
targeted development methods:

Connect with someone I trust that doesn’t think exactly like me

Better recognize and disrupt dangerous thought patterns

Practice the hypothesis of generosity

Handle apologies better (giving and receiving)

Use the following blame antidote identified during the session:

Step 3 Record the actions you plan to take in the next 30 days:

Action step #1:

Action step #2:

Action step #3: 19

Session 1

Session 2: Own Your Effectiveness

Preparation for Session 2

• Listen to Leadership University podcast Episode #16: Stop Wasting Your Time and Take
Back Control featuring Dr. Henry Cloud

Record your key takeaways:




• Read Take Ownership of Your Actions by Taking Responsibility by John Coleman
(pages 20 - 21 of this workbook)

• Be prepared to share progress made on your Perception Action Plan

Take Ownership of Your Actions by Taking Responsibility

By John Coleman

Are you stalled in a project at work, waiting on someone else to take initiative to get things moving?
Are you in a broken professional relationship — with a manager, coworker, or employee — hoping the
other person assumes blame and fixes the issue? Are you looking for an easy way to get focused or
improve your productivity — a silver bullet from an unexpected source?

One of the most common momentum killers I’ve seen in my professional life is our propensity to wait
for someone else to act, take initiative, assume blame, or take charge. But very often, no help comes.

One year ago, I heard Tal Ben-Shahar speak about this concept; he learned it from Nathaniel Branden,
the father of the self-esteem movement. According to Ben-Shaher, Branden believed that taking
responsibility was the first step to developing a healthy sense of self and that we internalize the idea of
taking responsibility when we realize, “no one is coming.”

It’s a liberating concept. Help is not coming. The responsibility is yours, and it starts with developing a
belief or habit of mind that you, as an individual, are accountable for the quality and timeliness of an
outcome, even when you’re working with others. It doesn’t always mean you have authority over a
project. Nor does it mean that you shouldn’t involve others. But it does mean you own the obligation to
take action and deliver results.

This may be particularly important for young leaders, often characterized as a coddled generation.
Millennials are history’s most educated generation and often come from smaller families where
helicopter parents watched over them carefully. Many managers perceive them as needing guidance,
structure, and constant feedback. And in a world of political and financial bailouts, they (and other

20 Preparation for Session 2

generations) may begin to see personal, professional, and social problems as issues for others to solve.

But leaders of all ages could afford to act as if help is not coming more often. And doing so may start
with three simple points of understanding.

First, by recognizing the difference between fault and responsibility, we can eschew the blame
game and take ownership of difficult problems. Very early in my first year of business school, we
were discussing whether an executive in a case study was to blame for a problem in his company
and whether fixing it was his responsibility. Many of us were conflating the two terms: fault and
responsibility. A classmate, Curt, pointed out, “There’s a big difference between fault and responsibility.
A leader may be responsible for a situation even if it’s not his fault. The blame doesn’t matter.”

Often, we have to deal with situations for which we’re not at fault. But fault is backward-looking, and
responsibility is forward-looking. Fixating on blame delays taking corrective action and inhibits learning.
Focusing on responsibility offers a sense of peace.

Honda CEO Takanobu Ito may be demonstrating that concept in real time with his recent actions
after the release of the new Honda Civic quickly fell short of expectations. Sales dropped 15%. Ito took
decisive action, publicly assuming full responsibility for the model’s reception. The origination of the
failed concept — his or not — did not matter. All that mattered was claiming ownership of the issue
and charting a path forward. Honda quickly followed up by announcing a new release for 2013, a year
ahead of the original plan. In the words of executive vice president John Mendel, “…the comments of
Consumer Reports and our customers have not gone unnoticed. We are appropriately energized.”

Second, as the above example alludes, this ownership can free us to drive results. In the environments
in which I’ve worked, the most productive people and those most likely to succeed were those who
were proactive about finding and solving problems, and comfortable acting with increasing autonomy
and decreased oversight. Abraham Lincoln is credited with saying, “Things may come to those who
wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” All of us can think of many times when the leaders
we admired declined to wait for help and instead pioneered solutions. It’s only when we, as individuals,
take full responsibility for a problem that we focus our full attention on it and feel the pressure we need
to drive results.

Finally, by owning a problem and taking action, we can help others. A few months ago, I started picking
up a new snack bar at my local Starbucks, produced by the unusually named Two Moms in the Raw.
The story of its founder, Shari Leidich is a great example of this concept. In 2004, Leidich, was diagnosed
with multiple sclerosis. According to, shortly after starting treatment, an herbalist
advised her to start a raw food diet, but when she did, she found that most of the products were
unappetizing. So she made her own. Soon friends and family were requesting so many of her products
that she could no longer give them away. By 2006, she was making products for sale, and in 2010, Two
Moms in the Raw had revenues of more than $1 million. Leidich saw that there was not a good solution
for someone cooking for a healthy, appetizing, raw food snack, so she took responsibility for making
one, and in the process, created something that may help thousands of others in the process.

In a world where problems are getting more complex, determined and innovative problem-solving will
flow from those who live as if help is not coming. Living with responsibility can make us stronger and
more action-oriented individuals. It’s up to you to make change and take responsibility for outcomes in
your professional life. What are you waiting for?

Preparation for Session 2 21

Learning Objectives

• Identify productivity thieves
• Develop a growth mindset
• Practice radical candor
• Set goals to improve your leadership effectiveness

Leadership Effectiveness

Contrasting efficiency with effectiveness


Doing things right Doing the right things

Effective communication

Radical Candor

Inviting Feedback

Emotional Intelligence

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that
which should not be done at all.”

- Peter Drucker

22 Session 2

Two Dimensions of Leadership Effectiveness

• Doing the RIGHT things
• Excellent communication

Identify Your Productivity Thieves
Credit: Juliet Funt, Whitespace

Drive ------------------------------------------------ Hyper drive
Excellence ------------------------------------------- Perfection
Information ----------------------------------------- Information Overload
Activity ---------------------------------------------- Frenzy

“The purpose of criticism is to help others improve. The
purpose of praise is to help others know what to keep
doing more of.”

- Kim Scott

Session 2 23

Which productivity thief robs you?

Check the description that is most like you.

Drive: I enjoy what I do so much that I
sometimes can’t unplug. My family and
friends tell me that I struggle to be present
during meaningful moments. I don’t take
time to celebrate achievements before I
look to “what’s next.”

Excellence: I strive to be the best. I am
detail-oriented. I sometimes struggle
to complete a project because I can
always find ways to make it better
before it’s delivered. I shrink when
I don’t receive a perfect score or
an exceeds expectations
performance review.

Information: I love data. Information informs my decisions. Some of my teammates tell
me that I have “analysis paralysis.” Others tell me that I ignore others’ feelings in favor
of information.

Activity: Lists? Yes please! I love making and checking off lists. I’m the first one to create
“action items” following a meeting. Some days, I’ve accomplished a lot but still have the
biting feeling I didn’t get much done.

Defeat the Thieves Session 2
• Drive: Is there anything I can let go of?
• Excellence: Where is “good enough”, good enough?
• Information: What do I truly need to know?
• Activity: What deserves my attention?


Group Exercise #1: Felt Costs of Busyness


Step 1: Work individually to answer the following questions. Be candid
about the costs of busyness to your personal and professional life.

What felt costs has busyness had on your Example: I’ve missed moments with my
personal life? family because I’ve been distracted by
non-urgent tasks.

What felt costs has busyness had on your Example: Members of my team appear
team at work? hesitant to ask me for help.

Step 2 Work in small groups of 2-3 to discuss the price you’ve paid
individually as a result of your busyness. It is helpful to focus
forward during this part of the exercise. Use the following
questions to guide your discussion.

What default excuses prevent you from Example: I’m afraid if I delegate certain tasks
owning your effectiveness? the final work product won’t be as good as it
would be if I did it myself.

What methods or tools can be used to ensure Example: Identify what’s urgent vs. what’s

you’re prioritizing the right things? important.

Session 2 25

Radical Candor





26 Session 2

Digging Deeper

Care Personally




4 Using a scale of 1-10, rate your ability to care personally about your team.


Challenge Directly

Using a scale of 1-10, rate your ability to challenge your team directly.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Challenge directly

Session 2 27


When I struggle to be radically candid, I tend to default to:
Ruinous empathy – I care a lot about hurting someone’s feelings (focused on short-term

impact), but that fear prevents me from challenging them directly.

Manipulative insincerity – I get to the point where I don’t care that much about their
feelings, and I lose the gumption to bring face-to-face issues harmful to another
person’s reputation.

Obnoxious aggression – I am incredibly direct about what needs to change, but that
directness is not presented in a caring way.

Team assessment

How radically candid is your team? Use the radical candor axis to evaluate your team.
Fill in the point to plot your team’s current performance.
Go with your gut – don’t deliberate too long.



 My team cares about  My team demonstrates
one another, but they lack care as they regularly
the requisite courage to challenge one another
be direct. directly.

 The team appears to be AGRRESSION
getting along, but it’s a false
harmony. Conversations are had  My team challenges one
without certain teammates. It another directly, but care and
feels political. concern is missing.

28 Session 2

Emotionally Intelligent Communication

Five Elements of Emotionally Intelligent Communication

What’s What’s
Said Not Said


Tone of Word
Voice Choice

10 Factors that Impact Emotionally Intelligent Communication 29


Session 2

Make the connection

Servant leaders are empathetic and aware. According to internationally known
psychologist Daniel Goleman, there are 5 Emotional Intelligence skills: self-awareness,
self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill. Practicing emotionally intelligent
communication will help you grow in your servant leadership and overall effectiveness.

Often succeed I am… Check One
Element Clear
What’s Said Concise
What’s Not Said Intentional
Word Choice Varied in my delivery
Tone of Voice Appropriately expressive
Body Language

Often fail I am… Check One
Element Unclear
What’s Said Too wordy
What’s Not Said Unaware of recipient’s interpretation of the words I choose
Word Choice Flat or monotone
Tone of Voice Too animated or lacking expression
Body Language
Session 2

Group Exercise #2: Take Back Control
(and Stop Wasting Your Time)

Share your three key takeaways (recorded on page 20) from the
Leadership University podcast with the group.

What ideas were shared by the hosts that will help you defeat the productivity thieves?

When you’re not radically candid, how does your default (ruinous empathy, manipulative
insincerity, or obnoxious aggression) prevent you from taking control? How much time and
energy are wasted when you choose an approach other than radical candor?

How does emotionally intelligent communication contribute to leadership effectiveness?

Session 2 31

Application Exercise

Effectiveness Action Plan

Take a moment to reflect on this session’s learning objectives. Consider your personal
leadership development, including your strengths and weaknesses and complete the
following steps.

Step 1 Select one of the following areas of opportunity:

(productivity thief) regularly steals my time

Practice radical candor

Regularly missing one of the 5 elements of emotionally intelligent


Step 2 Based on your selection, link your opportunity to one of the following targeted
development methods:

Defeat the productivity thief (ask the right questions)

Choose radical candor over my default

Use all 5 elements of emotionally intelligent communication

Take back control:

(record one of the ideas your team identified in Group Exercise #2)

Step 3 Record the actions you plan to take in the next 30 days:
Action step #1:

Action step #2:

Action step #3:

32 Session 2

Session 3: Own your team's potential and results

Preparation for Session 3

• Watch Coach K’s On Standards
• Read 3 Lessons Coach K Can Teach You About Building Your Team
(pages 33 - 35 of this workbook)

3 Lessons Coach K Can Teach You About Building Your Team

From Duke's basketball icon: Here's how to create a culture of cohesion and collaboration.
Chrissie Gorman
Guest Writer, CEO of PowerForward

January 12, 2017

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As a Duke University grad, I have long admired Coach K (head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski) for his
success on the court and the inevitable school pride that comes with cheering for the Blue Devils.

However, the last two years of developing the leadership-development program, PowerForward, with
Coach K has taken my admiration one step further: Over and over I've seen Krzyzewski demonstrate an
incredible ability to understand team dynamics far beyond the basketball court. And in this way, he's
essentially presented critical lessons for building a startup.

How does he get those lessons across? Well, there are his words, for a start.

In our regular meetings, I find myself feverishly jotting down notes as he talks about his teams - both
Duke and USA Basketball - and how he’s approached different situations as a coach. The beauty of his
approach is that it’s simple and applicable to a broad range of "teams" (business as well as sports) at
various stages of the entrepreneurial journey. Here are three of the major lessons I’ve learned.

A true leader moves beyond "my idea" to “our idea.”

One of the words Coach K uses commonly with his teams is “ownership.” Recently, he shared an
example of how he created this atmosphere with the USA Basketball team. In bringing the team
together over a relatively short period of time (several weeks), Coach and his staff filmed the players
talking about various topics such as what it means to play for their country.

Then, before the August 2016 game against Argentina (which we won 105-78), Coach K dismissed the
notion of giving a speech himself and instead played a video montage of the players themselves talking
about winning the gold medal and their commitment to the team.

Preparation for Session 3 33

In doing this with your team, you enable its members to own the problem, solution, cause - whatever
you need them to be singularly focused on. And, if your team members are not performing to the
standards you want, you can refer to what they previously said they would do, not what you told them
to do.

It’s a powerful way to get buy-in and build team trust and connection, to move toward a
collective goal.

You can’t assume culture.

At the core of culture there often lies a strong emotional connection to the cause. However, you can’t
assume that that connection exists. Instead, you need to build it and continue to renew it. Coach K
likens this to “renewing your vows.”

In the Olympics, the USA Basketball team faced a one-and-done elimination format, something these
NBA players weren't used to. So. instead of assuming that they understood how to play in that setting,
Coach K likened the challenge to something they were more familiar with: Game 7 in a series.

The players understood the emotion that surrounds a Game 7 and were able to translate that
understanding into a must-win, gold medal culture.

Teams sometimes set principles or standards with catchy phrases or stylized wall posts. While those are
good reminders, they are not enough for your team to build that emotional connection to the culture
that's needed.

Instead, think about the various perspectives your team members bring to the table - how does your
engineering team relate differently to your mission than your marketing team? And what common
ground can you find to create that emotional connection? The best way to accomplish this is through
regular team discussions to renew the culture. Culture is not a static thing - it needs to be nurtured to
grow with your business.

When faced with a setback, look beyond the point of impact.

After unexpectedly losing in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament,
Coach K could do one of two things: focus on shoring up gaps on the team or review his entire
program. Ultimately, he chose to review his entire program - from trainers to assistants to the players

He realized that the cause for the loss was a lack of alignment across his organization. He saw that he
had incredible support across that organization, but it was all disconnected - his various staff members
had become too siloed. As a result, there was not a uniform set of standards across the organization,
which led to breakdowns in the process.

By bringing his staff and coaches together, Coach K helped them set clear organizational standards,
which each person then felt responsible for upholding. When the team ultimately competed for the
national championship the following season, the entire organization was able to share in the process
and eventual victory.

34 Preparation for Session 3

Looking at your entire organization might seem like an extreme reaction on the surface, but it’s
important to examine the big picture rather than focus on the minute details of the failure.
When you face a defeat or setback, make sure to contextualize it and think about all the factors that
went into that situation, not just rehash the situation itself. That's what Coach K would do; you
should, too.

Learning Objectives

• Practice ownership of your team’s performance and potential
• Enable your teams to get “gritty”
• Inspire shared ownership of team results
• Implement one proactive performance management strategy

“Implementing extreme ownership requires checking 35
your ego and operating with a high degree of humility.
Admitting mistakes, taking ownership, and developing
a plan to overcome challenges are integral to any
successful team.”

- Jocko Willink

Session 3

Accountability Session 3

A Leader's Role in Shared Accountability

Record your key takeaways from Sinek’s message:
Key takeaway 1:

Key takeaway 2:

Key takeaway 3:


Pulled from the Headlines
Record your answers to the following questions as the CEO of Starbucks,
Kevin Johnson apologizes.
What key phrases from his apology stood out to you?

What didn’t Kevin Johnson say?

A Tale of Two Jobs

Session 3 37

Make the connection "Connect the dots
between individual roles
INDIVIDUAL ORGANIZATION and the goals of the
ROLES GOALS organization. When people
see that connection, they
get a lot of energy out
of work. They feel the
importance, dignity, and
meaning in their job."

Ken Blanchard and
Scott Blanchard

Team Standards

“I get a group of people who are talented to commit to
excellence and to work together as one. That’s where it starts.
Different talents, same commitment.”

- Coach Mike Krzyzewski

Group Exercise #1
Your group is about to receive a description and background of a team. Imagine you all are a
part of this team and are working together to overcome team dysfunction.

Step 1 Read the team background and description.

Step 2 Work together to establish team standards.

Team Standards:

38 Session 3

Step 3: Identify the most important standard (record it below):
Step 4 Draft a real world example of this standard in action:

Help Your Team Get Gritty

“Any team can be great once. But to become a dynasty, you need to focus on being
built for legacy.”

- Pete Smith, President, SmithImpact, who is speaking on
“Built for Legacy: Three Keys to Leading Productive Teams That Matter”

1. Set realistic goals

2. Stay flexible and develop alternative routes

3. Affirm agency and believe in your shared ability to…

1. 39

Session 3

Group Exercise #2
Your group is about to receive a description of a challenge you’re facing together.
Step 1 Read the team’s challenge.
Step 2 Work together to...

1. Set realistic goals:

2. Develop a workable “plan b” or alternative route:

Session 3
3. Brainstorm approaches to affirm the team’s agency:


Proactive Performance Management

According to 2015 data from Gallup, only 32 percent of employees in the U.S. are
engaged. Their data, which was largely unchanged from 2014 and previous years, shows
that 51 percent of employees are unengaged, and 17 percent are actively disengaged.

– Sonia Thompson, Inc. Magazine.

Proactive Performance Management Reactive Performance Management

Make the connection

Proactive performance management requires radical candor. Rather than waiting to react
to performance issues, team members receive regular and timely feedback about their
performance. Kim Scott offers the following guidance matrix for managers looking to
develop a more proactive approach to performance management.

Session 3 41


Give (offer

Get (request

Praise (recognize

Here’s an example of how the matrix is used to track guidance for a high performing
team member:

Guidance Pat Smith

Give (offer Distracted or "checked out" during team meetings.
feedback) What can I do to better serve you? or How can I help?

Get (request

Praise (recognize Balancing lots of projects.

42 Session 3

Group Exercise #3 Brainstorming Solutions

Work together to brainstorm as many proactive performance
management strategies as the allotted time allows. Select a
spokesperson to share your ideas with the larger group. A few
examples have been provided to get you started.

Example 1: Use guidance matrix to proactively manage
team performance.

Example 2: Incorporate regular recognition into team meetings
(like the IT division’s “Caught Doing Something Right").

Application Exercise
Select one proactive performance strategy you’d like to implement within the next 30 days:

Session 3 43


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