6 Critical Questions Your Organization Must Answer

In his book “The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business” Patrick Lencioni states that there are 6 critical questions every leadership team must be able to answer.   The 6 questions are:

  1. Why do we exist?
  2. How do we behave?
  3. What do we do?
  4. How will we succeed?
  5. What is most important, right now?
  6. Who must do what?

As an Executive Leadership and Business Coach, I have the pleasure of learning from great leaders on a day-to-day basis. Lencioni was able to identify 6 critical questions that many business and organizational leaders SHOULD know but often fail at answering. Lencioni’s 6 questions are very similar to how we walk leaders, entrepreneurs, and business owners through organizational clarity.

  1. Why Do We Exist? What is Our Purpose? 

A purpose statement or mission statement has to be more than just words. The existence of your business, organization, church, etc. has to unpack the fundamental question of “Why”. Believe it or not, churches struggle with this the most. I often hear, “we are here to worship God or bring Him glory.” That is true, but how is your local expression of church unique? For example, my local church is in the inner-city of east Austin, Texas and we serve a multi-ethnic and diverse community which was historically poor and segregated. Our purpose statement is “To be a gospel-centered, multi-ethnic, intergenerational family of believers who worship, belong, serve, and make disciples for the good of our community and the glory of God.” You cannot inspire people to work with you or for you if you cannot communicate your purpose. Be honest about your purpose because it will set the tone for the rest of your business.


  1. How Do We Behave? What Do We Value?

Lencioni breaks down 4 types of values:

  • Core Values” are the core convictions in our organization we are willing to suffer for! We need to pick two to three core values that are specific to our convictions.
  • Aspirational Values” are behaviors the organization wishes it could have, but presently does not consistently exhibit. These values will give us a target to improve our behavior.
  • Permission-to-Play” values are the lowest common denominator behaviors that are required by the organization. Often such generic qualities as honesty or hard work most appropriately fall in this category.
  • Accidental Values” become ingrained into an organization by accident and do not necessarily help achieve the mission and goals of the entity. For example, after a few years, leaders may wake up one morning and realize everyone looks the same, graduated from a small set of similar colleges, or dresses the same.


  1. What Do We Do?

While a strong mission statement answers the “why” question, but now we must ask the “what” question. When all the activities of the organization are boiled down, what is the essence of what it is that we do? This question should also be applied by departments so they know how their work contributes to the larger picture. For example, at Rector Professional Coaching we offer various kinds of coaching and consulting services. Every service we offer is simply a problem-solving service! You hire a Life Coach, Business Consultant, or Leadership Coach to help solve a problem. Our success is completely based on serving you, and helping you clarify a vision of success, develop a strategy, and execute your goals faster.


  1. How Will You Succeed?

What is your strategy to succeed? What are some intentional steps or things you will do to make your business or organization unique? How will stand apart from competitors or similar organizations? We lean to heavily on our experience and knowledge to create a successful strategy. There are various ways this strategy needs to be applied: Marketing, operations, recruitment, etc. At Rector Professional Coaching, we implemented the Four Disciplines of Execution (4DX). We identified two wildly important goals to devote time and energy, apply extra leverage on lead measures, and watch the lag measures move forward. This all comes together with a cadence of accountability. Our coaches meet weekly to make commitments on how we can influence and predict the lead measures.


  1. What is Most Important Right Now?

If everything is important, then nothing is. In the 4DX process, we listed two wildly important goals (WIGs) that take place outside of our daily activity (the whirlwind). We try to spend 80% of our time and energy on the whirlwind, and 20% of our time on the WIGs. What is most urgent or important in your organization right now that you can influence and predict? We often focus time and energy on lag measures such as our bottom-line. But by the time we get our spreadsheets the data is in the past. The lead measures are things we can influence and predict in real time. What are some things you can apply extra time and energy to grow your success?


  1. Who Must Do What?

In my work experience in businesses, churches, and non-profits, all have the problem of operational clarity. In other words, every type of organization struggles with this at one time or another. Operational clarity is when everyone is clear on their job description, how their job benefits the whole organization, and how they interact with other departments. As professional coaches and consultants, we are often hired to come in and work through operational health and clarity. We try to help coach leaders to simplify operations, positional clarity, and executing goals.


Rector Professional Coaching

We are committed to equip, empower, and encourage you to reach your fullest potential. Our coaches are committed to walking with you and your team through these six critical questions. Please do not down play organizational health. It will limit your impact, stunt your growth, and could even kill your organization. We specialize working with non-profits and churches answering these six questions. We offer workshops, group coaching, and one-on-one coaching to help meet your needs. Contact us today for a free session.


Next Steps: Schedule a free call with one of our coaches! Book Now

5 Levels of a Leadership Pipeline

Leadership is the influence and ability to mobilize and inspire people towards a common or greater purpose. A leadership pipeline is a helpful tool to asess and gauge where you are in your leadership. The leadership pipeline is great for senior leaders to develop and grow leaders within your organization.

You have influence over yourself at the very minimum, and you hold more influence than you anticipate. Think about your friends. If a random stranger suggests you try a new restaurant, you might go or might not. If your best friend recommends a new restaurant, there is a far greater chance of you eating at that restaurant. Why is this so? This is because your best friend has more influence in your life!

There is a degree of trust that you have, and you are willing to follow their advice. We all hold more influence than we realize, and great leaders know how to use their influence for themselves, others, teams of people, other leaders, and even organizations.

Here is how we define leadership per each level of leader:

Leading-self: The influence and ability to mobilize and inspire yourself towards a common or greater purpose.

  • Think about it, we have really good ideas and thoughts all of the time, but how many times do we put these into action? Having the information and the knowledge to lead does not make us good leaders. Being able to lead yourself is the first level of leadership.
  • Leading-self is applied to every area of your life, but a simple question to ask is, “Would I want to follow me? Am I the example I want others to follow?

Leading Others: The influence and ability to mobilize and inspire others towards a common or greater purpose.

  • The second level of leadership is leading others. No matter your title or position, you are demonstrating the capability to lead others towards a common or greater purpose.This is the most common degree of leadership. You are leading yourself and others informally.

Leading Teams: The influence and ability to mobilize and inspire teams of people towards a common or greater purpose.

  • You are now in more of a formal leadership position or stage capable of leading teams of people towards a common or greater purpose. This is not limited towards your career.
  • This level usually tests and demonstrates your skills to delegate, practice team-building, conflict resolution, and move-away from the “doer” stage.

Leading Leaders: The influence and ability to mobilize, inspire, and multiply leaders towards a common or greater purpose.

  • There is an additional stage moving beyond leading teams and when you start to lead leaders. You become influencers of influence. This is a highly productive leadership state where you begin to see the leaders below you lead teams and others to a common or greater purpose.
  • The law of multiplication applies to leaders of leaders. Your leadership produces inspiration, motivation, and empowerment for others to take ownership of their individual leadership roles.

Leading Organizations: The influence and ability to mobilize, inspire, and multiply organizations towards a common or greater purpose.

  • One of (if no the) highest levels of leadership is to purposefully lead an organization to a greater purpose. There are multiple levels of organizational leadership, but for this course we will end with this level as the highest.
  • The reason organizational leadership is the highest is because at the senior level of leadership, you are leading all of the above.

The multiple levels of leadership matter because for a foundational leader, you have to have a real and honest assessment of yourself and your leadership skills. This is important to understand so you can grow deeper and wider in your leadership. A foundational leader must have his or her bearings of where they are at so they can move forward.

At Rector Professional Coaching, we offer custom coaching and consulting packages to equip, empower, and encourage leaders to grow faster than before! Book a FREE session today for a consultation with one of our coaches!

8 Ways to Build Self-Confidence in Leadership

I was eighteen years old the first time I was put into a formal leadership position as the Assistant Manager of a tuxedo store. I was young, ambitious, and excited to move up at a young age. I have always felt, and been told, I had natural leadership abilities, but this was the first time I had a formal leadership role in the workplace. I had some confidence in my character and ambition, but I started to wonder how I could grow my confidence with no experience. I was lucky to have great leaders over me who coached and developed me along the way.

Over the years, I have had the pleasure working with amazing leaders in various settings. No matter how old or young, new or experienced, I noticed there are so many great leaders who struggle with self-confidence. We all go through seasons of strong and weak performance, but our self-confidence (not cockiness) should be one of the foundational traits we have. Listed below are some of the common ways to build and grow your sense of self-confidence.


  1. Know Your Identity.

What do I mean by identity? Our identity is the core belief and center that shapes how we view and interact with the world. Our identity not only shapes our perspectives and ideals, but it drives the type of person we desire to become. Our identity is more than mere reputation, title, and/or status; it is the essence of who we are.

In terms of building self-confidence in leadership, knowing and understanding our identity shapes the way we think, act, and respond towards others. For me, my identity is formed in my faith. I am a Christian. My identity is formed and shaped in the person and work of Jesus Christ, and through the lens of the Bible. As a leader, no matter what I do or don’t do, it will not shake my confidence in who I am. Knowing your identity will boost your self-confidence because it provides a sense of security not determined by others or by your works.


  1. Strong Self-Awareness

Do you have a realistic perception and sense of self-awareness? There are so many great personality tests like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test, the DISC assessment, and the Enneagram test to help you better understand your personality. Growing in self-awareness will boost your self-confidence as you began to learn more about your personality, and how you can improve as a leader.

I like doing a personal S.W.O.T. Analysis for myself and clients to help process your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for growth, and threats that keep you from growing (S.W.O.T.). Personality assessments, tools like the S.W.O.T. Analysis, and understanding how you interact with others will provide you the right place to focus for improvement. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to lead with confidence!


  1. New Way of Thinking

Albert Einstein said, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” A great leader is a great problem solver. In order to lead well, we must have a paradigm shift in our thinking. Stephen Covey, in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, defines this paradigm shift in thinking as principle-centered, character-based, and inside-out approach to personal and interpersonal effectiveness.

In order to boost our self-confidence, we must have this paradigm shift in our thinking! I love Covey’s idea of “inside-out approach” to thinking. Essentially, it is analyzing how you interact within situations instead of approaching it from the outside. For example, let’s say you have an employee who is lazy and unproductive. Many leaders approach that situation and treat the symptoms. The inside-out approach would respond by asking something like, “How can I lead this employee with more hard work and model productivity?” It is a new way of thinking that does not excuse poor behavior, but increases your confidence to lead with more diligence.


  1. Be a Learner

Great leaders are great learners. There are so many ways to grow in self-development. I listen to podcasts, read books, go to conferences, watch and learn from others, and still continue to learn about others. Being a great learner will boost your self-confidence because it should give you a humble spirit, allow you to grow your skills, and increase exemplary actions and behaviors.

I am a leadership coach, not because I hold a book of secrets that have to be memorized, but because I am learning to tap in and empower leaders with their skills and experience. A great leadership coach is a great learner, and will leverage your skills and abilities to motivate and accelerate you towards personal and professional success. Your self-confidence grows as your wisdom and knowledge grow!


  1. Celebrate Internal & External Wins

Celebrate! I know so many high impact leaders who do not know how to celebrate a personal or professional victory. This is a highly critical skill for leadership and self-confidence. Imagine you are in the National Football League and your team goes to the Superbowl. You win the Superbowl, but do not celebrate because you want to get ready for next season! This sounds extreme. There are so many leaders who understand a win, but they do not celebrate the win.

A practical way to boost your self-confidence is to track wins. Set some personal goals and celebrate them! These can be internal. For example, maybe you see improvement in a skill you are developing, or growing in a personal quality that makes you a better leader. I have several clients who journal, treat themselves to a special dinner, or have a fun way to celebrate their development. Celebrate external wins too! This could be seeing a team victory, or having a major breakthrough with an employee. Discover fun ways to mark and celebrate success. This will naturally boost your confidence.


  1. Project Confidence

Projecting confidence is NOT, “fake it until you make it.” Projecting confidence happens in a few ways. First, dress confidently. Take pride in your appearance! There is power and truth in the psychology of dressing for success. This looks different in various environments, but the concept remains the same. Second, body language and posture. 90% of someone’s perception of you is made up in the first 30-60 seconds of your interaction!

Facing fear is real, but you cannot let fear control you. Several of my family and friends are in the military, and they were trained how to react when facing fear. Our brain goes into fight, flight, or freeze mode when triggered. A big part of the training was a mental shift that happened by rigorous practice, a new way of thinking, and projecting confidence! Let’s say you are terrified by public speaking. Boosting your self-confidence in this area will take rigorous practice, focused-thinking, and the ability to take and apply critical feedback. You can do all these things while projecting confidence.


  1. Help and Empower Others

Leadership is about helping and empowering others to achieve a common goal or purpose.  Your self-confidence will grow as you lead well, and see others achieve success! This will naturally increase their confidence in you as a leader. We talked about celebrating internal and external wins. That is another way to help and empower others!

As a leader, you want to position people for success. This is a win-win-win situation. The company wins by having multiple empowered people leading up towards success. The people you help and empower win because they now have the confidence and freedom to perform successfully. You as the leader wins because you are empowering others and leading the company towards success. Your confidence will accelerate rapidly as you help and empower others achieve success.


  1. Ask for Help

Do not skim over this one! Asking for help is a critical skill for high impact and successful leaders. Confident leaders know what they know and what they don’t know and are not afraid to ask for help. This has to be a part of the paradigm shift in our thinking. We must stop seeing asking for help as a sign of weakness, and start seeing it as part of development. When I was a young Assistant Manager at the tuxedo store, I did not want to ask for help. I believed I had to prove myself, but lucky for me, I had some great leaders who taught me how to ask good questions. A great leader is a learner, and we should never stop learning!


Growing in self-confidence greatly relies on you. All of these tips for growing in self-confidence and development are largely in your control. You can do it! If you need help in one or multiple of these areas, go find a seasoned leader to mentor and coach you. Many of these areas can be improved by attending specialized classes, or hiring a professional coach to empower and develop you! As a Professional Leadership Coach, I work with leaders in all positions to equip, empower, and encourage them to grow to their fullest potential. I get to celebrate wins with them as they crush personal and professional barriers keeping them from achieving success. Do not wait! I encourage you to keep going, and you will see your self-confidence grow at a rapid rate!


Written by Jonathan Rector

Executive Leadership Coach