Alexis Monville (en)

The Motive

Why so many leaders abdicate their most important responsibilities?

The sentence above is the subtitle of The Motive, a book by Patrick Lencioni, the famous author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and The Advantage.

The first part of the book is a business fable. If you read I am a Software Engineer and I am in Charge, you know that I love the genre. I love it because it helps me identify with the characters and with the story and better imagine what could be the outcome if I were to apply the same concepts and ideas.

The second part provides the lessons from the fable starting with the two leadership motives:

  • Reward-centered leadership,
  • Responsibility-centered leadership.

As mentioned by Patrick Lencioni, no leader is purely on one side, but the one that will be predominant will have huge impact on the success of the leader and his team.

Responsibility-centered leadership is preferred to get to success, and struggle is expected along the way.

Lencioni then covers the five omissions of Reward-centered leaders:

  1. Developing the leadership team
  2. Managing subordinates (and making manage theirs)
  3. Having difficult and uncomfortable conversations
  4. Running great team meetings
  5. Communicating constantly and repetitively to employees

The book is a very short read. I believe that the point 3, 4 and 5 are easy to observe symptoms that 1 and 2 are not happening properly.