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About the Book

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What do you need to have at work to be fully engaged?

What do you need to have at work to be fully engaged?
About the Book


Read the Ordinary Greatness Forward by Patrick Lencioni


Praise for the Book




Chapter Previews


  • Preface
    • Recounts the story of the 2006 Washington Post experiment with Joshua Bell, one of the world’s premier violinists who performed incognito, unadvertised and unknown in the L’Enfant Plaza metro station. Hundreds of busy commuters passed by Bell without a second glance or an appreciation for the music he played.  Bell’s story is a remarkable indictment of how society has become inured to greatness and it’s a wakeup call people in all walks of life, but especially for leaders who struggle to keep employees engaged and passionate about their work.
  • Chapter 1 - What is Ordinary Greatness?
    • While the definition of greatness is subjective, there are certain parameters that can be identified. There are also some characteristics that serve as precursors or identity markers of the quality (examples include Spielberg, Churchill, Lenny Skutnik). We learn from the greatness of heroes like these from the media who celebrates them through the 21st century process of storytelling. 
  • Chapter 2 - Ordinary Greatness Observed
    • When ordinary people were surveyed regarding their perceptions of greatness, some interesting facts emerged.  The most telling of the results was that the impact on one’s life by another individual is how the majority of people perceived the quality.  And leaders possess the unique opportunity to identify and learn from the ordinary greatness of their constituency; they also have the capacity to leave just such a fingerprint themselves.
  • Chapter 3 - Why People Do Not See Ordinary Greatness
    • A child’s frame of reference is truer in the sense that the blinders adults wear have not yet impacted how children experience life. These blinders include compartmentalization, preconceived notions, personal bias, external focus, experience versus potential, busyness, and the setting.  Explanations are given as to how we commonly fall victim to each of these blinders.
  • Chapter 4 - How Leaders Open Their Eyes to Ordinary Greatness
    • A self-discovery assessment is featured to help leaders identify their personal blinders.  Additionally, this chapter utilizes a theme scenario, how a new CEO taught his team to open their eyes to greatness,  to introduce strategies for overcoming the various blinders. 
  • Chapter 5 - Characteristics of Ordinary Greatness
    • Organizational blinders like corporate practices, policies, and expectations (culture) can either guide or derail the organization’s cultivation of ordinary greatness.  If an organization’s leaders can be compared to the musical conductor, the organization’s culture is the musical score.  While leaders set the tone, an organization’s culture is a barometer of how clearly ordinary greatness is identified, celebrated and encouraged.  Effective leaders keep a keen ear tuned to their organization’s distinct and dynamic culture. In turn, how leaders lead affects an organization’s alignment – how the workforce functions on a day-to-day basis, and how invested the workforce is in the organization’s success.
  • Chapter 6 - Creating the Context for Ordinary Greatness
    • Leaders set the context for recognizing, developing and leveraging everyday greatness. Leaders must ensure that the environment is one that encourages everyone to work to the best of their abilities.  This chapter focuses on specific leadership strategies including servant leader mindset, visibility, accessibility and approachability, leading by example and communication that connects that creates the compelling environment for greatness to occur every day.
  • Chapter 7 - Promoting Ordinary Greatness
    • True stories of how real-life, high performing leaders were able to discover greatness in their constituency – how they identified it and pulled it out.  We also learn why they overlooked greatness in some employees only to learn about the capacity later on – the blinders they were subject to.  This chapter takes a new look at some proven strategies such as employee selection, reward and recognition, employee involvement and accountability that promote greatness.
  • Chapter 8 - Cultivating the Potential for Ordinary Greatness
    • Organizations can leverage their talent by incorporating a coaching philosophy and developing a strong talent management program.  The authors provide practical and proven practices and processes to assist leaders in maximizing the impact of those they lead.  Examples include techniques for finding the source of motivation for each individual and incorporating driven discussions and aspirational conversations into everyday leadership.
  • Chapter 9 - Changing the Way You View the World
    • We’ve talked about leadership behaviors that can identify, recognize and maximize greatness but success goes to those who make changes that are deeply rooted in how they view the world around them.  It’s a personal challenge to think and behave differently and it’s only when an individual has achieved this status that their eyes are truly open to greatness.  This chapter includes an assessment to assist in identifying the thoughts and actions that prevent you from seeing everyday greatness.
  • Chapter 10 - Ordinary Greatness in Challenging Times
    • Today’s challenges call for bold leadership.  It is during times of chaos and uncertainty that demand an even greater focus on tapping into the discretionary effort of the workforce.  Yet, experience indicates that it is far more common for organizations to revert to old patterns and unproductive practices that zap the energy, enthusiasm and commitment from those they lead.  The keys to successfully engaging the workforce in tough times are shared through continuation of the scenario introduced in Chapter 4.




Discussion Guide


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