Tend to Your Goldfish


English: The fish bowl 日本語: 金魚鉢

As we turn over the calendar and enter the new year, many thoughts are focused on renewal. It is customary for our societies to set new goals and make new resolutions for the coming year. You may have already updated your goals or agreed your New Year’s resolution. Or perhaps, you have yet to finalize them. Either way, I hope you will allow some room for one more in 2013: Tend to your goldfish!

“The single greatest advantage any company can achieve is organizational health. Yet it is ignored by most leaders even though it is simple, free, and available to anyone who wants it.” – Patrick Lencioni from The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything.

Metaphorically, think of your organizational health as the water in which the fish swim, where the fish are the employees and the water is the culture or organizational health of the company. If the quality of the water degrades, what happens to the quality of the fish? What needs to be done to maintain healthy water? How frequently do you need to tend to the water? The fish? What happens to the water when you add new fish? More fish? When do you need to get a new bowl?

Let’s extend the metaphor to our favorite topic of business change. Transformations that are big, bold, and daring compel the leadership team to be equally big, bold, and daring. Great achievements require great leaders! Now, take a deep breath. The good news is that every all-star, expert, or thought leader was a novice at some point in their life. The difference is that they found something and invested in it. I believe that we all have unique value to contribute to society, your company, family, community, etc. Within the context of a transformation, your call to action for 2013 could be to create your own single greatest advantage: organizational health by tending to the goldfish!

  • It is simple: Launch an employee engagement campaign in your office, department, or team. Ignite the fire and let it grow.
  • It is free: A smile, kindness, passion for our customers, honesty with ourselves, and being genuine don’t cost us anything.
  • Available to anyone who wants it: What you give out will be returned to you two times.

Your organizational health is in your hands. Don’t settle. Be a great leader every day, by growing a healthy organizational that benefits your customers, employees, and owners! In 2013, don’t ignore this. What can you do to grow a healthy organization for your company? How will you care and feed for the fish and the fish bowl?

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