The Advantage | Book Review

BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front):

If you have a consulting practice, add this book to your repertoire; otherwise, borrow mine or someone else’s since our Academy Leadership material is better.


Much of The Advantage may be skimmed. The introduction and first chapter may be skipped, with reading beginning on page 15: The Organizational Model.

Thoughts & Applications to Academy Leadership | Build a Cohesive Leadership Team:

Discipline 1, or building a cohesive team is a good companion to our Energize2Lead™ Workshops, and also to our Focus & Alignment Workshops. The importance of listening | advocacy (page 22), team objectives (page 25), building trust (page 27), Energize2Lead™ (in this book Myers-Briggs, page 31), leader commitment (think My Leader’s Compass, page 35), conflict management (page 41), meeting evaluations (page 51) and accountability (pages 54 & 58) are all stressed and align with Academy Leadership materials.

Personal Leadership Philosophy Reflections:

On page 77, in the Discipline 2, Create Clarity section, Lencioni asks Six Critical Questions:

1.            Why do we exist?
2.            How do we behave?
3.            What do we do?
4.            How will we succeed?
5.            What is most important, right now?
6.            Who must do what?

Most of these questions correspond to our recommended elements of a Personal Leadership Philosophy. Further, these are good questions for us to ask ourselves as Academy Leadership Affiliates, and to develop our SMaC Recipe. The Discipline 2, Create Clarity section (pages 73 – 138) is the heart of this book, and the discussion of each question, particularly Question 2’s Different Kinds of Values (pages 93-104) narrative, is quite good.

Additional Alignment with Academy Leadership:

Discipline 3 Overcommunicate Clarity and Discipline 4 Reinforce Clarity contain several references that align with our materials: Performance Management (Coaching - page 162), Recognition (Motivation – page 166), and Meetings (pages 173 – 178, a quick skim will do). Most of Discipline 3 and 4 sections may be quickly scanned; however, The Leader’s Sacrifice, on pages 190-192, is a nice call to accountability ending the book.

JE | April 2012