Half the Battle

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Just for fun, today I decided to play around with the number “3” and the letter “C.”

I just turned 63, which is three score plus 3 years, and the letter C is the third letter in the alphabet. So it seems I’m surrounded.

Last week, I introduced the Johari Window – its history, framework and application. Over the next couple weeks, we’ll review each element of the window. If you missed last week, click the “Read Window to the Soul” button below.

Today is about the Upper Left square, which refers to what is “open” or “known.” I call this Community Knowledge – “CK” for short.

You’ve probably heard the expression “half the battle” used more than once. For Johari, the “half the battle” equivalent is CK. By gaining knowledge of something, you’ve made a great start toward acting on it in whatever way is appropriate.

Following are nine areas of CK that, if pursued consistently, will help you expand your impact. There are three levels, each with three elements.

Adapt this list to your situation. Then create a “scorecard” that will help you and your team stay focused. This list will help you get the ball rolling.

For maximum health and growth, CK should always be expanding. In a perfect world, CK would eclipse all other squares. As a leader, you should systematically, intentionally and relentlesly pursue the expansion of your CK.

Here are the three levels: you as an individual, your team, and your organization. Central to all is the concept of Clarity. Each level should be filtered through that lens.

  1. Individual – as a leader, “standing still” is a fallacy. Either we’re moving forward or backward. Pursue knowledge in these three areas to help propel you forward.
    • Call – Your call is your life assignment. Your purpose. Are you taking steps to understand, refine and adjust it to each season of your life?
    • Character – Your character is who you are. This is separate and distinct from your career. Early in my leadership, I confused the two. How are you strengthening your character? If you need some ideas here, pick up a copy of “Confident Leader” written by Dan Reiland. In the book, Dan shares an outstanding process for character development.
    • Competence – the knowledge and skills that allow you to flourish in your career and your calling. Are you consistently investing time to develop these?
  2. Team – Trust is foundational to a healthy team. Continuous improvement will keep your trust on an upward trajectory.
    • Conflict – conflict is inevitable. How we handle it is what’s important. How does your team handle interpersonal (or even inter-team) conflict? What can you do to make improvements?
    • Confidence – Trust builds confidence. In this context, confidence is two-fold. First, do you have confidence in the skills and abilities of your teammates? Second, does your team stand together in times of crisis or pressure?
    • Collaboration – we can always get better at working together. How is your team doing here? What needs to improve?
  3. Organizational – how can you expand your organization’s CK in these three areas?
    • Culture – Is your culture healthy? Are your cultural distinctives written down so that all may have knowledge of them?
    • Customers (Congregation) – How can you know more or connect better with your customers or constituents? What needs do they have that you can help them with?
    • Competition – What are your competitors up to? Or, what are the best practices of some others in your space that you could adopt to help your organization improve?

Take your time with this. It is a marathon not a sprint. Steadily expanding your CK will give the best results over time.

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