Getting Naked

Patrick Lencioni's latest book isn't what you might think from the title. It is very much true to the author though. "Getting Naked: A Business Fable about shedding the three fears that sabotage client loyalty" is a business fable about two consulting firms. The subtitle exposes some of the reasoning behind the title too (all puns intended).

The story surrounds a rather large successful consulting firm that is purchasing a smaller one. The contrast between the two firms provides the context to discuss the three fears. Fear tends to make us want to protect ourselves and in protecting we sabotage trust and loyalty. When we are free and open, confident, focused on the activity rather than avoiding certain outcomes, we relax and do our best. It's no fluke that in sports they call it choking. We often self-seek the very result we focus on. When we focus on negatives outcomes, we tend to produce them. Any fear that causes us to take our focus off the success is destructive.

Shred the Three Fears

The three fears are 1) the fear of losing the business; 2) the fear of being embarassed; and 3) the fear of feeling inferior; cause organizations of all types, not just consulting firms, to choke. Lencioni makes his points well in his trademark business fable format. The characters are believable and real. You can tell Lencioni has quite a bit of experience on the topic. In fact, the story is based on his own firm, the Table Group. The characters tell the story well so the summary of the book is very short relative to the fable.

One point I highlighted late in the book applies to so much more than just business, "there is nothing more attractive and admirable than people who willingly and cheerfully set their egos aside and make the needs of others more important than their own."

Overcoming the Fears

The author closes the book with specific behaviors that defeat the fears. But rather than spoil it, you should check it out for yourself. I thought of some other behaviors as well. For example, focusing on the things you're grateful for (partial adaptation to the strategy: Give Away the Business) helps you counter the fear of losing the business too.

I highly recommend this book. In fact, I have read all but one or two of Lencioni's books and can recommend them all. In the end the fable helps make the points of the store more memorable unless you're into reading from the dictionary. The stories make the points more memorable. Check out the book and let me know if you agree.

Some people seem to believe that it is necessary for me to tell you that I reviewed a publisher-provided copy of this book.  I hope you know I wouldn't review this positively simply because they gave me a $20 book!  But if that's something you might be tempted to do, then please disregard the review.  Mike...

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