The Five Questions of Courage

 Once you commit the view changes . . .

Once you commit the view changes . . .

  This summary is based on the work of Klein and Napier

This summary is based on the work of Klein and Napier

CANDOR:  DO WE HAVE THE COURAGE TO SPEAK AND HEAR THE TRUTH?

  • Do we raise thorny or difficult issues?

  • Are disagreements explored openly, without the team getting polarized and locked into adversarial positions?

  • During team meetings, are structures established to equalize the opportunity to receive input so that the natural tendency for the same few people to dominate does not occur?

  • Are defensiveness and skepticism acknowledged and addressed?

  • Does humor play a role in diffusing tension and helping the team not take itself too seriously?

  • Do people of diverse backgrounds feel welcome and respected as equals?

PURPOSE:  DO WE HAVE THE COURAGE TO PURSUE LOFTY AND AUDACIOUS GOALS?

  • Are charts, graphs, or performance metrics posted and visible?

  • Can people articulate their personal contribution to the core of what drives the business?

  • Is there a link between strategic, big picture goals and day-to-day performance?

  • Do teammates have an understanding of business conditions and of the wider business environment?

  • Are people willing to do the jobs that make the greatest contribution to lofty and audacious goals, even if those aren’t the jobs that are most comfortable, interesting, or enjoyable?

  • Do team goals and individual goals stretch people, challenge them, and evoke a high level of achievement motivation?

WILL:  DO WE HAVE THE COURAGE TO INSPIRE OPTIMISM, SPIRIT, AND PROMISE?

  • Do team members reflect a sense of eagerness and enthusiasm about their roles and the challenges that face them?

  • Does the team have a can-do attitude toward its work?

  • Are unexpected setbacks taken in stride based on an overall optimism about the future?

  • Is the team in a constant search for creative solutions and approaches to the problems with which they are faced?

  • Do individual team members have a general sense of optimism toward who the team is as a team and how well individuals work together?

  • Do teammates take pride in their work?

RIGOR:  DO WE HAVE THE COURAGE TO INVENT DISCIPLINES AND STICK TO THEM

  • Is there a built in expectation among team members that they will help each other learn the best practices essential to perform at the highest levels?

  • Has the team established procedures for planning, including gathering relevant data to make informed and prudent decisions?

  • Are equipment and supplies well maintained and kept in order?

  • Are rules and guidelines used to ensure the maintenance of the highest possible standards?

  • Do members of the team follow through and actually do what they say?

  • Does the team pay attention to the consequences of problem solving and decision making both within the team and in relation to other parts of the organization?

RISK:  DO WE HAVE THE COURAGE TO EMPOWER, TRUST, AND INVEST IN RELATIONSHIPS

  • Do all team members talk about team efforts with reference to “we,” or do a few individuals talk in terms of “me” or “us and them”?

  • Do team members celebrate the success of other teammates, sharing in each others’ achievements vicariously?

  • Is work delegated to the best person, with no hoarding of work as a means of control and personal entitlement?

  • Is there an atmosphere of benefit of the doubt, trust, and acceptance?

  • Do individual team members show the ability to shift their priorities based on changing urgencies and the needs of others?

  • Is time invested in building the kinds of relationships that foster trust and dedication?