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Scale Up Lessons from King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table

Written by Jonathan Smith on August 15, 2014

Implementers EOS

Scale up lesson from King ArthurI was reflecting on King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table and realized that it provides a very potent lesson when scaling up leadership teams concerning team health. The Knights of the Round Table had a “Code of Chivalry.” This pact outlined the 12 basic rules of the Knights of the Round Table.

There was one element of the code that really stood out to me:

To guard the honor of fellow knights

Discovering your company’s Core Values is one of the foundational steps in the EOS Process. Core Values are the three to seven essential, guiding characteristics that define your organization’s culture. Once defined, your Core Values are repeated often and used as real standards, rules everyone must play by. This is central to the success of an organization. The Code of Chivalry served as the Round Table’s Core Values.

The first EOS exercise that I walk my clients through is called “The Journey – Are You Willing to Become Your Best?” One of my favorite aspects of this activity involves reminding the leadership team that they are one team and need to operate as such. Everyone doing it their own way can’t work. How many organizations have you seen where individuals have personal agendas which interfere with a unified team dynamic? In the same way that the Knights are committed to guard and honor their fellow knights, leadership teams and organizations need to align with their colleagues and employees in order to succeed.

Pat Lencioni, the guru on team health, says it best in the following video:



“Organizations that are healthy, they minimize politics and confusion, and they raise their level of morale and productivity to unprecedented levels.”

In Pat’s book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable,he also writes:

Trust is knowing that when a team member does push you, they’re doing it because they care about the team.”

When individuals can put their egos aside to focus on improving performance as a cohesive unit, the end result is most often a successful one.

At the end of a client’s EOS Journey, we get to the point where your entire organization is crystal clear on your vision, all much more disciplined and accountable in executing the team vision, gaining consistent traction, and advancing as a healthy, functional, cohesive unit.

Is your organization a healthy, functional, cohesive team?

Does your organization have a clear, unified vision driving it forward?

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