Three C’s of Leadership

Posted on February 27, 2013 by


JelloImaging pushing a 15 foot blob of Jello down the road. You have a destination and some boundaries that you want to stay between. The Jello will be unruly and sometimes have a mind of its own as it wobbles and rolls, sometimes well and sometimes off course . You are constantly nudging and directing its path as it wiggles to the left or right and begins to pick up speed.

The job of the leader often feels like pushing a blob of Jello down the road. The leader needs to be with the team, nudging, encouraging, and moving the team in the right direction.  The leader also needs to be able to make adjustments on the fly and needs to know when to get out of the way.  Knowing the fundamental leadership stuff of vision casting, team building, delegation, motivation, evaluation, accountability, etc. is only helpful when applied in the right amounts and at the right time.  The art of leadership is knowing what to do and when…like pushing a blob of Jello.

Following are three C’s that should help you in the art of leadership.  You can read all the great stuff in many leadership books but still not be sure what is needed, and when, if you don’t understand these three C’s and their relationship with each other. Your team needs all three C’s and the art of leadership is identifying and nudging (or pushing if needed) on different ones at different times.

Community: Do we need more life?ThreeCs

  • Affirm effort.
  • Celebrate victory.
  • Provide support and encouragement in the losses.
  • Interject fun and surprise.
  • Spend time together outside the task.

Communication: Are we struggling with details?

  • Communicate regularly.
  • Communicate clearly.
  • Agree on the major way to communicate details (email, text, Facebook, etc) within the team, but don’t ignore the phone and face to face.
  • Know when to use which type of communication.
  • Give and receive feedback.
  • Insist on honesty and be vulnerable.

Commitment: Are we on the same page?

  • Create and cast vision.
  • Include your team in the creation process.
  • Remind people of the vision.
  • Set goals and agree on actions that will help fulfill the vision.
  • Clearly define roles and responsibilities.
  • Hold each other accountable not just to the actions, but also to the vision.

The 3 C’s are vitally important and a team will wobble off course or fall apart without attention to all three.  If a team is strong in community and communication but weak in commitment, not much will get done. The team will be aimless. Similarly, a team that is strong in commitment but weak in communication will eventually suffer in the area of community. High commitment and solid communication fosters great community, but a lack of community development and celebration will eventually cause the team to burn out.

Great leaders are great listeners and observers. Team health is dynamic and constantly changing but can always be understood through the 3 C’s. Listen to your team and observe how they roll.  If it feels like your team is rolling a little off-center, consider which C needs attention. Once you know what needs attention, apply all the great leadership stuff you know and have read to the task and have fun.

Team Activity: Take some time to discuss the following

  • What happens to the team when one or more of the C’s is struggling.
  • Discuss the interrelatedness of the 3 C’s.
  • Determine which C needs attention for your team.
  • Learn to lead in the sweet spot with the correct balance of all three.