Many leadership teams have found that book clubs or discussion groups outside the swirl of daily pressures can be helpful for team-building, leadership development, and team alignment in ways that pay big dividends. We recommend discussing Triple Crown Leadership with your management team, board, work group, or other team. Here are questions to guide your discussions:
The Three Es:
1. To what extent is your organization excellent (achieving exceptional results that have significant, positive impacts on stakeholders)?
2. To what extent is your organization ethical (doing the right thing, even when it’s costly or hard, and paying attention to how the results are achieved)?
3. To what extent is your organization enduring (standing the test of time and operating sustainably)?
The Five Practices:
4. To what extent are you recruiting for, developing, and rewarding head and heart (not just skills and expertise but also character, emotional intelligence, and cultural fit)?
5. To what extent are you collaboratively setting the colors (an inspiring purpose, values, and vision and then bringing them to life in the organization)?
6. To what extent are you getting beyond your natural leadership style and flexing between steel and velvet (the hard and soft edges of leadership)?
7. To what extent are you modeling stewardship (empowering people to be stewards of the culture of character and high performance)?
8. To what extent are you collaboratively aligning the organization for peak performance, including short-, medium-, and long-term dimensions?
9. To what extent have you personally been aiming for the three Es and modelling the five practices of triple crown leadership?
10. Which leader or organization profiled in the book do you most identify with, and why?
11. Which leader or organization profiled in the book is most inspirational to you?
12. Which stories were most compelling to you—the profiles of well-known organizations or vignettes about ones you’ve never heard of?
13. How has Triple Crown Leadership affected your ideas about or practices of leadership?
14. What are the biggest barriers to building an excellent, ethical, and enduring organization?
15. Which idea, story, or practice in the book most resonates with you, and why?
16. Which idea(s) or practice(s) do you most struggle with, and why?
17. Have you discovered and articulated your own personal purpose and values? To what extent do they influence your leadership?
18. If your organization is in a special circumstance (e.g., breakdown, turnaround, startup, social impact), to what extent are you modifying your leadership practices to fit the situation?
19. To what extent is your entire organization explicitly committed to the quest for excellent, ethical, and enduring results and impact?
20. Is it ever too late to begin the quest for triple crown leadership?
21. What can people do to help make their organization excellent, ethical, and enduring even if they are not CEO?
22. What will you do now to improve the leadership and culture in your organization (or community, or world)?
23. What questions remain for you about leadership?
24. What legacy do you hope to leave?
Bob and Gregg Vanourek, father and son, are co-authors of Triple Crown Leadership: Building Excellent, Ethical, and Enduring Organizations (a 2013 International Book Awards winner, Business: General). Bob has been CEO or a senior officer at numerous public companies and a university leadership instructor. Gregg has co-authored three books and teaches at the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship and Royal Institute of Technology. For more information, visit http://triplecrownleadership.com/. Twitter: @TripleCrownLead