CNLP 206: Les McKeown on Visionaries, Operators and Processors and How Each Is Necessary In Thriving Organizations

Les McKeown, serial entrepreneur and author of The Synergist and Predictable Success, is back after his first episode became one of the most downloaded ever on this podcast.

This time, Les talks about how three distinctive styles of leadership—visionary, operator and processor—are essential to your organization’s long-term success, and how often those three styles of leadership misunderstand each other.

Welcome to Episode 206 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Guest Links

Les on Facebook | Twitter |

CNLP 112: Les McKeown On Getting Your Church Or Organization Into A Place Of Predictable Success

Predictable Success Quiz

Predictable Success: Getting Your Organization on the Growth Track–and Keeping It There

The Synergist: How to Lead Your Team to Predictable Success

Links from this Episode

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Episode 206 with Les McKeown from Predictable Success is a great place to start. I found it really insightful when it comes to teams and how they function!
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3 Insights from This Episode

1. Four leadership styles are necessary to manage a successful organization

Les describes the four leadership styles that equip an organization to thrive. Try his free Predictable Success Quiz to see what you bring to your team.

Visionaries – abhor routine, adore discussion and debate, are comfortable with ambiguity, like risk, trust their own judgment – and use it often and aren’t wedded to past decisions.

Operators – are action-oriented, improvise to get things done – and move on, ask forgiveness rather than permission, work prodigious hours, often work alone and don’t like being micro managed.

Processors – value routine, trust data, dislike risk, are wary of intuition and ‘hunch’, prefer not to be rushed, and tend toward the status quo.

Synergists – are more comfortable in group environments, have a high degree of emotional intelligence, are skilled at relating to people and at building strong relationships, are particularly skilled at understanding and managing the dynamics of group interactions, read individuals and groups well, are persuasive without being manipulative, and ask “What’s best for the group or team overall?” rather than “What’s best for me?”.

2. The Synergist can be learned and incorporated into other styles

In most cases, the synergist is a learned style and the other three are more naturally or instinctively a part of what someone brings to a team. Understanding the importance of the synergist mentality is key to maintaining healthy productivity and harmony within an organization.

So, how do you become a synergist? Visionaries and processors tend to catch on to the method faster than operators (but operators CAN catch on with effort). The process involves intentionally changing how you think. Les (and I) recommend you:

  1. Read The Synergist: How to Lead Your Team to Predictable Success and take advantage of the FREE Predictable Success content.
  2. Integrate the “Enterprise Commitment” at the start of your meetings: “When I’m in a group or team environment, I will put the interest of the enterprise ahead of my own.”
  3. Establish a default decision-making process for your team and stick to it.
  4. Commit as one. As a team, make a disciplined decision that whatever you commit to verbally is a full-out group decision. Everyone is to support it 100% when they leave the room. Carrying out this commitment motivates the team to work a lot harder to make a decisions that are best for the entire organization.

3. Build decision making muscle with a team mandate and follow through

If you are a leader who regularly circumvents your staff’s decision making process (with good intentions, of course), you’re weakening their abilities to do their jobs and putting the growth of your team at risk.

Trust can be gained and earned on both sides when a team mandate exists and is followed through by everyone. The mandate serves as an agreement concerning what should be decided as a team and what decisions should be left for the senior leader alone. It’s a great way for the entire team to build its decision making muscle.

Quotes from This Episode

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Next Episode: Bobby Gruenewald       

Bobby Gruenewald leveraged first mover advantage in building and selling an internet hosting service and the world’s largest wrestling fan site. Then he moved into church world, creating Church Online and YouVersion. Bobby talks about how innovation happens, what’s next in AR, AI, machine learning and much more as the church moves into the future.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 207.

CNLP 206: Les McKeown on Visionaries, Operators and Processors and How Each Is Necessary In Thriving Organizations

1 Comment

  1. Dianne Ramster on August 9, 2018 at 9:54 am

    Just listened to 206 – Thank you so much for the link to the Predictable Success Quiz and to Les McKeown. It explains my current feelings of irrelevancy – having sold my business, I no longer have an arena for my strong VS profile. Your book Didn’t See it Coming and this profile is a powerful combination for leaders, coaches, business managers, young adults – essentially almost everyone. Thanks again!!

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