Dr. Henry Cloud: Building Four Corner Teams

Do you have "four-corner" leadership skills?

What happens in “corner four” organizations? And what makes corner four organizations so healthy? According to Dr. Henry Cloud, best-selling author, leadership expert and clinical psychologist, corner four is where real connection takes place.

In leadership, he says, “it's the place where we're fueled. The place for transformational moments.” In this video, Henry leads us through the four corners of leadership and how each one relates to organizational development and culture.

Discover what each of the four corners represents; identify where you and your organization reside; and take action steps to help create a four-corner organization. For more of Dr. Henry Cloud on “Four-Corner Leadership,” watch his 2016 Leadercast Live presentation. http://old.leadercast.com/now/employee-engagement/four-corners-leadership/

What four-corner elements does your team or organization possess? Share in the comments section below!
What I try to do with the four corners is to give leaders a map. You can look at this little map, corners one, two, three and four, at any moment during the day and ask yourself, "Where am I?" or, "Where's my team?" or, "Where's this relationship?" if someone reports to you or where's the culture of the whole company.

And there are basically four corners. The first one is disconnected. That's where people have people around them, but that team may have people sitting around the table, but you're really not connecting. Everybody's kind of in it on their own and that's how they feel and they're not really doing the things that drive connection. Or as a leader, you can get forced into corner one, that isolated place where you feel like you're in it by yourself. It's not a good place for a leader or a team to be.

The second corner is a bad connection. That's where we have some kind of a relationship or even a dynamic in a team or a culture that makes people feel bad, like not good enough, can't measure up, more is expected of me that I can never reach, "I can't please this boss. I can't please this board," whatever it is. And that really starts to wear away at performance. So we can't live there long.

So we go to corner three. And corner three is the pseudo-good connection. That's the corner we go to try to feel good, try to self-medicate in some way. It may be somebody that flatters you or it may even be a substance or it could be just happy talk or trying to get numbers and here are the good numbers all the time because you want to feel good. But it's really not a place where real growth is happening or real stuff is happening. That only happens in corner four.

Corner four is the place where we have real connection with real other people. In leadership, that has some components to it. It's got some elements to it. It's the place where we're fueled. It's the place where I like to use the term transformational moments. You know, when somebody goes into a corner four relationship or a team meeting, they walk in in one state and because of that connected experience, they leave in a different state. They walked in discouraged. They leave with courage. They walk in hopeless. They leave with hope. They walk in confused. They gain some clarity.

Corner four is a place that provides the things that we need from one another and to do that, it requires some vulnerability. You've got to create a safe place where people would say, "This isn't working," or, "I'm struggling with this," or, "I don't have an answer for this," or, "I've tried this," whatever it is. And they can be fueled to even higher performance and challenge and all of that.

So we really want to build corner four teams, corner four organizations because that's where it happens.
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Dr. Henry Cloud

Dr. Henry Cloud is an acclaimed leadership expert and psychologist who draws on his extensive experience in business, leadership consulting, clinical psychology, and church ministry to impart practical and effective wisdom for growing...

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