What Consensus Is (And Isn't)

football“The only place ‘success’ comes before ‘work’ is in the dictionary,” insisted Vince Lombardi, legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers. “The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.”  One of the characteristics that distinguished Lombardi’s brilliant career was his incredible ability to rouse team spirit and a collaborative commitment to excellence.  He believed each player contributed to the success of his team because they “learned to love the game before [they] become dedicated to it.”

Building a collaborative vision and mission is more than an all-in-favor-raise-your-hands voting practice. Collaboration often includes difficult, gut-wrenching consensus-seeking dialogue. The more invested members of a group are to the vision of the group, the thornier a consensus process can be.  Michael Roberto, author of Why Great Leaders Don’t Take Yes for an Answer: Managing for Conflict and Consensus