Do You Want Batter, or Do You Want a Cake?

When we build out the Accountability Chart with a new client in our first session (Focus Day), we determine the Key Functions (the seats, or boxes) that define the composition of the Leadership Team.

Next, we determine the most important things for which each Leader will be held accountable – what we call the Key Roles for each Function. As we do this, I ask if the Function has direct reports. If it does, I insist the first Role in that box MUST be Lead, Manage and Accountability. We abbreviate it as “LMA”.

At that early point in our EOS Journey, the Leadership Team doesn’t realize just how critical and profound those three letters are. Later in our Journey, they learn just how important LMA is to building a truly Great Business.

How is all this like baking a cake?

I like to use a metaphor when I first introduce the set of tools we call “LMA”. I begin by asking “what are the ingredients of a chocolate cake?”

Even my most baking-challenged teams are usually able to come up with the basics: flour, milk, eggs, sugar, butter and, of course, cocoa.

Next, I ask “If we get the best possible ingredients, mix them together in exactly the right proportion, blend them perfectly and then pour that into a cake pan, what do you have?” The answer is “a panful of batter”.

To transform that panful of batter into a delicious chocolate cake you still need one more thing: an oven.

The heat of the oven is the catalyst that transforms inedible batter into a delicious chocolate cake.

In EOS, the key ingredients for a great business are the EOS Foundational Tools (Vision/Traction Organizer, Accountability Chart, Rocks, Meeting Pulse and Scorecard) AND putting the Right People in the Right Seats across the organization. Those ingredients provide a solid foundation. But, alone, they aren’t enough to make a business truly great.

A great business requires one more, transformational component: LMA.

That is, great Leadership, great Management and a culture of Accountability.

When teaching LMA, I introduce the Leadership Team to the attributes of great Leadership and great Management.

When every manager in the organization embraces these attributes, it drives employee engagement, establishes clear expectations, builds top-to-bottom alignment around the company vision, and forges the culture of accountability every entrepreneur dreams of.

It all starts with the Leadership Team. They must drive Accountability to their own teams while showing their reports what outstanding LMA looks like so those managers, in turn, can then do the same for their own teams.

You simply cannot build a great business without great Leadership, great Management, and a culture of Accountability – L, M, A.

LMA plays the role of the oven in my chocolate cake metaphor. Just as the oven is the catalyst that transforms the right ingredients into a delicious cake, LMA is the catalyst that transforms the right ingredients into a Great Business.



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