On Leadership and Truth

Truth

I want to work for someone that never tells me the truth,” said no employee…ever”

Leaders are often put in precarious positions when it relates to truth.  They are expected to withhold sensitive information and be authentic, not disclose everything about direction and motivate.  It is dangerous balancing act that often times results a systemic mistrust of leaders and leadership by employees.

A recent study by Harvard Business Review showed that a 25% of employees didn’t believe what their employers/leaders were saying, 52% thought that their employers weren’t upfront.

That is almost 88%!  Essentially, that means employees believe less than 2/3 of what they are told.

Is there really any question why the rumor mill/grapevine talk is so powerful?

Given the nature of the social media, any slip of leaking information of a new product or potential merger could mean the difference between a blockbuster new initiative and an idea that is picked apart before it sees the light of day.

What is a leader to do?

Create a Culture of Truth

Creating an environment where truth is the standard must start far before there is any type of crisis that might demand it. If an organization, department, or team wants to have an open honest environment, then they have to create a culture of truth.

This is more than slipping “integrity” into the corporate values.

It can’t be something that is just talked about. It must be an active, conscious effort to enable truth to be set free all the time.

3 Steps to Creating That Culture

Leaders have to give honest feedback

Leaders need to give honest feedback for both good and bad. and they need to do it often. This means that when there is something awesome that happens, managers should tell their teams right away.  They should congratulate and celebrate accomplishments that move the organization forward.  This doesn’t mean throw a party for coming into work on time, that’s the price of entry.

It’s something substantial or “difference making”- shaving weeks off of a process, saving an irate customer from canceling an account, etc. It also means that when there is a problem, failure or screwup it has to be dealt with immediately.  It’s not about making people feel bad or to get good at yelling at people right after a mistake.

Instead, it’s about having courageous conversations that make a difference for the leader, the person, and the relationship.  These conversations should be occurring all the time.

Leaders should be soliciting honest feedback 

Leaders have to be able dish it out and take it.  It’s not enough to give honest feedback.  That is almost expected.  One of the most important paths to an open honest environment is when employees see that they can be honest too.

It is not about nitpicking or gripping.  It is a professional, measure delivery of feedback that includes a suggestion for correction.

Employees should be encouraged to give feedback to leaders in a constructive way without retribution.  This will show that this kind of straight talk is encouraged.  It sets the tone for peers to give each other that kind of feedback too.

Leaders should promote healthy conflict

“Advancement is only made through conflict.” It is impossible to have a functional, honest and productive relationship of any kind without conflict.  If team members do not know how to resolve issues between each other or come to compromise solutions then we have an environment like the American Congress.  This is the land where nothing gets done except to undermine or hurt the other side.

Healthy conflict can lead to increased camaraderie and higher engagement.  So don’t shy away from conflict.

Promote people resolving issues and creating awesome solutions through conversation.  Its powerful, that’s what Reagan and Gorbachev did to end the cold war…

Seriously Motivate People

Leaders know the folks on their team.  They really know the things that really underlie why they work. Having this information enables they to understand what motivates.

Ask yourself these types of questions about people that you lead:

  • Is it time off to take a trek?
  • Is it a little extra money or help coordinating a family trip?
  • Is it tickets to the new Avengers movie?

Leaders that have gained their team’s trust know.

Treat People Like Adults

Leaders aren’t afraid to share everything they can with the folks on their teams. When you work with people you trust its not a big deal to be honest.
If a leader is expected to to treat team members like adults, then there should be an expectation to reprimand those that don’t follow the rules.

Yes, some rules are stupid and don’t make sense, but they are the rules. Leaders can see when someone is undermining the organization, team or them.  Nothing eviscerate the productivity of a team more than a bad actor who gets away with acting bad.

Leaders should be expected to tell their team everything they possibly can and hold the team to an expectation of doing what they are supposed to be doing.

Address the Rumor Mill Head-On

Since most employees don’t trust their leaders, any lack of information will result in shreds of truth wrapped in lies being shared.  In order too cultivate a culture of trust, leaders have to deal with rumors head on.

Sometimes things said are hard to disprove, but every attempt must be made to debunk or acknowlege the trust in rumors.  There is really no way to stop rumors.  But just like any scary stories, the light makes all those hobgoblins disappear.

Don’t Double Talk

Leaders that engender trust, don’t sugar coat news. If the news is bad, they tell an employee the truth.  If it’s great news they are genuinely excited for the team. Nothing undermines trust and gets the dreaded eye-roll than saying something is good when it’s not or good when its great.  All people need to show more emotion and empathy than just saying “That was good” or “That was bad”.

Leaders, in particular, must be the catalyst for passion and enthusiasm to be unleashed.

Be an Adult

Here is a some advice: If you aren’t supposed to tell anyone, than don’t…not even that person that you really trust in the company.

Most good people don’t like secrets.  But they will respect leaders more if they don’t say things when they REALLY aren’t supposed to.  A trusting culture shares everything they can and understands that there are  aspects of that can’t be shared.

Creating a culture of truth can dramatically increase compliance, productivity and engagement! So give it a try! simply be the leader you’d want to work with.

What kind of leader are you? Does your team believe you? Do you know? What can you do today to make sure that you are building, maintaining, and fostering a culture of truth? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Anil Saxena is a President & Senior Consultant Cube 214 Consulting
He helps organizations create environments that generate repeatable superior results
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On Leadership, Thoughtfulness and Doing Unto Others

Becoming a Giver

When was the last time someone did something for you with no strings attached? Maybe she covered for you during a meeting that you forgot, or offered unsolicited praise to a supervisor on your behalf? I bet it felt pretty good, didn’t it?

Now ask yourself this: When was  the last time was that you did something for someone else, no strings attached.

So the question comes: Should you “do unto others as you would have them do unto you?” If so, then at what price?

Showing Up as a Giver

In this last of three articles on the importance of relationship-building as the common denominator in successful organizations, the focus is on communal and exchange relationships. As suggested by the name, exchange relationships are marked by a give and take between the parties involved.

Communal relationships are characterized by both parties work for the interest of the other part, regardless of whether or not their actions are reciprocated.

Communal relationship put the focus on the other party by attempting to truly address their needs, even if it means that you or your organization might not benefit. Some companies do this quite well. Southwest Airlines, already recognized for high levels of customer service, again recently demonstrated their unique approach to addressing customer concerns when a pilot ordered pizza for multiple Southwest flights that experienced a several hour weather delay.

Pizza on a PlaneWhile some may attribute this action to the quick-thinking of the pilot (and rightly so!), his behavior reflects the customer centric culture created by Southwest that enables its employees to come up with responsive and creative solutions such as this.

It seems unlikely that the pilot weighed the cost of the pizza and his effort against the likelihood of passengers purchasing another ticket from the airline.

Rather, he recognized that people facing a multi-hour delay around the dinner hour were likely to be hungry and he came up with a solution to address that problem. Zappos is another customer-centric company that has received accolades for the quick, “blame-free” solutions they give their customers.

Organizations that adopt a customer-centric culture can see rewards not only in customer satisfaction, but through more engaged employees as well.

Forming Communal Relationships

Forming communal relationships can result in a variety of organizational benefits; and while certainly there is great value in achieving this standard for relationships, not all organizations are in a place to do so.

In our highly individualistic culture we are encouraged from young ages to distinguish ourselves from others. As such, not everyone is comfortable with the idea of giving or getting something for nothing; or their circumstances may prevent them from doing so.

  • Owners of a small coffee shop may not have the luxury of a national chain in providing a free donut with every cup of coffee when they must rely on the income from the sale of each and every menu item.
  • Or, companies that offer niche products or services, such as manufacturers of unique components for medical equipment, may not have many opportunities to provide extras for their customers.

Leading With Thoughtfulness

Still, “freebies” aren’t the only way to support clients and colleagues. Forwarding an article relevant to a topic a colleague mentioned over lunch one day could save her hours of research; or making a client aware of a service provider who offers a resource he hasn’t been able to find, even if might result in a reduction of in the services he orders from you, truly puts the client’s needs first.

Offering to step in for a co-worker so he can leave work to attend his daughter’s soccer game might not take a great deal of effort on your part, but could make a huge difference in his day and family life.

We are all in a position to provide help sometimes. Whether we do it simply to help someone when she needs it, or because we’re paying back a debt, we have the opportunity to build a stronger relationship with that colleague or client.

When was the last time you went out of your way to give someone something you knew he needed? Do you make it a point to help others freely or is there an (explicit or tacit) expectation of payback? Are you fostering a communal culture within your organization? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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———————–
Andrea M. Pampaloni, Ph.D.

Andrea M. Pampaloni, Ph.D is AMP Consulting
She provides Organizational Communication Consulting & Research Focused on
Relationship-Building and Presentation of Image
Email | LinkedIn |  Web

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6 Ways to Take Care of Your Customer

Customer Service

Everything about doing business with a company can potentially affect the customer’s attitude. Customers who feel valued and appreciated stay longer and spend more with a company over time.

There are many ways to improve the typical customer’s experience. This is where training enters the picture.

Leading Customer Care

As a manager, director, or even an associate; training in sales and customer service will improve the quality of your communication both within your company, and your customers.

It is often said that it is much easier to keep an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. Research shows that people are more likely to continue doing business with a brand that provides great service because they attach service to value. When businesses invest heavily in the idea of taking care of their customers, retention improves. Here are sixways to do just that.

6 Ways to Take Care of Your Customer

1) Customer Appreciation

Customers should feel appreciated and valued. Individualizing the customer experience is one way to accomplish this. Each interaction should be sincere in nature and should inspire trust with each interaction. Consider the many ways you could establish goodwill with each customer you serve. Customers are very insightful and know whether or not you value their business or not.

2) Customer Service

Great customer service is the cornerstone to customer appreciation. It is important to always serve a customer in any way you can. Approach business with a mindset of “yes” when dealing with customer requests. Be sure to always commit to finding all ways to fulfill any of your customer’s needs. Being easy to do business with keeps customers coming back repeatedly.

A great example of this is shown in the auto industry. When an auto manufacturer has determined that a part or a specific vehicle is potentially unsafe, they will announce a recall. Often they will compile an automobile mailing list that is personalized and targeted towards their audience. They will then try to contact them directly before they make a general announcement via the news or any other medium.

Although this is a negative situation, they can turn it into a positive one by demonstrating concern through customer service.

3) Adding That Human Touch

Take the human touch one step further in providing handwritten notes. A handwritten letter can go a long way in showing appreciation. The quick, thoughtful gesture can make quite the impression with the average client. Customers are often pleasantly surprised by this.

4) Check in Periodically With Customers

This is incredibly important during the initial stages of them doing business with you, and it’s a really effective way to retain patronage over the long term. Remember that your are building a relationship, so communication is key. There are many ways to do this. Using consumer mailing lists for direct mailing, emails, and surveys.

5) Share Your Expertise

Most customers want to feel like their decisions are made from a thoughtful and informed standpoint, and they want to believe that the good and services they purchase are solving problems, or filling needs in their lives. At the same time, people grow tired of the endless stream of ad copy and sales pitches they are exposed to on a daily basis.

Some studies estimate people are exposed to more than 5000 advertisements per day. Your business is your area of expertise, so you have a credible and authoritative voice on the subject, which your customers want to tap into without feeling like they’ve entered into a transaction. Many buyers like to reserve the decision to enter transactions until after they’ve gathered some necessary information.

Knowledge is power. The way to address this is to publish your expertise across communication channels that will reach your customers. A few examples would be, a company blog on the website, various social media platforms, and printed newsletters sent out to a mailing list. If you take the time to participate in the conversation with your customers outside the context of business transactions, they’ll feel like they’re doing business in a relaxed environment with a trusted friend.

6) Simplify Their Experience

Don’t let red tape get in the way of providing a solid customer experience. Some companies have policies that eliminate every aspect of the customer service process in order to avoid any semblance of red tape. Others honor coupons past the expiration date or honor the prices of competitors to eliminate red tape and woo their customer base.

Customers that feel taken care of continue to buy from the brand. They tend to spread the word about the brand and create more sales opportunities for the company. The easiest way to set a company apart from its competitors is to distinguish their brand from others by providing wonderful service.

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Robert Cordray

Robert Cordray is a freelance writer with over 20 years of business experience
He does the occasional business consult to help increase employee morale
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On Leadership and Team Cohesion: Three Leadership Steps to Better Camaraderie

Camaraderie

Almost twenty-five years in the Air Force serving my country—what a wonderful first career experience I had. There were many things that I enjoyed about the military such as the joy of flying, but over the long haul it’s the close camaraderie with my military teammates that I miss the most.

If you’ve had a similar experience, then you understand the close bonds that are often forged when meeting challenging goals.

Specifically during my Vietnam POW experience, the hardships that my comrades and I endured created a strong bond of brotherhood that endures to this day. Regardless of my work, I still have a longing for that type of connection.

These insights came to mind when I experienced a camaraderie “booster shot” on two recent occasions.

Two Examples of Camaraderie

It began with two days in San Antonio, Texas at an air base where I had served in both command and staff roles. Good memories of past work and teams waft strong when I visit historic Randolph Air Force Base. I was welcomed back into the fold by another generation of warriors closely bound by shared mission and values, and it was an uplifting experience in more ways than I can count.

Then later that week, I flew to France where I experienced that same bond among a team while leading a leadership development and team-building program for an international food distribution company.

Knowing that this was a diverse global team, I had anticipated potential problems in their communications and willingness to be vulnerable with each other. When I joined them for dinner on the first evening though, I had quite a surprise. Let me explain.

There were 35 attendees representing 9 nationalities from 12 countries around the world. Many of these executives are working outside their native country or language, so clearly they had many differences. Yet the thing that stood out most about their time together was their cohesion and camaraderie.

It was clear that they trusted each other. During the long day of work, it was all business with excellent discussions and healthy conflict. As we gathered in the evenings for social time though, it was clear that the group really cared a lot about each other.

Some were clearly more outgoing than others, but every person engaged in their own way. The gathering came alive with fun, laughter, teasing, and the joy of being together.

The Hallmarks of Camaraderie

 

These positive feelings took me back to the days when I had experienced this type of camaraderie in the military. We were diligently competitive and gave each other straightforward feedback in mission debriefs.

To an outsider, it might appear that we were hard on each other, but we were actually very close. Our bonds of friendship and trust were strong, and we enjoyed socializing, having fun just hanging out and talking about our work and sharing our lives together.

Reflecting back over the years, I’ve noticed that camaraderie is usually present in high-performing teams that endure over a long period of time.

What are some of the hallmarks that we can learn from such teams?

  • Time - They have taken the time and energy to build understanding, acceptance, and respect so that individuals feel connected and secure.
  • Results - Because they feel belonging, team members don’t want to let the others down so they strive for excellence in accomplishing the mission (getting results).
  • Communication – Healthier teams have more frequent and more effective communications. They pick up the phone and call each other to quickly solve problems.
  • Team Focus – Healthy teams focus on team results and not just individual effort. Team members help each other succeed and hold each other accountable.

Patrick Lencioni’s groundbreaking books, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and The Advantage, share this adage that relationships and results feed on each other.

Leadership Steps to Camaraderie

We’ve been talking about the team, but it all starts with the leader. To have this kind of positive energy flowing from human connections, the leader must take the lead.

Here are some important steps to help a leader to build camaraderie:

  • Clarify the culture and set the climate. Alignment built around mission, vision, and values is crucial, as is your commitment to be both leader and member of the team.
  • Create opportunities and expectations for people to build bonds. Social time outside of work is clearly the best way to get to know each other.
  • Connect with each person. Regardless of whether the leader is an introvert or an extrovert, he or she has to engage by connecting with each person making them feel important and welcome. This doesn’t mean that the leader has to be the life of the party. Typically I find more leaders that are introverts than extroverts, but the good ones look to the outgoing, social folks to provide the fun and energy that becomes contagious to the group.

True Bonding

I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to join this diverse group. They reminded me of the importance of camaraderie. I came away refreshed and inspired.

And oh, by the way, lest you think I stumbled into a social event veiled as a business meeting, they all had completed the Leadership Behavior DNA assessment prior to the meeting and the majority of them came out with scores in the Reserved Trait (versus Outgoing Trait) making the point about camaraderie even stronger.

What has been your experience on teams with and without camaraderie? If you are a leader, what are you doing to promote this powerful bond among your people? Please share your thoughts and comments.

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——————–
Lee Ellis

Lee Ellis is Founder & President of Leadership Freedom LLC & FreedomStar Media.
He is a leadership consultant and expert in teambuilding, executive development & assessments
Email | LinkedIn | Web | Blog | Book | Facebook | Twitter

His latest book is called Leading with Honor: Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton.

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Laser Sharp Leadership – Leading with Focus

Leading With Focus

Does this describe you:

  • You are inherently goal seeking.
  • Everything you do has purpose because purposeful action is efficient.
  • Each step you take has been filtered and evaluated; you’ve determined that a step in this direction directly affects your journey toward achieving the end result.
  • While you might appreciate scenery and detours in theory, you understand that these are novelties, not necessities.
  • Like a missile honing in on a target, you advance toward your goals with precision and consistency.

If this sounds like you, then you have the strength of Focus.

The Elusiveness of Focus

It’s extremely easy these days to get side tracked. If you haven’t checked Facebook in 20 minutes, you might be missing something hilarious, there are always Tweets to be tweeted, and if you don’t consistently keep up with your favorite blogs you’ll just have way too much reading to do on the weekend.

Not to mention the consistent flood and consequent overflow both your professional and personal inboxes experience, the necessity of checking your texts and responding, and getting up to date on everyone’s day with their Snapchat story.

With all of that going on, how does anyone maintain focus?

If we are all being honest, some of us just don’t. We would need ten magnifying glasses glued to our heads at all times to keep us from getting distracted. And even then, there are a few folks who would miraculously find a way to lose focus anyway (including yours truly).

That being said, most of us can muster it up when it’s crunch time and get things done with minimal distraction. Chances are, after all that intentional focusing, we are exhausted. It’s a lot of effort to block out, filter and resist the temptation of all the rabbit holes along the way.

>>> That is unless you have the strength of Focus.

Hitting the Bullseye

Their recipe for success:

  • People with Focus are always guided by the question “Where am I going?” How can you create a plan to get “there” if there is no “there?”
  • They constantly create goals that help them track and measure success and stay the course.
  • They do not shoot unless it’s straight for the bullseye.

As a leader, this is extremely helpful, especially for the people described above. Having someone kindly turn you in the right direction and remind you where the target is can be extremely valuable, not just to you, but the team as a whole. Besides the day to day distraction, leaders with Focus help provide guidance in a larger, big picture sense.

Sometimes, as we move along getting this task done, and then another, followed by another, it’s hard to recall why it’s all relevant. Focus leaders instinctively evaluate the value of each action toward reaching the end goal, which they can then relay to their team.

By keeping everyone on the path and avoiding aimless wandering, they also set their team up for success as one that delivers on time and produces results.

Avoiding Tunnel Vision

Leading with a lack of sophistication around your Focus strength can have the exact opposite effect of keeping your team engaged. Perhaps the most frustrating thing for Focus is not having a clear target to aim at.

We have all experienced work environments where deliverables and expectations are ambiguous at best – this is especially trying for Focus.

A sophisticated Focus will be able to manage-up and help their leaders stay on track toward defining clear goals, not only for their team, but the department or organization as a whole.

As a close second on the frustrations list for Focus are obstacles. Anything that delays, sidetracks, or causes tangential discussions will be a hot button. For an unsophisticated Focus, that might translate into an intense micro-managing situation and an imposition of work-style onto your team.

There are very few people who work well under such intense pressure, and frankly, lack of respect. If life is full of lemons, work life is overflowing with them. It’s important for leaders with Focus to understand where flexibility is required, and to create strategies that allow them to act accordingly.

Whether that’s leaning on another of their strengths, like Adaptability, Arranger, or Strategic, or leveraging a teammate, it’s important for Focus leaders to avoid becoming so consumed with their tunnel vision, they become one with the tunnel.

Are you a leader with Focus? Do you find you have an easier go of completing tasks despite distraction? Do you set yourself goals daily, weekly, monthly, all of the above? As a leader, have you found challenges keeping your team on task? How do you make room for inefficiencies or flexibility? Have you ever been accused of micromanaging?

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Alexsys "Lexy" Thompson HCS, SWP

Alexsys “Lexy” Thompson is Managing Partner at Fokal Fusion
She helps building Strong Leaders through Strong People Strategy
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On Leadership, Weaknesses and Your Greatest Opportunities for Growth

Mark Zuckerberg

When you’re only 30-years old and your net worth goes up and down in increments of billions of dollars, you have to figure you’ve done something right.

Mark Zuckerberg has definitely done some things right — and some things terribly wrong.

For example, on a conference call with analysts after his public offering two years ago, the boy wonder “tried to sound cool on one hand and like a seasoned vet on the other,” said one analyst. “It sucked — just like the IPO.”

Zuckerberg has obviously recovered from that, but he stands as a lesson to every CEO: If you expect perfection from yourself, you’re dreaming.

Why Leaders Need to Know Their Weaknesses

Perhaps the hardest thing for a CEO to do is admit his or her weaknesses. After all, the CEO is expected to have all the answers and know what to do in every situation.

It might give you some comfort to know that great management guru Peter Drucker had to come to terms with his weaknesses. For instance, he learned from feedback that he had an intuitive understanding of technical people (like engineers or accountants), but he didn’t resonate with generalists. Drucker says this self-awareness is necessary for success.

You’ll need to cultivate a deep understanding of yourself,” he says. “Not only what your strengths and weaknesses are, but also how you learn, how you work with others, what your values are, and where you can make the greatest contribution. Because only when you operate from strengths can you achieve true excellence.”

Recognizing Your Faults

Recognizing your faults makes your company stronger because it allows you to investigate and fix the problems you are experiencing.

The benefits don’t stop there, either. When you begin to identify your weaknesses, you will:

  • Create a snapshot of yourself where you are in the beginning and use this to plot your growth.
  • Activate a defense mechanism that keeps your zealotry from undermining rationality in your business.
  • Develop the courage to communicate with others who can advise you about overcoming your weaknesses.

Close Self-Reflection

When I became a CEO, I had a hard time communicating with people. By focusing my energy on becoming a better communicator, I began to understand how others were thinking and why they behaved as they did. This allowed me to get to the bottom of problems more quickly, and now I’m able to talk and relate to all kinds of different people.

Another thing I noticed about myself was that I had a hard time making decisions, and I would change my mind too often. I had to train myself to recognize what the critical decisions were and act decisively on them. As a result, I’ve become a more strategic risk taker, and it’s paid off.

In other cases, something you perceive as a weakness can actually be a strength. For example, I was hesitant to select a strategic partner, which led me to explore the industry. This changed my perspective and allowed me to develop better partnerships and get involved in exciting projects I wouldn’t otherwise have been a part of.

You Can’t Fix Every Weakness

Although constant self-improvement is critical for leaders, realize you won’t be able to fix every weakness.

Mark Zuckerberg understands that.

There are people who are really good managers, people who can manage a big organization, and then there are people who are very analytic or focused on strategy,” he said. “Those two types don’t usually tend to be in the same person. I would put myself much more in the latter camp.”

Sometimes, the answer is finding people who are strong in an area where you are weak. Just imagine you’re in a high school chemistry class. If your weakness is math but you’re great at handling chemicals, pick a partner who can do the calculations and leave the mixing to you. This is how the best teams operate.

As a leader, it’s your job to create feedback loops so your employees can learn to recognize their strengths and weaknesses. Do you see patterns across your entire team? Address these with training.

The most important thing to realize when addressing your weaknesses is that self-reflection is not a one-time event. Always try to see yourself as you were in the past, as you are in the present, and as others see you. This will help you maintain perspective on how much you’ve grown and how much you can still accomplish.

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———————
Kevin Xu

Kevin Xu is the CEO of MEBO International and Skingenix
MEBO International is an intellectual property management company
Email | LinkedIn | Google+

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Beyond Leadership: The Importance of Efficient Teams

Teamwork Fail

While we emphasize leadership quite a bit, most of us in the business world also recognize the importance of teamwork. Teams are made up of individual leaders who bring their own strengths and personality into the mix.

While some tasks can be handled by one individual, we all know that teams can create wonders.

>>> However, a dysfunctional team can derail performance and results quite rapidly.

Positive Team Dynamics

Team dynamics always fascinate me. I recently read Dr. Eric W. Stein’s book titled Designing Creative High Power Teams and Organizations: Beyond Leadership. It was a good read and I want to highlight some of the important aspects in this post.

Dr. Stein discusses poietic  organizations and their characteristics. He also demonstrates the muscle of high powered teams through various case studies such as LEGO and CERN. Although these companies deploy different processes within their teams that suit their businesses and products, the common theme is to have a well thought out model that works to build efficient teams.

Although sometimes processes are frowned upon in companies, having a well-defined process is essential for large corporations in order to build world-class products and do it efficiently.

The Role of Effective Teams

In his book, Dr. Stein demonstrates the role that team members play and how their personalities can complement or contrast with each other. I believe that most corporations set aside a certain budget for leadership training. At the same time, it is also a good idea to train employees to build highly efficient teams.

Of course, it is important to develop great leaders within organizations.

However, beyond individual leadership, what makes an organization excel is excellent teamwork.

Thinking Just Me, or We?

When individuals start thinking of team goals and organizational goals, the results are extraordinary. Therefore it is obvious that time spent in building high power teams will be certainly productive in the long run. Some teams may have to transform to become more efficient than before and it is well worth it.

Have you ever been in a situation where your team mate and you are at odds and you don’t see eye to eye? You are thinking about the team goals and they are thinking about their own goals! At some point, we have all been in a situation like this.

The crux of this matter is whether a person is driven by personal goal or a team goal.

When leaders are driven by personal goals, they achieve a lot and it makes them look good. However, sometimes it makes them look good at other people’s expense and sometimes it makes them look good at the team’s expense. They may fail to understand that in the bigger picture; team goals are more important.

To summarize, I would like to highlight the importance of teams and recognition of teamwork by the members. While we strive for individual leadership, we should never put that ahead of team’s goals.

So as a leader, how are you doing at building effective teams? How are demonstrating a “we-attitude” over a “me-attitude?” Do you have any tips or tricks that work to increase team performance and positive results? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Aditi Chopra
Aditi Chopra is an experienced leader in the software industry
She is a consultant, writer and a leader
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