You read The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and perhaps held an offsite on the disciplines from The Advantage. You had several great conversations, made initial progress, then hit a ceiling and have since stalled. Unfortunately, this happens.
Though we know not all of our readers are football fans, we think it's a pretty safe bet to assume many of you are passionate about teamwork in any context.
In my work consulting to leadership teams around organizational health, I find most teams are comprised of well-intentioned people trying to do the right thing for their team. Despite those good intentions, however, teamwork is often undermined when members inadvertently act in ways that are not in the best interest of the team.
I recently came across a new book with a title that really caught my attention. Love Your Life, Not Theirs, written by a woman named Rachel Cruze. It addresses the idea that one of the primary reasons people take on so much debt in their lives is their tendency to compare themselves to others and strive to be something they're not.
In my work guiding clients to lead healthy organizations, I see pretty clearly that a team meeting is a great indicator of its health. One IT team I recently met with is a perfect example: our offsite was the only time the team had all been in the same room over the past six months.
I've always been very disciplined. Even as a kid, I wanted to do things the "best way." I remember going to the dentist once and when he asked about my teeth-brushing habits, I proudly explained, "always twice a day, and I brush side to side." "I can see that," he responded. "But you should brush up and down instead." That's when I learned that even though I had the discipline and the right intentions, I wasn't executing correctly.
Whenever I speak to a group of executives about organizational health, I explain that leaders must "institutionalize a company's culture without bureaucratizing it." People universally respond to this, most likely because they understand the painful impact of creeping bureaucracy.