All blogs filed under Thoughts from the Field
A rock star team member. Sounds great, right? Who doesn't want to have at least one of those on their team? Life would be so much easier. We'd meet our goals; hit our numbers; take more vacation time.
Despite what you might think, your employees don't actually enjoy sleeping underneath their cubes at night. Your colleagues, and please don't take offense to this, would probably rather be home watching American Idol with their families than be stuck in the office with you. And, even though your boss is the one that created this deadline, he likely doesn't enjoy torturing you into working through the entire weekend. Likely.
About five years ago two NFL teams replaced their very hard-nosed coaches. Players on both teams believed the new guys selected were going to be very different from their past coaches. In fact, the players from both teams told the press how great it would be to now have a "players coach".
When I first heard of Stephen Covey’s passing this summer, I immediately thought of, and expressed gratitude for, one of the concepts from his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, that we use regularly in our client work – the circle of influence-circle of concern.
One of the most frequent "aha" moments I've seen in my experience working with leadership teams is around the importance of being a cohesive team and the impact it has on improving the health of an organization. This foundational principle is front and center in Pat's latest book, The Advantage, as well as previous books; most notably, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.
The primary reason leaders and organizations have reached out to Table Group Consulting has been because they recognize themselves as having some type of team dysfunction. Pat's book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, has been a best-selling business book for years and, certainly, we spend considerable time consulting on teamwork.
Imagine a group of professionals who meet virtually every day to try and resolve the biggest problems our society faces. Now, imagine that same group of people more concerned about the people they represent and their own self–interest than they are about society's most pressing concerns. This is what often occurs in places like Congress and the United Nations. Officials advocate for their own political interests first and foremost, and the greater good takes a backseat.
If you are a sports fan, chances are good that you have seen tension mount between teams to the point that benches have cleared and players had to be restrained by referees and coaches. Perhaps you have even seen players from the same team get angry at each other for losing their cool and jeopardizing a possible technical foul. The one thing you never see is coaches from the same team taking swings at each other. As spectators, we would be appalled if that happened.
They lurk among us. In our office buildings, on the soccer field, in our churches, sometimes even over the phone lines. Their very presence can eat away at your life in ways that very few other beings can. They've been called aggravating, annoying, acerbic (among other words that begin with the letter 'a'), but they've also appeared on the covers of both Fortune magazine and Sports Illustrated, proving that even they can be successful given the right environment. These people roll their eyes when they walk by your office poster exclaiming "There's no I in TEAM". They're the furthest thing from a "Team Player". Yes, these are the "Me Players".
It’s a tough world out there. The economic downturn has become our reality and with it the business environment has grown even more complex, more volatile and more uncertain. We're continuously challenged with what seems like contradictory priorities in our efforts to: generate significant growth while managing costs; create a differentiated customer experience, yet reduce the resources needed to serve the customer; maximize technology to gain efficiencies, but retain that personal touch; standardize, yet customize. And all the while, we struggle to determine how to remain relevant in a world that is constantly changing. Welcome to the “new normal”!