All blogs of type Thoughts From The Field
When my daughter was five, she taught me an important lesson about leadership communication. One summer day, we went out sailing and she brought along a toy flute. After playing with it for a while, she said, "Daddy, guess what song I am playing."
What do you do when you get that familiar pit in your stomach, as you're about to meet with someone you've been working with integrating into your team because you just know it's not going to work out? You've probably even known it for a while.
"What do you think of my new haircut?"
I stared at my friend blankly. My mind raced. How do I respond? Does he really want my opinion? Should I just put it out there and tell him that I'm pretty sure the mullet combined with a faux-hawk look never really took off?
I recently read a headline in the business section of a newspaper that announced how a large organization had agreed to a six-year, $29M plan to rollout a new computer system. It made me wonder what would happen if companies made similar commitments to rolling out organizational health. To do so would cost millions less and, although there wouldn’t necessarily be a fixed length of time, the return on investment wouldn’t fall victim to obsolescence, either.
One of the many benefits of having a healthy organization is that decision-making becomes more focused as leaders are able to use the elements of organizational clarity to guide their discussions and, ultimately, their decisions.
Trust on teams is a measure of the quality of the relationships between team members. It is the glue that holds the team together. Trusting teams create an environment where it is safe to admit weaknesses, ask others for help, share ideas and opinions, and offer feedback to colleagues without fear of being judged or rejected. Without trust teams often disintegrate into some predictable dysfunctional behaviors.
In making leadership teams more cohesive and organizations healthier, one of the most powerful yet simple things we do as Table Group consultants is help teams improve their meetings. After all, meetings are the playing field of business. To build a strong team and to make great decisions, teams, like athletes, must practice consistently — they must have regular meetings that are focused and compelling.
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".