Curiosity was one of the things that first got me interested in leadership development! Curiosity about why some teams have a great dynamic and achieve so much and yet other teams seem to be dysfunctional, even though on paper both may have the same potential. How does this happen?
In planning any journey, we need to know where we are starting from in order to make the best navigational choices to get to our destination. And so it is with team development.
When I work with teams, we start with a brief diagnosis of the team’s current stage of evolution before we begin the journey to our destination.
Dysfunctional teams typically have high turnover and low morale, communication is poor, there is little or no trust, and low clarity around team purpose. Labels of ‘us’ and ‘them’ are used. People are suspicious of motives, with diversity in style creating judgments of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.
Functioning teams usually have some idea of their purpose, and do what needs to be done. While diversity in the team may be tolerated, there is little understanding of how to leverage this. Activity drains energy, so it takes a lot of effort to get things done. In a functioning team there may be an overly high reliance on the leader (dare I say manager?), or at the other end of the scale, too little leadership.
By Performing, a strong sense of team is developing, and there’s a sense that this team could go places. Team purpose is understood and the goals are clear and shared. Conflict is surfaced (and may even be messy) and the team learns from this.
There’s a tipping point here, where the impact of the team is magnified with no more effort. Here’s where the team magic starts to happen.
Successful is the aspirational goal of most teams! The leader is leading and the team is fulfilling potential. There’s high trust, clear and shared goals, and a shared reality. Individuals understand their own motivational drivers, and the motivational profile of the team. Diversity is valued and leveraged.
Extraordinary teams have embraced Fearless Leadership. The team is in a flow state & exceeding objectives. ‘Productive conflict’ is the source of creativity, as the team leverages diversity of thinking. In Extraordinary teams there is a shared purpose where activity generates energy, so people leave on Friday night just as energised as they were on Monday morning.
When I work with teams I am often surprised by their honesty in assessing the current level of their team.
Are you facing any of these challenges?
• Strong leadership team but troubled with robust executive egos getting in the way of team productivity?
• Effective divisional managers not focused enough on organisational leadership?
• Concerned about getting more done with less in the current economic situation?
• Individuals with positive intentions and yet not able to effectively combine as a team?
If your leadership team is not modeling the commitment and dynamics you want throughout the organisation, you need help. The Fearless Leadership program will give your team the awareness and tools to increase team productivity and exceed objectives.
Where is your team right now? What would be possible if your team embraced Fearless Leadership and set the destination as ‘Extraordinary’?
Have an Extraordinary day