‘My team works well. This team is less effective.’ I hear many versions of this when I work with leadership teams. ‘My team’ typically refers to the vertical slice of the organisation led by the executive (‘my division’ – my direct reports and me). ‘This team’ is the executive team.
What team are you playing for?
When ‘your team’ is the leadership team you lead, and the exec team is where you come once a week to share information, you are losing out on having a source of support and creativity from your peers. And the organisation is losing out on having a fearless executive team that’s able to access the collective wisdom and leverage the thinking diversity of a strong team.
Feeling supported in a leadership team is critical. Knowing that robust discussions can be had around the executive table, and that the final decision is endorsed by everyone, is a powerful stabiliser. Individually you can’t be everywhere and hear everything across the organisation. Collectively you can have your finger on the pulse and back one another.
Late last year in a Fearless Leadership workshop, an executive declared to me and his peers, ‘A few months ago someone told me this team should be my primary team, the place where I was most challenged and felt most safe. I didn’t believe it. Now I see it’s possible.’
What about you?
What needs to happen for you to see the team of leaders you are part of as ‘your team’? What must you believe for that to be the truth? What commitment could you make today to move in that direction?
And when ‘this team’ is ‘your team’, what could be possible?