Posts tagged "teamwork"

My Team Sucks!

November 7th, 2017 Posted by Blog Post, Leadership 0 thoughts on “My Team Sucks!”

My team sucks! I’m sure we’ve all felt that way at times. We’ve probably all been on teams in which either we are the ones carrying the load, or there is that one person that never pulls his/her weight, or, for some reason, no one can get along.

No matter what the situation, there are some things you may consider that will help your team to be more successful, and it starts with how you speak about other members of the team.


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Don’t trash talk your teammates

An article at Inc. entitled Harvard Research Shows Talking About Your Co-Workers in This Way Is Extremely Important to Teamwork references research from Harvard University indicating talking favorably about co-workers (team members) “increases general feelings of being socially valued by others, leading to better information exchange and creative performance.”

The article goes on to suggest a few things you and your fellow team members should practice, including:

  1. Back ’em up when they’re knocked down.
  2. Spread positive gossip.
  3. Mold impressions at moments of entry and exit.
  4. Help forge their unique team role.
  5. Find out what they’re evaluated on and help it along.

Number 2 and 3 sound a little less than authentic, but numbers 1, 4, and 5 are good solid, bits of advice. But at the core, look for positive things to say. If you can’t talk favorably about your teammates, just don’t talk poorly about them.


Take a look in the mirror

Is it possible you are contributing to the degradation of team performance? You may need to take a good hard look in the mirror and ask some tough questions of yourself.

Another article at Inc., this one entitled, 3 Personality Traits With the Biggest Impact on Teamwork, suggests you do the following:

  1. Be vulnerable. Ask stupid questions.
  2. Be comfortable challenging the others.
  3. Be confident enough to accept feedback.

Know the collective goal

It’s all too tempting to immediately jump in to problem solving when faced with challenges, but it is far more effective to analyze the challenge first, determine what the collective goal is, and then work toward a solution.

As an example, perhaps you’ve been on a team in a classroom or educational environment. Your team is given an assignment to write a paper, solve a problem, or analyze a case assignment. Your team meets to immediately begin brainstorming solutions and handing out assignments.

You come back together to consolidate the work only to find it is a colossal mess.

Chances are high that you did not collectively come to an agreement on what the true challenge is. Sometimes that lies below the surface of whatever the challenge statement is. Sometimes it requires more discussion to understand the true nature of the challenge. Sometimes we just individually hear the words differently when a challenge statement is presented to us. Whatever the case, it is worth the time to do a little analysis before working on the solution.

Chances are also high that expectations were not set and agreed upon. As a very simple example, one team member’s goal may be simply to get the work done – check the box. Another member’s goal may be to develop the most brilliant, arguably the best team project work in the class or at the company.

Clearly, these two goals will be in conflict. Eliminate that potential ahead of time by formally agreeing to the team goals, despite individual desires.

Play nice

Most importantly, play nice. As Grandma used to say, you attract more bees with honey than with vinegar.

Leadership Legacy

January 10th, 2016 Posted by Behavior, Business is ART, CEO, Engagement, Entrepreneur, Inspiration, Leadership, Owner, Relationships, Significance 0 thoughts on “Leadership Legacy”
Leadership Legacy

Leaders Have Vision

This week in my personal blog – #Significance – I discuss three local men who did very well in life, but still made it a priority to give back to their community, each one leaving a legacy for generations to come.

EMBA Assignment

It reminds me of a passage from Business is ART in which I discuss an assignment we received as part of our Executive MBA course curriculum. This particular assignment was for each of the 50 members of our cohort to stand up in front of the others and give a 5-minute presentation entitled “My Leadership Legacy.”

The presentations ran from very funny to deeply moving, but in every case, we came to understand each other on a much greater level than we had the rest of the entire time we were in the program together.

Applying What We Learned

It was such a powerful experience that I brought the exercise back to my business and asked each of the approximately 40 leaders that reported to me to complete the same assignment.

When all was said and done, the same results experienced in the EMBA program occurred – each leader left feeling more connected to one another than before.

But this time, as each leader stood up and presented the leadership legacy statement to the rest of us, I took notes. Later, I went back through the notes and noticed distinct trends, so consolidated them into a series of 11 leadership legacy statements. These statements were subsequently presented back to the team. We then printed and farmed the statements and hung them on the office walls to remind ourselves that this is who we are.

Here are the 11 statements we developed from our exercise, but I highly recommend you come up with your own, whether it’s just you or your collective team that does it. You’ll get to know yourself and others like you never have before.

Be open. Be honest. Have fun! 

Our Leadership Legacy Statements

  1. As a leader, it is my responsibility to own and communicate a vision
  2. As a leader, my actions speak louder than my words
  3. As a leader, I am empathetic to others
  4. As a leader, I instill trust
  5. As a leader, I teach others
  6. As a leader, I am flexible
  7. As a leader, I never stop learning
  8. As a leader, I contribute to the growth of others
  9. As a leader, I recognize the strengths of others
  10. As a leader, I create and promote teamwork
  11. As a leader, I celebrate our success

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