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Leadership As A Team Sport, Part 1

The process of we offer our clients is always full of insights and surprises; each situation is different. There may be rules which apply; still, people are unique, just as teams are unique. Therefore, we invite you to interact, to tell us about your experience and insights.  Consider doing this work along with us.  We will be more than happy to provide support.

This first article in the series is about knowing the team we have, knowing what that team brings to the project at hand and identifying what may be missing.  The next will be about team performance, where the source of the current level of performance is, and how it can be altered.  We will also address how to make a team scalable and flexible to deal with changing requirements.

We are working with a client, a CEO, who has a clear vision of what he wants to produce and how he wants the organization to be.  We have developed this into clear statements of the organization’s values and objectives.  He has an understanding of the nature of Leadership, has been trained in our model of organizational Integrity and has been working with these for some time.  He is actively training members of his staff and his staff is beginning to train theirs.  This past month, we began discussing the nature of team and chose to focus on it as the access to leadership.

The client is the leader of an organization which must excel on the following fronts:

●     It must deliver extraordinary service in many locations

●     It must increase revenue and profitability now

●     It must be a great place to work

They are working hard and to produce these objectives.  Recently, we have begun looking at the team that will be required to produce these objectives.  Working with the CEO,  we started by looking at who is already on his team.  We defined this team as his business team.  He looked for the people making up his team, both in his professional environment and elsewhere in his life; people who support him as a business person.  Next, he identified what what these people provide and how these people are currently being utilized.  As he looked at the members of the team, it was clear where the skills or support needed were solidly on the team (whether they were being effectively applied or not).  He was able to see what was only there because he brought it.  Finally, he could see what might be missing.

Here are the three key steps:

●     listing the various people on the team

●     Identifying what is expected of the various team members

●     Identifying where something wanted or needed on the team is missing.

When you practice this process yourself, first consider what you are intending to accomplish, pick any single project of great importance to you, and design your team.  Imagine that you were creating the perfect leadership team for this project.  What strengths do you have on your team now and what strengths do you consider important to have on that team?

As our client looked at his project, which is, again, to achieve extraordinary service, increased revenue/profitability, and to have a staff that is empowered and engaged, he became clear that he needs to be  surrounded by all of the characteristics he most values in leadership.  These include qualities both concrete and abstract: vision, commitment, integrity, management skills, technical proficiency, empathy and generosity.

Our client has unique requirements; however, this process could be applied to any organization and any project.  Leadership as a Team Sport is an approach that makes profound results available.  Consciously building a team, or understanding the team one already has, gives access to the kind leadership that produces real innovation, excellence, and high performance.  Obviously, this is a journey not a destination.  We are inviting you to come along and look forward to hearing from you.

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