Where Talent Thrives or Dies – How to Build Effective Teams
Poorly run teams are where talent goes to die.
Talent thrives on effective teams.
Talent dies where jerk-holes thrive.
Where talent thrives:
There’s more to success than meeting the numbers. You get what you honor. When you honor jerk-holes, you get jerks.
#1. Define the way you want to treat each other while you do the work.
Begin by discussing the traits and behaviors that build effective teams. But don’t stop with personal preferences. If you do, extroverts win.
#2. Learn and discuss the characteristics of effective teams. (Project Aristotle)
- Psychological safety – “If I make a mistake on our team, it is not held against me.”
- Dependability – “When my teammates say they’ll do something, they follow through with it.”
- Structure and Clarity – “Our team has an effective decision-making process.”
- Meaning – “The work I do for our team is meaningful to me.”
- Impact – “I understand how our team’s work contributes to the organization’s goals.”
#3. Adopt a project-based approach. Discuss the above list with your team. Choose one characteristic to develop this month.
- What will you see or hear when someone is working to develop an effective team?
- Notice when someone acts in ways that strengthen your team. “I notice…”
Next step: read and discuss, “The Ideal Team Player,” by Patrick Lencioni.
In order to get the team you want, you have to let go of the team you have. Stop enabling ineffective teamwork by defining what you want and working to change.
The hardest thing about change is letting go of what is.
For reflection – 5 reasons talent dies:
- Too much support and not enough challenge.
- Too much challenge and not enough support.
- Bureaucracy devalues creativity and hard work.
- Policy eliminates autonomy.
- Favoritism honors poor performers. Hard work goes down when poor work is honored.
Tip: Hire team members who are hungry, humble and smart. (Interview questions.)
What do you see happening on teams where talent dies?
What suggestions do you have for building effective teams?
Then why the hell are bureaucracy, policy and blame-targeting the three go-to tools in 90+% of organisations?!
Maybe these strategies protect those in power.
Solid post today!
Thank you Dan
Well said sir. 4.Policy eliminates autonomy. I have always been a SOP/SOG kind of manger. There is not a bad behavior that I cant address with the right SOG/P. Left over from the old school way maybe? Will need to look at that.
Thanks Walt. Perhaps the type of industry we’re in should be considered. Highly regulated industries need greater control.
How might people gain a bit of control over their schedule might be a point of discussion.
Stop enabling “programs” and start empowering “projects.”
Programs are open-ended cash-extractors which require constant “process” adjustments to justify their continued existence.
Projects are closed system cash-investors which require “results” by which to evaluate their efficacy.
Both use the same tools, but they value different metrics… you don’t want a program manager managing projects, and vice versa … That’s where we get into dysfunction and get to Mitch’s triad.
Thanks Rurbane. Love the time constraint of projects vs programs. A deadline or end date creates clarity.
It starts with having an effective team leader. Someone with the perfect balance of task skills and people skills. They provide what needs for each team member and the team overall to excel.
Task skills–able to clearly define problems, set high standard, set goals and milestones, establish roles and responsibilities, hold people accountable etc.
People skills–able to affirm, engage, coach, motivate, encourage, listen to, discover hidden talent etc.
Thanks Paul. If we don’t like the team we lead, the first place to look is in the mirror. I think Maxwell says, Everything stands or falls on leadership.
Taking responsibility to build an effective team is the first step toward success.
i agree – but i also think that in many teams now all team members should take some responsibility for the team culture and performance. Often the team leader is not a rank superior and a team of peers needs to find a way to collectively own their performance, otherwise its tempting to blame the team leader for all the team’s ills
You make a great point. I agree all team members have to take some responsibility for the team performance and how they work together.
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