Two Team Builders, Two Very Different Outcomes
After having been directed by her boss, “Now that you are a manager, you need to establish your own team”, Shannon began building her team, the software department at a large banking organization. When she first started in the department, she found it odd that the team did not have individual offices. Instead, they sat at a giant shared table in the middle of a large room, riddled with nerf dart guns and snacks.
Despite her relatively limited experience as a manager, she was quickly able to determine that this team needed collaboration to be successful as they developed the complex software to keep customer information secure. She set up meetings with ample time to work through issues. She added a chat environment to allow team members to communicate with each other and other teams throughout the organization. Their goals for the year were on track and the department’s metrics were in the green except for one which the group agreed was not a measurement that needed scrutiny. The team members genuinely liked each other and offers of help could be heard from teammates when individuals admitted being overloaded.
After having been directed by that same boss, “Now that you are a manager, you need to establish your own team”, Tanya went about building her new compliance team. She immediately called everyone together for a departmental meeting, handed out the company’s annual goals, and assigned groups of people to various tasks along with deadlines. She had worked hard on everyone’s list of tasks and could not understand why six months later the department was falling behind on their metrics. Tanya had already clearly laid out what must be done, and she set up regular meetings with her team to direct them what to do next. They had a shared purpose of meeting all the required governmental compliance for the year. Yet the team was pointing fingers and quiet quitting was in the room. Tanya did not grasp that her team needed autonomy to function as a team.
Build Your Team Among All Those Other Teams
Why do some teams become highly successful while others slide into oblivion?
The word “team” is thrown around so much in business today that it’s hard to know what it truly means.
According to Dr. Tim Baker in his blog; “The 8 Characteristics of High Performing Teams”, a successful team means “knowing what to do, when to do it, and how to do it...There is a clarity of purpose and one that everyone is committed to.”
Part of that purpose relies on understanding what makes your team thrive – the characteristic that drives your unique group of people and causes a ripple effect throughout the organization.
This is not one size fits all and can change from team to team within the same organization. It is hard to define because the makeup of each team has to do with relationships, cultural traditions, and sub-group dynamics that include many assumptions.
What Characterizes Your Team?
Many High Performing Teams (HPT’s) are characterized by a need to improve. HPTs are like elite athletes vs. recreational teams. Recreational teams want fun most of the time: time to socialize, eat food, and play, all with a coach who doesn’t come down too hard on anyone. But elite athletes (if asked to define their fun) would include things like working hard(er), being pushed by teammates to excel because they care about each other’s development, asking the coach to push and give them a challenge. The fun comes from competing; not with each other for the glory, but to improve as a team.
At The Resultants, our team is driven by the behind-the-scenes approach we take with the teams we serve. That is why we coined the phrase, The Team Behind Your Team™ over a decade ago. It is part of our WHY and one of our core values, at the core of our being and the way we serve others. One of our clients asked us during a very tough strategy session, “Are you guys working or just having fun?” For a client with a continuous improvement mindset, like those elite athletes, our leadership approach would include how to stay focused, challenge them to reach farther, and still have fun without wasting time.
Your team approach is one of serving your customers, one individual at a time. Remember that it is just as important, if not more, to serve your team members. It’s not about how much of an expert you are in a group; it’s about how you can help your teammates develop themselves into a stronger unit, build their own leadership skills, and affect change that extends out beyond your team. It’s that ripple effect: each team influences other teams in the belief that we can all become better catalysts for something so much greater.
What kind of team builder are you?
Author, Steve Wilcox, is President and Senior Business Advisor with The Resultants®. To learn more about Steve, visit our Team Page or connect with him on Linkedin.
We are grateful for a strong turnout at our recent 2022 Twin Cities Business Growth Conference held earlier this month. Company owners and leaders enjoyed connecting with each other and hearing insightful content during our four speaker sessions and from our Keynote speaker, John Warrillow, founder of The Value Builder System™ and host of Built to Sell Radio.
John shared his ebook "The Yes Box" with attendees and it was so well-received we'd like to share it with you. Click on the link below to consider a new approach to doing business in our current climate.