by Duncan Brodie
As a successful leader or manager, you understand that to a great extent what you achieve is down to your success in getting the best from teams. One would have thought that, in the range of challenges you face, getting the best from teams was by far one of the easiest things you had to deal with.
In my experience getting the best from teams and getting teams working effectively is one of the toughest things for a leader or manager to get right. Why is this?
People are not in the habit of collaborating
Throughout the early parts of our life we get into the habit of thinking more in terms of competition than of collaboration. Think about exams as an example: For you to get the grade or success you want, someone else has to mess up or perform less effectively than you. If one kid makes the team there is another who is left out. Competition is the norm, while it takes time for people to truly see the benefits of collaborating.
We all to a greater or lesser extent tune into WIFM
Let’s take an example: There are some major changes that need to happen for the organisation to remain competitive, deal with a struggle or even just stay top quartile in their industry. Now in the ideal world people, would acknowledge this, come together and do what it takes to change things. In the real world this rarely happens. The vast majority will in the first instance tune into their own personal radio station WIFM (What’s In It For Me) when considering how they respond. Is this an ideal response? Well no but in reality it is how people respond.
It requires us to step out of our comfort zones
When we embrace the spirit of team working and collaborating we have to rely a lot on others. We have to relinquish some element of control and put our trust in others. Not easy to do for a lot of people. They start to worry about what will happen if the people who they put trust in fail to deliver their part of the bargain. They will worry about the damage to their own personal reputation or career prospects.
It requires a different style of leadership and management
Getting the best from teams requires a much greater emphasis on coaching and facilitating when it comes to leading and managing. If you have been used to a style where there is a clear division between those at the top and those further down the organisation, this is going to be tough for you.
The Bottom Line: Getting the best from teams and effective team working is key to your success as a leader or manager. The challenge is to adapt your thinking and style to leverage the potential of teams.
About the author
To become an even better leader I invite you to sign up for my free audio e-course Leadership Success at http://goalsandachievements.com/tipsforleaders/
Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements works with professionals and organisations who want to achieve great results through people. With 25 years business experience in a range of sectors, he understands first hand the real challenges of managing and leading in the demanding business world.