“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.”
How many of you were hired in an upper management or leadership position and allowed to assemble “your” TEAM? A high functioning TEAM working together as a cohesive unit guiding the organization toward goals! Some leaders have to “make do” with in inherited team. If given the chance to assemble a TEAM, how would you go about it? What process would be used? What criteria would be used to determine needs?
The first step is knowing yourself. Knowing your leadership strengths/weaknesses will help you determine the needs of the TEAM. I wouldn’t want a TEAM just like me!! How successful would that be? I am a confident leader but have learned I can’t do it all myself. Nor can I bring all leadership qualities to the table. There are numerous self-assessments out there to help determine your leadership strengths and weakness. After knowing your own strengths and weaknesses, make a list of the leadership qualities needed to “balance” the TEAM.
Also consider leadership qualities required to positively interact with stakeholders. Your constituents might require a certain type of leader or leadership style. If this is not known, find out! Network with others who know or conduct a survey. All you have to do is ask!
The most important point is knowing your vision for the organization. Without vision, there is no leadership! I can’t stress this enough. For those of you that play golf, here is an analogy for vision. Before hitting a shot, pro golfers stand behind the ball as part of a pre-shot routine. While standing behind the ball and looking down the fairway, the golfer visualizes the flight of the ball. The flight the ball will take after hitting the ball. Leaders are always looking ahead making sure all decisions and actions support the vision.
Once a 360 degree analysis is completed including your vision, your leadership strengths/weaknesses, organizational needs and stakeholders traits, you are now ready to start the search. This might seem like a lot but it really isn’t. Effective leaders already know all this.
If I were selecting my TEAM, I would require most if not all the following qualities:
I have had numerous conversations with colleagues through the years and TRUST comes up directly or indirectly quite often. Most people naturally want to trust a colleague and/or a leader and will when its either earned or freely given by those who naturally trust others. I believe most people naturally want to trust others!
When people have repeatedly placed themselves “out there” sharing work related or personal stuff with others (difficult to separate the two), people generally want to believe the information will be kept confidential or not used against them in some way. When it is used inappropriately or negatively, the sharing will obviously stop! Does this mean we stop putting ourselves out there? I would say no! However, I would use restraint sharing personal opinions or private information with someone I can’t seem to trust. At least until the trust issue is resolved or regained over time.
As far as leaders are concerned, continuous support must be provided at all times. Leaders must be consistent and work to earn and maintain trust with all members of the organization. Since only one slip up can cause mistrust, consistent behavior from the leader is one key for success.
If a member of the team loses the trust of a colleague, I would recommend letting them know how you feel. It is far better for you personally as well as the organization to get things out in the open than let fester over time. If not shared, the relationship will probably get worse causing more friction and less production. Always remember the culture of the organization is critical to its success! Be open and honest even when its uncomfortable and believe me it will be uncomfortable. Chances are the relationship will be strengthened because of your honesty and sharing your feelings with them. A mediator is also not a bad idea if needed depending on the status of the relationship.
Always cultivate relationships with others! Also know when we have those trying times when disagreements occur, a strong working relationship will help weather any and all storms.