Have you ever worked with a group of people that managed to get things done? I mean, there was no stopping your team! What made it work? What was it about them that made things happen?
Reflecting on the teams that I have been with over the years there are some attributes that stand out. The teams that top the list all had the same things in common.
Trust on the team is critical. Anything that undermines trust is an issue and must be addressed immediately. I can recall a time when there was a minor rift on my team regarding a hiring decision and it impacted our interactions with one another after the fact. We were not communicating well. The only thing that was going to fix it was to talk about the proverbial elephant in the room. So we did. Once the air was clear and everyone was able to voice their concerns order was restored. These kind of issues are more easily addressed in a culture where people feel safe enough to express concerns without retaliation.
No Slackers (there are exceptions)
Everyone on the team needs to pull their weight at all times with one exception. The only time anyone should be allowed to slack off is when they can’t pull their weight. I’m being serious. If the team is already trusting then everyone knows that it’s okay to have a bad day. If you are down and out, have a cold, or if something catastrophic happens to you, a high functioning team doesn’t hold it over your head. Feeling safe and secure is becoming a theme here.
Lead When It’s Your Jam
Oh yeah! Think of this one like when your favorite song comes on. Everyone has a groove. Great teams are like that too. You might have the organized one, the socialite, the introvert and on and on. In any case, people have different gifts. Take turns being in the front and be okay with it, title be damned (kind of strong huh). This one means a lot to me. You get more done when the right people are doing it.
This also is a call out for DIVERSITY and INCLUSION. Having a diverse team is the right thing to do for so many reasons and all of them lead to a better team and a better organization.
THE LEADER’S CHOICE
Leaders have but one choice to make. Do you want to be great? I would bet the answer is yes. Then the yes that follows is yes to a safe, diverse, and inclusive work environment. It is under these circumstances that the leader has everything and the organization wins.