Posts Tagged ‘leadership team’

In 100 Words: X-Factor for Organizational Success

Monday, January 31st, 2022 by Troy Schrock

You have likely heard three commonly claimed factors, in various priority, at which you must excel if you want to succeed – strategy, execution and culture.  These are all important, but what if the X-Factor is a strong, effective leadership team? 

Let’s assume this is true…   Do you:

  • fret over having the right, best people possible on the team?
  • consciously work to increase team cohesion?
  • identify ways to improve capacity, speed of decision-making, setting priorities and follow-up on commitments?

Operating as if your leadership team is the X-Factor should cause you to shift work time and still accelerate the other factors.

“It’s the little details that are vital.  Little things make big things happen.”   John Wooden

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How are Leadership Teams like a Chinese Bamboo Tree?

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 by Ellen Bryson

Consider this ancient story about a Chinese bamboo tree.

“You take a little seed, plant it, water it, and fertilize it for a whole year, and nothing happens.  The second year you water and fertilize it; nothing happens. The third year you water it and fertilize it; nothing happens. How discouraging this becomes! The fourth year you water it and fertilize it; nothing happens. This is very frustrating. The fifth year you continue to water and fertilize the seed and then sometime during the fifth year, the Chinese bamboo tree sprouts and grows ninety feet in six weeks!”

Wow, why all of a sudden? In its early years, the bamboo tree devotes most of its energy to develop its root system. In general, it takes bamboo about three full years to develop the rhizome system in the ground before it came begin producing shoots. It has to establish its foundation. 

The same holds true for leadership teams.

It takes time to develop the foundation and discipline necessary to generate high performing teams. People don’t automatically come into relationships trusting one another. People have to learn to be vulnerable. Just because you like someone or have worked with them for a long time doesn’t mean you are willing to let your guard down and let people see you warts and all! Teams that are able to embrace vulnerability based trust and get totally honest with one another about their strengths and weaknesses are able to establish a level of trust that creates a firm foundation. Once that foundation is in place, they are able to engage in frank debate that helps them make better decisions. Better decisions that are implemented or executed drive better results.


The Power of One

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010 by Susan Diehl

One voice, one direction, one result. I am speaking of the power of one team–aligned and guiding those around them swiftly, purposefully and cohesively. The results of sustained alignment are dramatic. How often have you seen teams performing at this highest level of alignment?  Not often, I suspect. The reasons are varied:

  1. No shared objectives
  2. Highly political
  3. Low trust
  4. Inability to reach agreement
  5. Lack of leadership
  6. Lack of discipline.

I could go on as to how misalignment happens on a team. Teams also do not want to invest the time it takes to ensure that they are on the same page, to clarify roles, to confirm decisions. However, it takes far more time if you do not invest the time up front to align these things. It goes back to one of my favorite sayings: “if you don’t have the time to do it right the first time, you don’t have the time to do it over”.

The concept of time is misunderstood. Many executives believe that they are acting too slowly when they have too many meetings. Consequently, they don’t take the time to agree on objectives, actions and communications. However, the teams that fail to gain this upfront alignment may complete tasks, but they will not gain commitment or capture the hearts and minds of those in their organization in a predictable way. As a matter of fact, a regular meeting rhythm or cadence should take less than 10% of a team’s time. This is because many of the unnecessary meetings we attend are the result of a lack of up front clarity.

How can a team or organization gain the alignment necessary to speed up its ability to achieve success? It is by means of a consistent and process-driven approach to alignment, and a commitment to stay aligned. The team must work to develop greater team function, it must agree on a compelling strategy that sets the direction for the future, and it must engage in disciplined thought and action to set in motion the strategy. Sound easy? It is a journey that requires commitment and vigilance. However, its impact is great: think of what you can achieve when you can leverage the power of an entire organization and perform consistently well.

Alignment is the key–it is the power of one.