Converting a team of leaders into a leadership team?

What converts an energetic group into a high performing team?

Pensive businessman

It is often said that a team is simply a group of individuals who share a common goal. Is this true?

Imagine a herd of Zebras thundering across the Serengeti with a few hungry Lions in hot pursuit.  They have a common goal…to put as much distance as they can between themselves and the Lions.  They have to run faster than the fastest Lion…or at least faster than the slowest Zebra!  Do they act like a team?  They jostle for position in the inner part of the herd, they block off each other, they try to put a Zebra between them and the nearest Lion.  They all work towards a common goal.  They don’t however commonly work towards that goal.

We have all seen sports teams with outstanding individuals…who play as individuals…and not as a team.  In this team the ‘sum of the parts’ does not add any significant value to capability, energy or competitive advantage.

In our working worlds we have seen ‘teams’ who are little more that a group of people with a common goal.  They do not blend their skills, knowledge and experience, they do not collaborate, interact and inspire – they simply work hard…and when results are not good they work ever harder!

This common goal is not enough to trigger impactful teamwork.  Imagine the results if all the Zebras decided ‘enough is enough’ and all turned around and stampeded towards the Lions.  Who would win?  Imagine if every time a Zebra saw a Lion the whole herd gave chase!   Things would be different!
Imagine if the sports team pooled their talent, blended their expertise, fully used each team member and enthusiastically supported and helped each other to play like a star.  Things would be different!
Imagine if the leadership team collaborated closely, integrated their efforts and approach, aligned their thinking and acted in support of each other and the team.  Things would be different!

What would provoke this change? Visionary leadership that recognises ‘what could be’...declares it to be ‘what should be’…and makes a compelling decision that this is what will be’.

It is the influential intervention of the leader that triggers the difference.  Tips, hints and techniques will be provided in subsequent blogs…for now though…it is worth considering the following ‘thought provokers’…

  • Does your team have a common goal, purpose and mission?
  • Do you have an outstanding team as well as outstanding individuals?
  • Do your team members inspire, encourage, support and enable each other to excel?

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