In a recent leadership workshop comprised of senior leaders of a firm there was so much discussion about the challenges of their team. As with so many other companies, this organization put more focus on taking care of their external clients rather than taking care of its internal team. They thought that as long as the customers seemed happy there was no need to make any adjustments with the team’s direction. Yet it was obvious that these leaders were not functioning as a cohesive group and saw no need to be strong team players.
Our work worlds can either energize or debilitate us. There isn’t anything more deflating than coming to work each day and feeling uncomfortable in our workplace or worrying about how our team members might respond in their daily routines. Leaders can even feel drained teaming up with a group of people on a project where there is little trust.
Working with all kinds of teams for many years I can share that the levels of trust and loyalty break down for many different reasons.
- Sometimes things fall apart when new members are hired or long time players decide to leave.
- Other times the workload becomes overwhelming causing loyalty to one
The leaders in my recent leadership programs focused on getting to know what makes them tick. They spent a great deal of time looking inwards to get a feel for how they behave and present themselves to team members as well as to colleagues. For many, it was an eye-opening process to realize they are extremely methodical or naturally run with their gut.
One participant shared:
“I have no patience to listen to long drawn out stories and procedures. Why can’t people just get to the point?”
Another participant revealed:
Working with clients this past year, I have noticed a big upswing with people feeling less secure in their work environments. Many times this feeling has less to do with job cuts but rather reflects the culture and climate that leadership conveys. Are you leading your team with confidence and clarity? Are you self-aware and willing to develop others? Are you willing to expose your own vulnerabilities in order to establish deeper and more productive work relationships? When we lead from both a strategic and relationship-building vantage point, we can create a safe place for our work world. So how do we go about developing such a trusting and transparent culture?
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I know there is the thinking that great leaders are not created but rather they are born to lead. I am not convinced that leadership is mostly innate. With the proper professional training and coaching, an enthusiastic and determined manager can transform him or herself into a butterfly of a leader. I say this from experience and working with team leaders who began as caterpillars. For all of you seasoned leaders, remember where you were when you began to transform. I am sure you started out in a very different place, perhaps with strong technical capabilities, but weaker leadership skills. You were promoted to a leadership role because you had mastered the responsibilities of your job. You probably had minimal management or leadership training. So what type of training is… Continue reading | 3 Comments