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  1. Make the Vision Plan
  2. Lead & Influence: Get More Ownership, Commitment, and Achievement From Your Team
  3. Lead & influence : get more ownership, commitment, and achievement from your team - Bates College
  4. Lead and Influence: Get More Ownership, Commitment, And Achievement From Your Team (Unabridged)
  5. Description

Teamwork is more efficient than a number of individuals working solo. The members of a good team know how to assign tasks to the appropriate people, and how to coordinate what they're doing for the maximum effect. Teamwork provides relief when someone is having a problem. There is always backup and help available, and the stress is less because you're not the only one doing the job. By the same token, the fact that each member knows he's responsible to others works to make him more effective.

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No one wants to let others down, or to be seen as the weak link. When a team is working well, all its members are aware of their parts in the overall mission, and try to make sure that others' work isn't wasted because of them. A team member has more ownership of what she's doing. She's involved in the planning of the team's actions, and she can see how her job fits into the larger purpose of the team and the organization. She doesn't feel like she's working in a vacuum. Good teams can build leaders.

They give everyone a chance to show what he can do, and to exercise leadership when that's appropriate. A shared vision keeps everyone moving forward. That's a pretty impressive array of strengths, but there are weaknesses as well. Team decision-making takes longer than individual decision-making , and can be a great deal more difficult. Depending upon the task or problem, team effort can be wasted effort. Some things can be more easily dealt with by individuals. The team's success may hang on the work of the weakest or least effective team member.

Once a team gets rolling in a particular direction, even if it's the wrong direction, it develops momentum. It may be harder for a team than for an individual to get back on a better track. Especially at the beginning when members are still getting familiar with one another, the work of teams can bog down in interpersonal issues, resentments, and blame. On the other hand, once team members are bonded and committed to one another and the team, they may be reluctant to tell others when their work is unsatisfactory or to point out that the team isn't getting anywhere. Individuals on the team may lose motivation because of the lack of individual recognition for the value of their work.

The balance between team effort and individual recognition is a delicate one. Some of the most important are: The people in the team, in general, have the skills to tackle the task at hand. The task requires the complementary skills of a number of people. The task specifically requires several people moving a piano, for instance. The success of the task is not based on the performance of the weakest team member.

Team members have experience working in teams. The perceived importance of the task is high. Group commitment to the task is high. Creating a strategic plan for addressing community issues. A participatory approach to planning would involve building a community team to develop a strategic plan. Starting up a new organization or initiative. You might form a community team to plan for a new entity. Starting a new program or intervention within an organization or initiative. A community team might plan or begin to implement a new intervention.

Starting a coalition. Once again, a community team might be helpful in getting a new coalition planned and going. Planning and carrying out a community assessment. A diverse team to plan, communicate with the community, gather and analyze information, and report on findings would make for an accurate and efficient assessment. Evaluating an organization, initiative, or intervention.

Evaluation is often best accomplished by a team of evaluators who bring different perspectives to the process. Spearheading an advocacy campaign with a specific goal. Here, a team to handle communication, outreach to the community, and contact with legislators and other policy makers could make all the difference. Running a fundraising event or campaign. Staffing and running an organization or initiative. Staff members might be organized into teams with each team having responsibility for some area of the work of the entity. Another possibility here, especially in smaller organizations, is that the whole staff functions as a single team, working toward a shared vision.

Engaging in ongoing advocacy. A team approach might make advocacy more effective, especially if team members represent different elements of the population. Performing a particular function within a community program or initiative. Many health and human service organizations form teams to address specific issues or populations. A health clinic might have a physician, a social worker, a nurse -midwife, one or two physician's assistants or nurse practitioners, and some RNs all working together as a team to assess and treat families.

Mental health centers often take a team approach, with a case manager and several therapists serving a number of people. Child care providers, teachers especially in middle schools, where the team approach is standard , street outreach workers, and others often also work in this way. Changing the community over the long term. Community organizing and community development are long-term processes. They're often difficult and frustrating, and they rely on the dedication of those engaged in the work.

A team approach not only makes more activity possible, it keeps everyone involved aware of what everyone else is doing. This means that the team can be more efficient and not duplicate services, and that it has the ability to change what it's doing as new information comes in. Mutual support can also add to a team's effectiveness and staying power over the long haul. A "Great Group" is Bennis and Biederman's version of Katzenbach and Smith 's "high-performance team": Greatness starts with superb people.

Those who see things differently, have a knack for finding interesting and important problems, have skill in problem solving, see connections, and are "deep generalists" with broad interests and multiple frames of reference. Great Groups and great leaders create each other. The best leaders create and maintain situations in which others can make a difference.

Every Great Group has a strong leader. Leaders might act as "pragmatic dreamers" with original but attainable visions, as "curators" who recognize and select for excellence in others, as coordinators of volunteer associations around "great projects," or as "conductors" who understand the work and what it takes to produce it. Leaders of Great Groups love talent and know where to find it.

Talented people smell out places full of promise and energy where the future is being made. Leaders help connect groups to networks of people, ideas, and resources that enhance the group's work. More diverse networks increase the chances that new connections will be made. Participants know that their inclusion in the group is a sign of excellence. Great Groups are full of talented people who can work together. Members accept their responsibilities to share information and advance the work.

They tolerate personal idiosyncrasies, and try to be good colleagues who advance the common purpose. Great Groups think they are on a mission from God. Members believe that they are doing something vital. The work is more a crusade than a job. A powerful vision helps them see losses as sacrifice. Their clear, collective purpose makes everything they do seem meaningful and valuable. Members of older generations tell newer ones what they are doing and why, and how new members can contribute.

Every Great Group is an island, but an island with a bridge to the mainland. People trying to change the world need to be isolated from it, free from its distractions, yet able to tap into its resources. The work should be intense and fun. Great Groups see themselves as winning underdogs. They are feisty. They are Davids slinging fresh ideas at Goliath. They see themselves as wily opponents in the face of bigger competitors. Great Groups always have an enemy. They are involved in a "War on Drugs" or a "War on Poverty. People in Great Groups have blinders on. They have a passion for the task at hand.

They are unusually devoted to the work. Great Groups are optimistic, not realistic. They are talented people who believe that they will accomplish great things together. The difficulty of the task adds to its joy. In Great Groups the right person has the right job. Talented people are allowed to do the work they are best suited to doing. The leaders of Great Groups give them what they need and free them from the rest. Leaders help bring in a "worthy challenge," a task that enables people to use their talents fully.

They provide the tools needed for the work, and help share information and ideas by convening weekly colloquia in which problems and dilemmas are addressed and new ideas are explored. They help members manage stress, model and support a climate of civility, and protect the group from the broader institution and environment. Great Groups ship. They are places of action, not merely think tanks. They do hands-on work that delivers products and services by deadlines. Great work is its own reward.

They are engaged in solving hard, meaningful problems. The work matters to people -- to those served and to those doing it How do you build a team? Choosing team members The factors below are stated as if one person will be choosing the team. Start with the best people you can find. No team is any better than its members, and finding the best people for the jobs at hand is tremendously important.

Someone may be a terrific practitioner, but difficult to work with, or jealous of others' successes. It may make more sense to choose someone who's only second best although still very good at the work, but better at being a member of a team. Choose team members so they'll have a good fit. The issue of fit was mentioned earlier, and it can't be overstressed. In order for team members to fit together well, they must connect on a number of levels. People don't necessarily need to become best friends, but they need at least to respect, and, better yet, to like one another.

They're going to be spending a lot of time together: it's far more conducive to the team's success if time spent together is seen as pleasant.

Make the Vision Plan

In addition, the more people like and respect one another, the more they'll communicate, and the more loyalty they'll feel to the team and its work. Both of these conditions add to the effectiveness of the team. As team members are chosen, therefore, it's essential to consider whether each person is likely to get along well with the others, and what she'll add to or take away from the personality of the team.

World view. Especially in health, human service, and community work, it's important that the overall goals of everyone involved be similar. If some team members see participant empowerment as paramount, and others see participants as annoying and obstructive, there will be friction. Not only will team members disagree and perhaps work against one another, but the whole purpose of the team's work will be weakened. It's vital, therefore, that the basic vision of the team's purpose be shared.


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In choosing team members, people's attitudes and general world views need to play a large role. Work ethic. Team members don't have to be workaholics, but they need to have similar work ethics and similar conceptions of what doing a good job means. If that 's the case, then no one will get upset because he's doing more work than others, or because one person isn't pulling his weight. Ability to use disagreement and conflict well. Team members need to be able to disagree positively, and to use their disagreements and differences about the work to come up with better solutions.

They have to be willing to voice those disagreements, because disagreement is often a wellspring for good ideas. At the same time, they have to be able to remove such disagreements from the personal, and look at them as problems to be solved with creativity and mutual respect.

Leadership - Engage your Team - Create a Culture of Engagement

Look for members with a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives. Solitude opens the path to creativity. People make such an effort to copy what other people do, because we have so much access to information. And people copy them. Creativity is doing something differently than the norm. Solitude allows us to get away from the inertia of our environment and connect to new possibilities. Emotional Balance Emotional balance requires you to respond rather than react. General James Mattis finds a lack of reflection the single biggest problem facing leaders.

Finds himself merely blown from one thing to another. But the leader who steps outside events is a leader who can change them. Solitude allows you to reflect on what is making you emotional and provide clarity on the issue. Often what you are emotional about is more of a distraction than an issue. Instead of allowing our emotions to adversely affect our leadership, it is wise to move away and deal with them in private.

Our emotions will find an outlet somewhere. And that is best alone than in decisions made through unfiltered emotions that affect those around us. Solitude allows you to slow down and be clear and firmly convicted of your values and beliefs. When those criticisms come along that are design to enforce conformity, it is easier to weather the storm when you know that what you are doing is the right thing to do for the right reasons. It is the power to rise above.

Reclaiming Solitude. I could chart the ups and downs of my quality of life personally and professionally and the amount of time I spend in solitude. We are continuously bombarded by pressures— both personal and social —not to stop and reflect but if we lose our solitude, we will lose who we are. It can be a closed room, the library, a park bench, and even a waiting room. We have a responsibility to seek out periods of solitude. We owe it to ourselves and those we lead. And where we find that disconnect we limit or even derail our leadership potential.

In The Leadership Gap , Lolly Daskal addresses this gap—what it is, why it happens, and what we can do about it. The gap is always there but at some point, it comes the surface to sabotage us. The problem is that one day, suddenly, what once worked so well to propel their rise stops working. And the very same traits that had worked for them actually start working against them. It is at this point that we need to begin asking ourselves some questions. And when there is that gap between how we want to be perceived and how we are actually being perceived, we need to take action.

Either way, an understanding of what drives can give us the insight we need to avoid our leadership gaps. Daskal invites us to look at who we are being and the instincts that drive our behaviors. She has developed seven leadership archetypes to help us gain some clarity as to what drives our beliefs and therefore our behaviors. The Seven Archetypes. The Rebel who is driven by confidence. The gap archetype is The Imposter who is so insecure they play havoc with their mind because they have self-doubt. They undermine their leadership thus keeping them from achieving greatness.

The Explorer who is fueled by intuition.

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Lead & Influence: Get More Ownership, Commitment, and Achievement From Your Team

The gap archetype is The Exploiter who manipulates every chance they get just so you will not know how powerless they really feel. The tendency for the Explorer is to use their intuition to manipulate others to gain control. The Truth Teller who embraces candor. The gap archetype is The Deceiver who is suspicious about everyone because they cannot trust themselves to speak the truth.

Discovering the truth and then speaking up for what is right is never easy but when we find we have been deceived, we can become paranoid and suspicious of others undermining our influence. We can become a kind of victim that will not speak up when we need to because of our paranoia. The Hero who embodies courage.

The gap archetype is The Bystander who is too fearful to be brave, too conservative to take a risk, and too cautious to take a stand. Once enabled by courage, they are now sidelined by fear. We are not really afraid of losing everything—we are afraid of what will happen when we have nothing. The Inventor who is brimming with integrity. Everything in business, leadership, and success is founded on the virtue of integrity—it is the force that leads the way.

The gap archetype is The Destroyer who is morally corrupt. While an Inventor puts their personal values into practice, if those values become corrupted, usually by forces such as ego, personal gain, or anger, they destroy the organization from within. The Destroyer advocates cutting corners, quick fixes and compromising quality and standards.

The Navigator who trusts and is trusted as they guide people to where they need to go. The gap archetype is The Fixer who a chronic rescuer no one trusts They want to help too much, fix too much and rescue too much. They inspire trust. But their ability and confidence to know where to go and become an arrogance that attempts to control others—to do for others what they need to be doing themselves.

The Knight for whom loyalty is everything and will stand beside you and will serve you before they serve themselves. The gap archetype is The Mercenary who is self -serving and put their own needs before those of the team, the business or the organization. Often the transition from serving to self-serving is subtle.

Only after unfaithfulness shapes itself does the self-serving attitude emerge in a way it can be detected and deciphered. Daskal reminds us that understanding our weaknesses is our greatest strength. From these seven archetypes, we can see how each has powerful abilities and hidden impediments. By knowing the gaps we can get into we can better use our strengths to achieve our own leadership greatness.

Daskal explains each of these archetypes in detail and importantly how we avoid these gaps. She describes what the positive looks like and what the negative looks like with examples for each. The Leadership Gap provides the antidote for leading on autopilot. Daskal provides insight into our behaviors and beliefs that can if not managed properly can derail even the most talented and successful leaders. Confronting and avoiding our leadership gaps is the key to attaining long-term leadership success. Civility costs nothing, and buys everything.

Incivility impacts our health and performance. Incivility is contagious. Incivility sneaks into your subconscious. Civility starts with a few basic behaviors and it grows from there. Simple things like saying please and thank you make a difference in how we are perceived by others and the influence we have on them. Warmth is the pathway to influence. Other basic behaviors include acknowledging people and listening.

They signal caring, commitment and connection.

Lead & influence : get more ownership, commitment, and achievement from your team - Bates College

Show respect for others by sharing resources, the limelight, and positive feedback. Meanwhile, low-performing teams share twice as much negative feedback than average teams. Porath advises you to avoid the temptation to get even. The best advice has nothing to do with them and everything to do with you. How will you choose to interpret it? Here are a few of her thoughts:. What are you going to make this mean? How you interpret the situation is crucial. How much are you going to let someone pull you down? What useful lessons might there be for you in the situation? Science reveals that about 50m percent of our happiness is based on brain wiring; 40 percent is owed to how we interpret and respond to what happens to us, and 10 percent is driven by our circumstances.

In large part, you really do get to decide how you interpret incivility, the meaning you assign to it, and the stories you tell yourself. You also get to control whether it makes you feel bad or not. Everyone would agree that we should be civil and we recoil when we see others engaged in it, yet incivility has become more commonplace. And it costs us all. Uncivil behavior does not generate greater influence no matter how loud you are.

Most leadership failures can be attributed to abrasive or arrogant approaches to others. Uncivil leaders eventually undermine their own potential. Are you civil? Porath offers a quick civility assessment online. Paul Meshanko has highlighted the importance of demonstrating respect in all of our interactions in The Respect Effect. The desired result is that those we interact with will feel valued in some way. He offers 12 Ways of thinking and behaving around others:. What we say is important but how we say it can make or break the communication.

Develop Curiosity About the Perspectives of Others. When this happens, it becomes easier to communicate respect to others, even if we disagree with them. Assume that Everyone is Smart About Something. The only difference is that we are all smart through different histories and life experiences. Look for Opportunities to Connect with and Support Others.

When we demonstrate a willingness to move away from our immediate agenda and search for positions of agreement first, it makes working through the actual differences a bit easier. When You Disagree, Explain Why. We have an obligation to others to be truthful with our perspectives and points of view. When done with civility, tact, and room for counterarguments, sharing our perspectives leads to the best decisions and optimal results. Look for Opportunities to Grow, Stretch, and Change. Learn to Be Wrong on Occasion. This means that our feeling of certainty about something is nothing more than a strong emotion.

The stronger the emotion, the more likely we are to develop blind spots around it. It takes a shift in focus away from what we need to what others need. With rare exception, when we meet people who greet us with a smile, they are sending us important information about heir intentions. Meshanko concludes with 3 key ingredients to improving your ability to demonstrate respect for others:. Once we understand the value proposition respect offers, that insight can provide us with patience, courage, and creativity.

Patience permits us to maintain our composure and respectful demeanor when others are not acting at their best. Courage enables us to candidly challenge disrespectful behavior and actions directed toward others. Creativity allows us to see points of connection, even in the midst of conflict. When we bring these qualities online and into our work interactions, everyone benefits, including our peers, customers, vendors, and ultimately, our shareholders. So if we want to have lasting change, the beginning point has to be our thinking. When we look at our behavior we have to understand that there is a thought going on in our heads that is tripping us up.

And we have to change that first. One right thought can correct a lot of bad behavior. As human beings, we latch on to certain ideas and assumptions and they blind us from seeing other options and responses to what life throws at us. We get ideas in our head that can literally block us from seeing other perspectives. We have to unlearn some behaviors and then learn and put into practice the new thinking and resulting behaviors. And it just takes time. We have to wake up every day and know that we have a tendency—not just because of our life experiences, but also because of the way that we have chosen to respond to them—to repeat a certain set of behaviors over and over again.

And learn from it. And then go to work on the thinking behind the behaviors we want to change. There will always be drama. Complaints, excuses, and regrets only serve to keep the drama alive. So, says Chism, when you experience drama you need to ask yourself three questions:.


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  • Too often this is where we get stuck. Our focus has shifted because we became confused about our number one priority. Sometimes we create drama because we want something on our terms. Chism relates a clarifying example of this with the recently divorced Joe who is having visitation issues with his ex-wife Patty.

    Yes, you can fight that battle, if winning a battle is what you want. Are you willing to drive to Illinois several times a year and spend quality time with your kids, even if Patty does nothing more than cooperate? Joe will struggle if that is his motive or intention. If he is able to let go of distractions and not get stuck on the rocks that lie between him and his final goal. Do you see that while this kind of clarity may not change all the drama, it will give you peace and free up your energy for more productive endeavors? This kind of dynamic plays out every day in our business and personal lives.

    When we are not clear about what we want, what our values are, what we are committed to, it is easy to lose our focus, to drift off course. Chism has written a good-natured and practical book that will change your thinking and in the process help you to control the drama in both your personal and professional life. Chism suggests asking the following questions:.

    What are my top 10 principle-based values? What areas of my life or business are in the fog? What are some of the distractions that take me off course? Where do I get stuck? Where can I improve as a leader? What drama do I see on a daily basis in the workplace? What drama do I see in my personal life? Where am I avoiding or procrastinating? It has always been a vital ingredient to success, but it becomes critical in the age of the knowledge worker.

    He emphasizes a focus on reflecting in real-time—in the present—in order to align both our intentions and behaviors so that we might bring about the results we seek. Marshall Goldsmith , executive educator and coach:. I believe that the process of reflection is more important today than ever before. I also believe that it is more challenging. We live in the age of the knowledge worker. Peter Drucker defined knowledge workers as 'people who know more about what they are doing than their boss'.

    Knowledge workers need to think and reflect. They have to listen and learn. They cannot just 'do what they are told', since their managers know less than they do about what they are doing. On the other hand, we live in a world of constant stimulus. Our minds are barraged by media of all forms.

    Cell phones, emails, text messages, and personal computers have reduced our already-limited attention spans. One of the great challenges for the knowledge worker of the future is finding the time to think - in a world that is screaming at you to act. Where I think my work is a bit different is that I focus on what a leader is doing right now as it is happening——reflection and awareness in the moment.

    Most people's immediate action will very likely be an automatic non-conscious process that they're not aware of. Throw in a little stress and emotional reactivity and people find themselves doing and saying things that are destructive to themselves, others, and their goals without understanding why nor knowing what to do about it.

    However, we have a worldview that focuses largely on conscious processing, we think that having the answer makes change automatically happen. We assume that just because Ruth knows what she does, she will change it.

    Lead and Influence: Get More Ownership, Commitment, And Achievement From Your Team (Unabridged)

    Change happens in the choices we make right now. So my interest is in, how you actually retrain the brain by interrupting that automatic habit and doing something differently. You may have to do it over and over again but at some point, the rewiring function will happen. I give people a model of this process from the triggering moment of contact to the final result. All along there are intervention points.

    Of course, the earlier you can intervene, the better. Not everyone can interrupt the process early on, but what I emphasize is that you just need to interrupt it somewhere. And the more practiced one gets at it, the earlier you can see what is happening. You always start with the repeated unwanted result. The next step is to build awareness of when and how that habit plays out. What is it I do that might push back too hard, that gets me in trouble? What is she feeling in the body? What emotions are arising? What are the stories in her head?

    Directing her attention to her internal experience creates the awareness of the non-conscious habit. She now has the opportunity to step outside all those automatic reactions and make a different, more conscious choice. Again, change happens in the choices we make right now. Sabbaticals lead to people stepping back to see their work and creativity through a different lens.

    He also gives insight into gaining perspective through reflection. Mark Sanborn talks about the essential nature of making time to think so that we might learn and gain insight from our experiences. He lists some areas we should be thinking about so that we might get the most out of our time reflecting. James Strock , speaker, consultant and entrepreneur:. T here is nothing more important—or more easily overlooked—than making time for disciplined reflection. Indeed, it should be scheduled—and protected and enforced—with the utmost seriousness.

    Religious traditions include notions of a Sabbath, a day of rest and reflection. Winston Churchill was active as a painter, speaker, historian, and commentator on current events. Many enterprises—from Google and GE to sports teams—encourage regular meditation or related mental exercises. To the extent each day can be seen as a sort of lifetime in itself, meditation or prayer can also be viewed as a sabbatical of sorts. In my personal experience, travel can be invaluable.

    You may see familiar notions with new eyes. In the 21st century, information and data are often ubiquitous. The value added by leaders—either in high positions or not—increasingly arises from those invaluable intangibles: judgment and insight. Both of those are more likely to be found with disciplined reflection. Mark Sanborn , author and speaker:.

    S omeone once said if we don't slow down occasionally nothing good can ever catch us. I think that sentiment applies to the good that can come out of reflection. One of the reasons we don't learn—truly internalize lessons—and keep making similar mistakes is that we don't pause long enough to gain any insights. Most of the busy and successful professionals I work with—and myself included—can go for long periods of time without actively thinking. We reactively think—response to questions, problems, opportunities, etc. I frequently say that nobody has time for anything; we make time for what is important.

    So often we live life by default and let circumstance and the demands of others determine how we spend our time. I believe we need to make time for reflection. We make time when we priorities, eliminate and adjust our schedules. What they are accomplishing versus how busy they are. What they have learned. Leaders need to extract lessons from both the positive and negative things that happen.

    How they are feeling. Leaders can't divorce their intellect from their emotions and succeed over the long run. Relationships that need attention. Their vision of the future, for their organizations, those they lead and themselves. And for leaders who believe in the spiritual realm, as I do, that is a critical area for reflection prayer and meditation in the Christian tradition I follow.

    Reflection usually requires "getting away" whether that requires a physical relocation to a peaceful thinking spot or simply blocking time to avoid interruptions. And finally, I think those leaders who value reflection and benefit most from it make it a regular part of their schedules. There is a hierarchy of communication we all practice, in which electronic and immediate data responses reign far above in-person and more time-intensive, dialogue-driven interaction.

    The trade-off is easy to make: we gain speed, immediate connection, and reactions while giving up richer contexts that emerge only when we take time to think. There are times when the arrival of each new electronic message or data-driven distraction has become a digital proxy for the sound of a bell once used by a doctor named Pavlov. In part two of this series, Tom Asacker philosophizes about the nature of reflection. His insights help us to understand that until we start to see our connection to reality, core changes rarely happen.

    Have we given the proper consideration to the impact of what we do? Then, Brian Orchard emphasizes the need to slow down enough to absorb what we are experiencing. He talks about the need to take a second look to gain understanding and the importance of getting counsel in decision making. Tom Asacker , author, speaker and professional catalyst:. To an outsider, it may look like idleness. Our work should be designed to move us forward, toward a worthy ideal, meaning, and a better life.

    But in order to get there, we must occasionally pause from its narcotic effect and critically evaluate its impact on our happiness and well-being, and its resulting influence on our community and environment. We must sit quietly and reflect. Reflection is not daydreaming. Is this the best that I can do? Will people be advanced by my efforts?

    Will my children be proud of my actions? Yes, there is boldness in action. But we must follow action with quiet reflection for that boldness to remain relevant and vibrant. Imaginative reflection breaks the powerful grasp of inertia—the desire to stay the course regardless of the impact on our lives—and moves us courageously towards our higher potential. Brian Orchard, pastor:. Mentally, we're in perpetual locomotion. From my experience as a minister, I have found that an issue is rarely understood well by the first exposure to it.

    Our first response is usually weighted by whoever presented the issue. It takes time and thought to slowly come to a more complete understanding. The value of reflection in this case allows for a deeper understanding to be obtained by thinking about the issue and allowing it to be seen from a number of angles. There are two biblical principles that to me, support reflection. The second is simply the whole idea of seeking counsel.

    This must mean a certain amount of reflection and counsel has a strong bearing on decision making. Devaluing reflection while expecting constant growth and innovation is nonsensical. Are we spending our time on the right issues? Are we delegating issues we should not be working on that could be better dealt with more locally in the organization? Kotter also stresses its importance as a continual learning tool.

    John Baldoni urges us to make the time to reflect to gain perspective. He reframes reflection as an action step, not a passive process. John Kotter , Harvard professor, author and consultant:. I n a world that is moving faster and faster, and changing more and in larger leaps, learning becomes a gigantic issue.

    Doing what you know is not enough. And learning cannot come in a classroom once every 2 years. Learning has to be an ongoing process, literally all the time. People learn in many ways. Reading really good books can help. Talking to really good people can help. I did X. It produced Z. But is Z what we really need? And why did X create Z?

    And what were the other alternatives? And can I find others in books, discussions, HBS that tried those other alternatives? Obviously, self awareness makes this easier.

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    One can be both action oriented and reflective. Action oriented means when you know what to do and you do it. Not next quarter. Correctable too. And since leaders have the capacity to help or hurt us all a great deal, everything I have said here is very important in their case. John Baldoni , leadership consultant, coach, author and speaker:. R eflection is a powerful tool for leaders, and one that is much underused. The chief reason is perceived lack of time.

    I remember asking the late Skip LeFauvre, the man who ran Saturn, how he found time for it. He said, "Put it on your schedule. Reflection is a means of gaining perspective. It challenges you to think where you are now and where you might want to go. How to get there is a good thing to consider during reflection. Reflection may be perceived as a passive process, i. In reality, reflection is an action step. You are thinking. That can be rigorous in its methodology. Reflection can also come through the writing process, i. Thinking of reflection as an active process makes it more palatable to leaders who by nature are doers; they like to be engaged in activities.

    Reflection can be one of them. While reflection seems to have no place in a competitive business environment, it is where meaning is created, behaviors are regulated, values are refined, assumptions are challenged, intuition is accessed, and where we learn about who we are. Some of the greatest barriers to getting the results we want lie within us. Growth happens when we stop repeating our habitual patterns and behaviors and begin to see things in a new way and in the process, discover the power to create the results we want. The best decisions, insights, ideas, and outcomes result when we take sufficient time to think and reflect….

    Only by carving out think time and reflection can we actually understand, in an entirely different context, the actions we take. It forces the consideration of core significant and pending decisions, outside of cursory overviews and immediate response…. Reflection is the deliberate act of stepping back from daily habits and routines without looming and immediate deadline pressures , either alone or within small and sequestered groups. Even if we can agree on the value of think time, we still regard it as a luxury.

    It is at the core of what allows a business to thrive. Reflection in effect expands our perspectives and thus reveals to us more options and that gets to the heart of what leadership is all about. The point is to make the unseen seen so we can act on it. We wind up shuttered in our ability to think about possibilities. Recognizing the need for reflection and actually doing it are two different things. Reflection is a discipline. Forrester suggests that we set time aside for a meeting with oneself. The power of reflection lies in how we choose to use that time and what structure we bring to the fleeting disjointed moments we are afforded.

    Some organizations he has studied have adopted a no internal e-mail Friday policy and other ways to temporarily disconnect from technology. Although these ideas may not work for you, the point is made so that you might consider the impact these technologies are having on the productivity and well-being of your staff. There is always one more e-mail and it will control you if you let it. Leaders need to understand and demonstrate by example that reflection—taking time to consider—is not wasted time. Reflection is the first step in coming to understand how we are connected to our outcomes.

    Until we see the relationship between the two, we cannot make deep, lasting change and bring thoughtful behaviors to bear on the situations we find ourselves in. Our thinking creates our reality. If we do not reflect on our thinking we stand to miss our connection to the whole. Consider offers a way to break the pattern of continuous partial attention that seems to be our default position in this technological age. It helps to disrupt the habitual thinking that drowns out the reflective, critical thinking we need to become fully present and effective.

    It is the bedrock of successful leadership and living. Upcoming: I asked some leading minds about the discipline of reflection. How will you introduce pause into your leadership? STOP To start, you must stop. CUT Eliminate : Every yes contains a no. Do You Need an Attitude Adjustment? To some, this comes naturally. Almost every communication reflects an element of staff appreciation.

    In the groups that had high levels of collaborative behavior, the team leaders clearly made a significant difference. The question in our minds was how they actually achieved this. The answer, we saw, lay in their flexibility as managers. There has been much debate among both academics and senior managers about the most appropriate style for leading teams. Some people have suggested that relationship-oriented leadership is most appropriate in complex teams, since people are more likely to share knowledge in an environment of trust and goodwill. Others have argued that a task orientation—the ability to make objectives clear, to create a shared awareness of the dimensions of the task, and to provide monitoring and feedback—is most important.

    Not all highly collaborative tasks are complex. In assembling and managing a team, consider the project you need to assign and whether the following statements apply:. If more than two of these statements are true, the task requires complex collaboration. In the 55 teams we studied, we found that the truth lay somewhere in between. The most productive, innovative teams were typically led by people who were both task- and relationship-oriented. Specifically, at the early stages they exhibited task-oriented leadership: They made the goal clear, engaged in debates about commitments, and clarified the responsibilities of individual team members.

    However, at a certain point in the development of the project they switched to a relationship orientation. This shift often took place once team members had nailed down the goals and their accountabilities and when the initial tensions around sharing knowledge had begun to emerge. An emphasis throughout a project on one style at the expense of the other inevitably hindered the long-term performance of the team, we found. The most productive, innovative teams were led by people who were both task- and relationship-oriented. Producing ambidextrous team leaders—those with both relationship and task skills—is a core goal of team-leadership development at Marriott.

    As evidence of their relationship skills, managers are asked to describe their peer network and cite examples of specific ways that network helped them succeed. The development plans that follow these conversations explicitly map out how the managers can improve specific elements of their social relationships and networks.

    Such a plan might include, for instance, having lunch regularly with people from a particular community of interest. To improve their task leadership, many people in the teams at Marriott participated in project-management certification programs, taking refresher courses to maintain their skills over time.

    Evidence of both kinds of capabilities becomes a significant criterion on which people are selected for key leadership roles at the company. The final set of lessons for developing and managing complex teams has to do with the makeup and structure of the teams themselves. Our research shows that new teams, particularly those with a high proportion of members who were strangers at the time of formation, find it more difficult to collaborate than those with established relationships. Newly formed teams are forced to invest significant time and effort in building trusting relationships.

    However, when some team members already know and trust one another, they can become nodes, which over time evolve into networks. It helps, of course, if the company leadership has taken other measures to cultivate networks that cross boundaries. The orientation process at Nokia ensures that a large number of people on any team know one another, increasing the odds that even in a company of more than , people, someone on a companywide team knows someone else and can make introductions.

    Nokia has also developed an organizational architecture designed to make good use of heritage relationships. When it needs to transfer skills across business functions or units, Nokia moves entire small teams intact instead of reshuffling individual people into new positions. If, for example, the company needs to bring together a group of market and technology experts to address a new customer need, the group formed would be composed of small pods of colleagues from each area.

    This ensures that key heritage relationships continue to strengthen over time, even as the organization redirects its resources to meet market needs. Because the entire company has one common platform for logistics, HR, finance, and other transactions, teams can switch in and out of businesses and geographies without learning new systems. One important caveat about heritage relationships: If not skillfully managed, too many of them can actually disrupt collaboration.

    When a significant number of people within the team know one another, they tend to form strong subgroups—whether by function, geography, or anything else they have in common. When that happens, the probability of conflict among the subgroups, which we call fault lines, increases. Which is more important to promoting collaboration: a clearly defined approach toward achieving the goal, or clearly specified roles for individual team members?

    The common assumption is that carefully spelling out the approach is essential, but leaving the roles of individuals within the team vague will encourage people to share ideas and contribute in multiple dimensions. Our research shows that the opposite is true: Collaboration improves when the roles of individual team members are clearly defined and well understood—when individuals feel that they can do a significant portion of their work independently.

    Without such clarity, team members are likely to waste too much energy negotiating roles or protecting turf, rather than focus on the task. If a team perceives the task as one that requires creativity, where the approach is not yet well known or predefined, its members are more likely to invest time and energy in collaboration. At the BBC we studied the teams responsible for the radio and television broadcasts of the Proms a two-month-long musical celebration , the team that televised the World Cup, and a team responsible for daytime television news.

    These teams were large— people worked on the Proms, 66 on the World Cup, and 72 on the news—and included members with a wide range of skills and from many disciplines. One would imagine, therefore, that there was a strong possibility of confusion among team members. Every team was composed of specialists who had deep expertise in their given function, and each person had a clearly defined role. There was little overlap between the responsibilities of the sound technician and the camera operator, and so on.

    Yet the tasks the BBC teams tackle are, by their very nature, uncertain, particularly when they involve breaking news. The primary languages were Russian, Chinese, Thai, and English. These teams, largely composed of software programmers, were responsible for the rapid development of highly complex technical software and network products. Many of the programmers sat at their desks for 12 hours straight developing code, speaking with no one.

    Ironically, these teams judged cooperative behavior to be high among their members. That may be because each individual was given autonomy over one discrete piece of the project. Practices and structures that may have worked well with simple teams of people who were all in one location and knew one another are likely to lead to failure when teams grow more complex. Most of the factors that impede collaboration today would have impeded collaboration at any time in history.

    So the models for teams need to be realigned with the demands of the current business environment. Lynda is a fellow of the World Economic Forum, is ranked by Business Thinkers in the top 15 in the world, and was named the best teacher at London Business School in Tamara J. Erickson tammy tammyerickson. A member of the Boomer generation, she is based in Boston.

    Lynda Gratton Tamara J. November Issue Explore the Archive. Executive Summary Reprint: RF Executing complex initiatives like acquisitions or an IT overhaul requires a breadth of knowledge that can be provided only by teams that are large, diverse, virtual, and composed of highly educated specialists. The Idea in Practice The authors recommend these practices for encouraging collaboration in complex teams: What Executives Can Do Invest in building and maintaining social relationships throughout your organization.

    Model collaborative behavior. Use coaching to reinforce a collaborative culture. What HR Can Do Train employees in the specific skills required for collaboration: appreciating others, engaging in purposeful conversation, productively and creatively resolving conflicts, and managing programs. Support a sense of community by sponsoring events and activities such as networking groups, cooking weekends, or tennis coaching. Spontaneous, unannounced activities can further foster community spirit. Change your leadership style as your team develops. As inevitable conflicts start emerging, switch to relationship building.

    Assign distinct roles so team members can do their work independently. Lacking well-defined tasks, members are more likely to invest time and energy collaborating. We examined scores of possible factors, including the following: The general culture of the company. Four traits that are crucial to teams—but also undermine them Large Size Whereas a decade ago, teams rarely had more than 20 members, our findings show that their size has increased significantly, no doubt because of new technologies.

    Virtual Participation Today most complex collaborative teams have members who are working at a distance from one another.