Developing Excellent Teams
“If you could get all of the people in your organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, any market against any competition.” Patrick Lencioni
I recently read and then reread Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. It was a fabulous book – full of things we NEED to know as leaders. As I read Patrick’s story about the dysfunctional executive team – I couldn’t help comparing the story to many teams I’ve been on. I’m sure most of us don’t need to look too hard to find a dysfunctional team in our own circles. Dysfunctional teams are everywhere. I think finding a functional team is harder than ever. Yet they are out there if we look for them.
We may not find our own teams to be functional but if we’re willing to do the work we can take our dysfunctional team and transform it into a functional one. We don’t need to continue settling for being part of a dysfunctional team. As leaders we have the power to change the direction of our team. We also have the power to let things continue as they are. It’s up to us. We can actively lead or we can just let things go on as they always have. Usually if we do nothing – we get a dysfunctional team whether that’s what we wanted or not.
Ultimately, it’s our job as leaders to lead the team. It’s our job to assess the current state of our teams. It’s our job to turn things around if they’re dysfunctional. And it’s our job to start the work necessary to make a change.
Turning a dysfunctional team into a healthy, functional team is hard work. It takes guts and dedicated follow-through. I think this scares many of us and this is why we continue to lead as we always have.
Yet it’s amazing to watch a team go from being dysfunctional to being functional. There are times I’ve watched companies transform before my eyes in just a few months. When they transform the way they function as a team many things will happen. The bottom line will be impacted, sales will go up and people will get focused. Things happen when teams begin to function in a healthy way. The best part of the transformation is in what happens to morale. When teams begin functioning – they actually begin to have fun together and their positive energy is contagious. As teams come together under leaders committed to change – anything is possible.
Transforming a dysfunctional team into a healthy, functional team won’t be easy, it will take time and it will require all you have as a leader. But when you look at the alternative – a dysfunctional, unengaged team, what are your choices? You can keep getting what you have always gotten or you can take a risk and step into something new. There are hundreds of resources out there for you to grab on to if you are willing to take you team to the higher ground. But first you must decide if you are willing to do what it will take to get there.