Ron’s Short Review: One of my clients used to say “Things are never as bad as they seem and never as good as they seem.” He was right. This book says, “the world is not as dramatic as it seems. Factfulness, like a healthy diet and regular exercise, can and should become part of your daily life. Start to practice it, and you will be able to replace your overdramatic worldview with a worldview based on facts. You will be able to get the world right without learning it by heart. You will make better decisions, stay alert to real dangers and possibilities, and avoid being constantly stressed about the wrong things.”
Ron’s Short Review: Deep, difficult book but with great power. Here is just one quote “Why do we remember the past and not the future? Do we exist in time, or does time exist in us? What does it really mean to say that time ‘passes’? What ties time to our nature as persons, to our subjectivity? What am I listening to when I listen to the passing of time?” Ready for some deep thinking? Jump in.
Understanding and using the right process is one key to decision making. It also helps assure that you’ll reach full commitment to the decision rather than compliance.
There have been a number of decision types identified but one simple list includes:
Leave that to the courtroom. It doesn’t really happen in a corporate environment.
This decision type has the advantages of speed, simplicity, and clarity. However, it will waste a groups intelligence, invites resistance and lowers motivation. It should be used when speed and time are paramount and there is a real danger in not making a decision immediately. It can also be used when one person or team’s decision has little effect or impact on another person or team.
But the real cost of Unilateral decisions occurs with wasted time because of lack of clarity. I have observed team time wasted by putting a “unilateral” decision on the agenda for a team meeting. Unilateral decisions should be made and then the rest of the team informed. Informing is more effective through other means (memos, emails, reports, etc) than making it a topic of a team meeting. Once a decision hits the agenda, it is assumed or at least treated as if it is up for questioning, discussion or debate. If a decision is unilateral, do not put it on the agenda!
After observing and working with leadership teams for thirty years, I am convinced that business teams never make consensus decisions. They may talk as if it was a consensus decision but most decisions are unilateral or consultative. Don’t kid yourself.
There may be one or two decisions that must be made by consensus because they are so crucial to the future health and well being of the corporation but you cannot run a business by consensus.
Almost all decisions are or should be consultative. However, one major key to consultative decisions is that there is a clear decision owner. I have seen hours wasted in team meetings trying to make a decision when the real issue that is being sorted out is who really owns the decision. Unfortunately, that issue is either ignored or never stated out loud. Consultative decisions must have a clear decision owner. Sort that out first before you continue with the decision-making process.
The second most important aspect of good consultative decisions is a clear process. The consultative decision leader or a good facilitator must help the team through a good process that includes more listening than talking. One of the best processes to learn is the concept of Prudence.
Prudence is one of those ancient words that doesn’t get much use today and most people would tell me that it doesn’t fit in today’s modern business world. However, listen to the definition of Prudence:
“The perfected ability to make right decisions.”
As a leadership team, your goal is to perfect your ability to make “right” decisions! Learn to follow the process of Prudence.
The Prudence process is described as Deliberate, Decide, Do.
- Deliberate well. Most teams either don’t do it well or skimp on the deliberation process in order to get to a quick decision.
- Decide but be sure to use the proper decision type.
- Do. Execution of the decision will be much crisper, clearer and faster if the first two steps are properly followed.
Debate, Discuss, Dialogue
Deliberation can be in the form of debate, discussion or dialogue. Let’s take a quick look at each:
- Debate. If you’ve ever been on a debate team you know that the goal is to win. Often debaters are asked to take a position that they themselves don’t believe is true but the goal of winning remains. Debate creates winners and losers. Commitment will not be achieved when a portion of the team feels like they lost.
- Discussion. The idea of discussion may sound more civilized but the root word for discussion is the same root word for percussion. In other words, he who can beat his drum the loudest will win the discussion. Once again, discussion creates winners and losers.
- Dialogue. Dialogue is part of the Socratic method. The Greek origins are “through discourse or talk.” The Unabridged Dictionary says to “elicit a clear and consistent expression.”
Dialogue begins with eliciting, questioning, listening. Everyone must be heard and understood. (See my short book review of On Dialogue by David Bohm).
If you do a great job of deliberation, using dialogue, decisions will be made easier. A decision will not only be made easier, but there will also be a full commitment to the decisions that are reached. This happens even if individuals were opposed to the decision in the first place. Dialogue works through those differences and allows teams to get beyond compliance with full commitment.
Once full commitment has been achieved, decision execution happens. No revisiting. No dragging of feet. No sabotage. Just clean, crisp execution.
Get to full commitment by identifying your decision type and using a good process to reach commitment!
This will be our last blog post on the Elegance section of TREC: Truth, Respect, Elegance, and Commitment. We’ll summarize these three elements in our next blog as you begin to see the entire journey to great team development.
This post, a subtopic of Elegance, is about Role Clarification but I want to start with one of those statements that seem to have gone viral in corporate speak.
Stay in your Swim Lane
If you’ve been in the corporate world over the last several years, you’ve probably heard this term. I’m not sure who started this cliche but it sure wasn’t someone who knew how to build great teams. This is NOT one of my favorite sayings. Every time I hear this statement it’s in reference to someone who has:
- crossed the boundary
- stepped on someone else’s toes
- “presumed” to know better than the “expert” how things should or should not be done
Whatever the reason for the irritation, it sends a message that everyone is supposed to do their own job and somehow that will make the team effort successful. This message reveals a couple of beliefs at the core of team building.
- Build the right set of skills, do your job and everything will be just fine.
- No one has the skills or experience to question the “expert.” Questioning the expert questions their competency.
There are some fallacies in those beliefs.
- Skills and competencies are what will make a team and a corporation successful. WRONG!
The reason this belief exists is that most corporations depend on the measurement of skills and competencies as the measure of internal success. Promotions, pay levels, and other rewards are based on these measurements. Research and experience points to the fact the good people skills create more success than job skills and competencies. It’s just that people skills, leadership style, and team engagement are harder to measure.
- Other research shows that new creative, innovative, breakthrough ideas almost always come not from the expert but from the person who has a different perspective altogether.
Orchestras and Choirs
Teams should function more like an orchestra. If you want a quick read about what that looks like, try Maestro: A Surprising Story about leading by listening by Roger Nierenberg.
I’ve been a choir member off and on for years. I just love the harmonizing of the various parts. When it all comes together in a crescendo, it just sends a chill down your spine and sometimes brings tears to your eyes. Hearing and being a part of a 12, 50 or 100 member choir as they bring their voices together is a wonderful experience.
Rehearsals are very different and a great learning experience.
- The leader expects each section to know their part and perform it well
- The leader will often stop us to say, “This section is not working, let’s listen to each part then put it all back together again.”
- Often we’re instructed to tone our section down a bit so that the overall piece can be better understood. “Basses, tone it down. The sopranos are carrying the melody at this point and you’re drowning them out. The audience can’t hear the melody.”
- “Now basses, pick up the energy and the lead from the sopranos and bring it together with the same enthusiasm.”
The orchestra conductor leads us. He expects us to know our part and corrects us when we don’t do it well. But when we do it together it sounds awesome!
Business teams don’t usually function in this manner. “Stay in your swim lanes” or “Know your job assignment and do it well.” Seldom do I hear team leaders asking a section to tone it down, work at something other than your optimum rate, blend with the team, pick up on their enthusiasm and build something great together!
Knowing our roles is important. Building a great team means bringing it all together, not just maximizing each part!
On October 29, 1941, as the world reeled from the onslaught of the Nazi regime in Europe and faced a looming threat from Japan, Winston Churchill was asked to speak at Harrow, his old school. Near the end of his two-page speech, Churchill spoke the now famous words:
Never give in, never give in, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.”
Churchill had experienced many crushing setbacks throughout his life and political career, yet he refused to give up. He was a man of extreme courage and endurance.
When leaders make decisions, seek to expand an organization’s borders, or want to execute an innovative idea or create change, they will encounter opposition and face the great temptation to conform or quit. How can they resist and stand strong? How can they acquire the bulldog will of a Winston Churchill and never give up?
“Holding the hill” when under fire can be a terrifying and lonely experience. A leader will face a long list of challenges, which, if not faced and disarmed, can turn the most competent person into a faltering coward. I have grouped these pitfalls to courage into two categories: doubt and avoidance.
This foe of courageous leadership comes in a variety of flavors.
First, there are the personal doubts
We may doubt our abilities, our judgment, our talents, and even our faith. We look at a problem and cannot find a solution. We attempt to fix it but cannot. Doubt oozes into our minds, and we are frozen into inactivity.
Then there are the doubts about our teams or others we depend upon
Have you ever worked with people who are overwhelmed, stressed out, resistant to change, burned out, not working together, complainers, rumor spreaders, backstabbers, non-communicators, whiners, stubborn hardheads, blamers, or unmotivated negative thinkers? When encountering such bad attitudes and behaviors that stall the progress of our teams, we are tempted to slide into despair, and our backbones turn to mush.
Next is doubt in the organization
We may see the company sliding down a hill to mediocre performance, abandoning the right values and a vibrant vision. It’s one thing to maintain your own personal courage in the place where you have influence. But it’s overwhelming to stand strong when the larger organization is waffling on its mission and embracing plans that seem doomed in the face of aggressive market competition. Your knees start to knock.
To endure as a leader, you will have to disarm doubt with gritty courage.
You’ll recall that Aristotle defined four levels of the Pursuit of Happiness. Level 4 is the highest level that produces the most happiness. Aristotle’s words to describe this level were Truth, Love, Beauty, and Unity. I’ve converted those words into Truth, Respect, Elegance, and Commitment. I’ve made this conversion for a couple of reasons.
- Words like Love and Beauty are not often found in our corporate language today so I’ve converted Love to Respect and Beauty to Elegance
- I like to use language tricks to help you remember a concept. TREC sounds very much like the word TREK. The word TREK means a “long, arduous journey.” Building a great team is a long, arduous journey. You’re on a TREK
If you intend to start that journey of building a great team, following the concepts of TREC will help you accomplish that goal.
- Role Clarification
Today we’ll start looking at Simplicity.
One definition of the word Elegance says “the quality of being pleasingly ingenious and simple.”
I think every team would want to be known as ingenious. Our corporations are pushing for more innovation every day. But I think simplicity is the more powerful and difficult of the two. In fact, being ingenious in the simplest form is the most powerful type of innovation.
Albert Einstein said,
The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.” He also said “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.”
Notice that with the pause right in the middle, he indicated that it would take courage. Taking something complex and making it simple is genius at work but it takes courage. Why?
I think one of the answers to that question is that you are a professional or expert. Often you have earned your right to be on the team because you have become a professional or an expert at something. Professionals and experts tend to make things more complex to prove themselves or show-off their genius. But, back to Einstein’s quote, any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex. Real genius happens when things are simplified, made more elegant, streamlined, easier to adjust to changes, quicker to adopt.
Part of your TREC is to come up with the simplest, most elegant solution possible. It’s not easy and it takes courage.
The other reason I’ve seen through the years for making things more complex rather than simpler is that it’s hard to be held accountable when things are bigger and more complex. I’ve seen “expert” after “expert” explain away why a plan or structure didn’t work because “who could have predicted something like that would happen in a system so complex?”
Make things simpler, clearer and less complex. Might you be held more accountable? Yes! But high-performance teams hold themselves more accountable than anyone else will.
Simplify, simplify, simplify. Take out the complexity. Bring more clarity. Be a more elegant team. People will notice.
In his book The Fellowship of the Ring, the first book in the series The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien describes the camaraderie of a diverse group banded together by a common cause. Called “the fellowship of the ring,” their quest is to destroy the power of the Dark Lord by destroying the ring in which that power resides. Though they differ in nearly every way—racially, physically, temperamentally—the fellowship is united in its opposition of the Dark Lord.
In a section omitted in the movie, a heated conflict breaks out among the crusaders. Axes are drawn. Bows are bent. Harsh words are spoken. Disaster nearly strikes the small band. When peace finally prevails, a wise counselor observes, “Indeed in nothing is the power of the Dark Lord more clearly shown than in the estrangement that divides all those who still oppose him.”
Conflict causes estrangement within teams, even the best teams. Therefore, managing conflict is at the heart of the dilemma of the leader who has good relations with individual team members but cannot get the group to work together.
Rivalry causes division. Debate causes hurt feelings or a sense of not being heard or understood. How does a leader keep an aggressive person and a person who easily withdraws engaged?
Kenneth W. Thomas and Ralph H. Kilmann created the Conflict Mode Instrument, which is “designed to assess an individual’s behavior in conflict situations.” It measures people’s behavior along two basic dimensions: “(1) assertiveness—the extent to which an individual attempts to satisfy his or her concerns, and (2) cooperativeness—the extent to which an individual attempts to satisfy the other person’s concerns. These two dimensions of behavior can be used to identify five specific methods of dealing with conflicts.” The methods are described as follows:
- Avoiding—Low assertiveness and low cooperativeness. The goal is to delay.
- Competing—High assertiveness and low cooperativeness. The goal is to win.
- Accommodating—Low assertiveness and high cooperativeness. The goal is to yield.
- Compromising—Moderate assertiveness and moderate cooperativeness. The goal is to find a middle ground.
- Collaborating—High assertiveness and high cooperativeness. The goal is to find a win-win situation.8
Leaders need to use the peacemaking qualities defined by the two pillars of humility and endurance to bring conflict to the highest level of resolution: collaboration. The cooperative environment means “I need to be humble.” The assertive environment means “I need to endure.” The two pillars, taken together, cause people to listen, yet hold firm in solving conflict through collaboration. When collaborating, individuals seek to work with others to find a solution that satisfies all parties. It involves digging into hidden concerns, learning, and listening but not competing.
We’re continuing our series on building great teams. Great teams happen when we have
We’re still working our way through the Respect series with the final set of circumstances of Envy, Anger, and Grudges. No, great teams don’t possess these attributes, great teams avoid these attributes. Envy, Anger, and Grudges are team weaknesses that can be lethal to your team’s well-being.
Envy is the first of the team weaknesses we’ll discuss. Great teams snuff out envy whenever it rears its ugly head. Here are some attributes of Envy:
- Discontented or resentful by someone else’s possessions, qualities, luck, or accomplishments, style or attribute.
- An emotion which occurs when a person lacks another’s superior quality or achievement.
- Desires to deprive another of what they have.
- Delights in degrading those who are more deserving.
Envy occurs when someone feels inferior to others and will do what they can to undermine or chop down those who possess more or achieve more than themselves.
At its roots, this is a comparison issue. Always comparing yourself to others is a losing battle. Jordan Peterson in his book 12 Rules of Life: An antidote to chaos states in rule number 4 “Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today.” Comparing yourself to who you were yesterday puts you on the path of growth.
I once had a pastor who was fond of talking about the little boy pushing his wagon up a hill. As soon as he sat down in the wagon to rest, he found himself at the bottom of the hill. Never stop growing! Never stop learning! As soon as you give up on your own growth and development, envy creeps in. You begin to be resentful of what others have or what others have become.
Envy is destructive. Its first target is yourself. Its second target is those around you. As Jordan Peterson says, an antidote to chaos is to continue growing.
As the second of the team weaknesses, Anger that is directed at circumstances or failures can be healthy if it is channeled properly. Eruptions of anger are seldom positive. Expressing anger and disappointment in a safe environment can help everyone deal with the loss and adversity.
I’ve often run exercises with teams that have experienced great loss and disappointment. Working in small groups I allow each person to express their emotions by writing them on flip charts. No holds barred. Get it all out. Once the teams have exhausted the extent of their anger, we take the flip charts that were created, post them on the wall, share them with each other and then hand every chart out to members of the team. They are then instructed to tear the flip charts into as many pieces as possible, throw the pieces into the middle of the floor (expressing as much anger as they can while doing so) and then we all jump on the pile of pieces and stomp on them as viciously as possible. By the time the stomping has slowed to a stop I always witness a moment of somber quiet. But then someone breaks out in a big grin. Another joins them. It soon turns to laughter and people start expressing how cathartic the exercise was. In one form or another people shout out “Wow, I haven’t felt this good in a long time!” The anger dissipates. Calm heads return. And a new determination emerges in the room to move on, work hard, figure out how to overcome and get better.
All too often the anger remains covert. People assume they must hold their head up high, don’t complain and keep going. When things remain covert it’s almost impossible to deal with them. Once we brought out the anger in an overt but healthy way, new energy emerges from the team and it makes it possible to move forward.
The third and most subtle of the team weaknesses, Grudges can be caused be either envy or anger but they just keep resurfacing over time. It’s probably because it remains overt until that moment when it erupts once again.
One of my teams referred to the practices as “replaying old tapes.” Something would happen on the team that didn’t seem to make sense to me and finally, someone else would explain, “Oh, they’re just replaying old tapes from what happened a few years ago.” A few years ago? Are you kidding me? People are still holding and expressing grudges after a few years and no one has dealt with it yet? Amazing.
Leaders and teams must call out grudges and put a stop to them. Maybe it will take a team exercise like the anger one described above. Maybe it will take some one-on-one discussions with the leader or a coach. Maybe a leader needs to decide to help a team member move on if they can’t get past old issues. Grudges can be like deep infections. They continue to resurface. Sometimes a mild antibiotic will heal an infection. I dealt with one of those antibiotic-resistant infections a few years ago. It took a direct injection of the most powerful antibiotic every three hours for six weeks.
Infections can be tough to deal with. Grudges can be just as tough because they pop to the surface periodically. You must get to the root of them and deal with them to have healthy teams.
In this post, we’ve talked about the team weaknesses you should avoid to build great teams. In the previous post, we talked about the positive things that need to be present to develop great Respect within teams. We’ll wrap up Respect with our next post to pull it all together with focus.
My book Trust Me is centered on eight principles of successful leadership. What we call the “two pillars”—the key principles that support and are intertwined with the others—are humility and endurance. A leader who desires to build a great team must first become a leader of humility and endurance. Pride and despair always force leaders to choose incorrect methods and solutions.
It is difficult to build a team when you need to be the center of attention, the only voice, the only one with an idea, and the only one who can make a decision. It is also difficult to build a team when, at every sour turn, the team stumbles and fails or doesn’t learn from failure. Endurance means pushing through struggles together until the results are positive. Leaders, by the way they respond to crisis and chaos, often cause teams to quit sooner than necessary.
Understand, Accept, and Communicate Change
Since the 1980s—or earlier—the business world has begun to see the need for entirely new models of management in order to succeed in regaining and defending competitiveness in today’s world economy. The old paradigm of management that had guided the U.S. economy since the rise of the railroads and the large corporations of the Industrial Revolution no longer seemed to work. Firms struggled to remake themselves in order to be competitive. They followed the advice of many writers and consultants to become organizations that stepped away from Management by Objective and adopted a strategy of learning.
Today we live in a rapidly changing postindustrial society that is becoming increasingly complex and fluid. It is an environment that requires decision making and sometimes rapid change within organizations. Surviving and thriving in this rapidly changing landscape becomes a function of an organization’s ability to learn, grow, and break down institutional structures within the organization that impede growth. Organizations that are ideologically committed to growth and change will be at an advantage in the postindustrial era.
In his book Leading Change, John Kotter explains how leaders can effectively communicate change in their organizations. All of us at one time or another fully understand the confusion caused by change. Kotter writes,
Because the communication of vision [change] is often such a difficult activity, it can easily turn into a screeching, one-way broadcast in which useful feedback is ignored and employees are inadvertently made to feel unimportant. In highly successful change efforts, this rarely happens, because communication always becomes a two-way endeavor.
Even more important than two-way discussion are methods used to help people answer all the questions that occur during times of change and chaos. Clear, simple, often-repeated communication that comes from multiple sources and is inclusive of people’s opinions and fears is extremely helpful and productive.
Humility and endurance guide a ship experiencing change and chaos. A leader who builds a team, but their leadership style, upon the foundation of humility and endurance will see their team through difficult days.
How do leaders create peace in the midst of chaos? How do they restore an organization to the point of balance and productivity? How do leaders reach out to employees during times of uncertainty and worry?
By becoming peacemakers.
The major problem many leaders face is not the mechanics of change or even embedded resistance to change. The chief challenge is helping people understand what is going on around them.
According to a national survey taken by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research in the fall of 2001, only 1 in 5 adults said they felt hopeful about the future as compared with 7 out of 10 who reported feeling this way in a 1990 survey. People are distressed and want someone to bring meaning to their daily lives.
Calm and team effectiveness come when a leader makes meaning out of the jumble of chaos that surrounds employees, suppliers, and consumers. In most situations, every person on a team brings a different point of view, a unique experience, or a personal preference to the table. Every market change brings with it new expectations, new competition, or new hopes. It also brings new opinions, new points of view, and new preferences. How does a leader make meaning out of all that?
Peacemakers focus outside themselves
Leaders who understand the need to make meaning for their teams and organizations understand that it starts with their own style. If we are self-centered and proud, we surrender the ability to see the angst in others. The prideful leader will not see the need for communication or helping others understand what is going on around them. Such leaders hold their cards close to the vest. Their focus is on themselves.
In contrast, leaders who put “you first” and have self-esteem based on humility are able to look beyond themselves and help others see meaning in their circumstances.
Peacemakers maximize opportunities for communication
I have a friend who says, “You need to tell people the story until you vomit—then tell them some more.” Peacemakers take advantage of every opportunity to communicate with people to help them understand chaos and confusion. Communication is not just speaking; it involves listening, too. In true communication, a leader honors everyone’s opinions and frames of reference.
The goal is to learn, not necessarily to check items off the to-do list. This creates a “learning” organization or team that encourages and listens to everyone’s opinions. Before making decisions, leaders of learning organizations probe the dissenters to better understand their opinions. They listen, learn, honor other people, and discover how to make great, lasting decisions.
Peacemakers encourage thinking
Even when people see change or confusion as an opportunity rather than a menace, they still need to feel safe and unafraid. Leaders need to create an environment that is open and flexible.
Leaders need to encourage thinking that seeks the sustainability of improvements, not just the solutions to problems. In order for people to go that far, they need to feel supported and that their thoughts are being heard and acted upon.
The times demand that leaders bring peace to their organizations and teams. Peacemaking can be rare in our cultural climate, but that doesn’t have to be true in your company.
A peacemaking leader is a leader who:
- seeks to create calm within the storms of business.
- understands the positive role of conflict in building a solid team.
- is creative, energy-filled calm when employees can feel under siege and at the mercy of chaos.
- who stays steady in the turbulence and work with them to create new answers, new plans, and a new future.
Planting Seeds of Peace
The predictable environment is outdated, but to ensure quality, solid staff relationships, and employee achievement, leaders must embrace the peacemaker role and bring meaning to everything that is done or will be done.
This may sound like a daunting task. But even spreading a few small seeds of peace consistently will make such a difference—long term. Max Lucado put it this way:
Take a seed the size of a freckle. Put it under several inches of dirt. Give it enough water, light, and fertilizer. And get ready. A mountain will be moved. It doesn’t matter that the ground is a zillion times the weight of the seed. The seed will push it back.
Every spring, dreamers around the world plant tiny hopes in overturned soil. And every spring, their hopes press against impossible odds and blossom.
Never underestimate the power of a seed.
As far as I know, James, the epistle writer, wasn’t a farmer. But he knew the power of a seed sown in fertile soil.
“Those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness.”
Become a leader who sows seeds of peace.
Over the last several blog posts we’ve been on a TREC to discover the elements of highly effective and happy teams. The reason I use the word “happy” here is because this is the highest level of Aristotle’s four levels of Happiness. Being a part of a highly effective team will provide some of your greatest moments of happiness.
TREC comes from:
The acronym TREC sounds the same as the word TREK. The definition of a TREK is “A trip or movement especially when involving difficulties or complex organization: an arduous journey.”
Building a great team in a complex organization during difficult times is an arduous journey.
We have spent several posts unpacking our understanding of the complex issues of Truth. Highly effective teams can share the “truth,” but the concept of truth can become very complex.
There are three concepts that must be understood to share the “truth.”
- Develop and maintain Trust
- Be able to share Beliefs and Assumptions openly, without recrimination
- Believe that every member of the team has a Valid Perception of the issue.
To get at the truth, a team must TAP into the underlying issues:
Building trust is part of the long, arduous journey. It requires humility, development, focus, commitment, compassion, integrity, peacemaking and endurance.
Without these elements in place with each member of the team, you’ll never be able to build the trust required to tell the truth to each other. You must talk about these elements. You must hold each other accountable. It’s the first step required to make it through an arduous journey of building great teams.
The second step in TAPPING into the underlying issues of building a great team based on Truth is Beliefs and Assumptions. A team at MIT developed the concept of Triple Loop Learning. Unless you start with understand everyone’s beliefs and assumptions, you can’t provide useful systems, processes, procedures, policies, to guide and direct complex organizations on their arduous journey. Beliefs and Assumptions will always win the day over systems. They’ll win the day either overtly or covertly. And usually, the covert path is the chosen. Therefore, if your systems, processes, procedures, policies don’t seem to be solving your problems, you haven’t brought all the Beliefs and Assumptions to the surface. They are covertly sabotaging your efforts.
We each have different perceptions. Perceptions are modified by events and experiences over time. If you, as a team leader or a team member assume that you have the “truth” and don’t realize that you have one of many perceptions, just like everyone else, an effective team will never materialize. Just like Beliefs and Assumptions, you must honor and respect everyone’s perspectives as valid before you can get at the Team Truth that is required to build great teams.
TAP into Greatness
To experience the sweetness of wonderful maple syrup, you must TAP into the trunk of the tree. Oak trees have deep TAP roots to withstand the ravages of nature. Whatever analogy you want to use, you must TAP into the core of your team to build the foundation of Truth.