Team and Leadership: Summary

by Ron Potter

Over the last several weeks we have been reviewing and expanding on the elements of a great team in our Thursday blog.  At the same time, our Monday blog has been exploring more detail on the elements of great leadership.  These are the first two legs of our Team Leadership Culture (TLC) model.

In general I believe it’s important to build a great team before working on leadership skills but in reality, it’s difficult to accomplish one without the other.  In many cases, they are tightly coupled and interdependent.

Today let’s review the elements of team and leadership and see how they fit together.

Elements of Team

Truth – Respect – Elegance – Commitment

Elements of Leadership

Humility – Development – Commitment – Focus
Compassion – Integrity – Peacemaking – Endurance


Let’s start with the elements of Team and look at the interdependence, overlap, and alignment with the Leadership elements.

Truth => Humility – Integrity – Peacemaking

To build a great team, members must be truthful with each other.  Truthfulness requires Humility, Integrity, and Peacemaking from the Leadership Skill List.


Humility has been misunderstood and misused in recent years.  Often people think of “turning the other cheek” or even being a “doormat” in order to be humble.  The original meaning of the word meant great power under complete control.  Humility doesn’t mean you’re powerless.  In fact quite the opposite.  It means that you have tremendous power.  Enough power to crush your opposition.  But when you’re humble, you choose not to use that power in a destructive way but to use the power for intense learning and curiosity.  Humble people may be the most powerful people in the room but are focused on individual and team learning through curiosity.  Humble people assume the other person may know something they don’t or have a very different perspective that’s worth learning.


Integer also comes from the same root as integer.  It means whole, complete, sound and even incorruptible.  A person of high integrity is the same, complete, whole person no matter where they are or who they are with.  You can always trust they are and will be the same and say the same thing no matter what.  This is essential for the Truth required on teams as well as Commitment.  If you can’t trust that someone is genuine and has integrity, it’s difficult to get at the truth or sustain commitment.


Peacemaking is also a word that we’ll see associated with Truth and Commitment.  Peacemaking is not the absence of conflict and different opinions.  Peacemaking understands that differences of opinion is natural for human-beings but has figured out a way to work through the differences and conflicts in a healthy productive way.

Respect => Humility, Development, Compassion and Integrity

Building and maintain respect with a team requires a leadership style built on humility, development, compassion, and integrity.

It’s important to note here that when I use the word leadership, I don’t mean the identified leader of the team.  I have observed people of all ranks and positions being leaders.  True leadership comes from your actions, not your position.

Humility and Integrity

We talked about humility and integrity in the Truth section above.  The same issues apply to Respect.


From my book “Trust Me” development is described as “Leaders who accept the truth and train others to seize the benefits of adversity, loss, and change.  Growing people and giving them opportunities is one of the best ways to show respect.


There have been a few clients through the years that didn’t believe compassion had anything to do with business.  In their minds, business was logical and should be dispassionate.

I’ve often used an old adage to counter that thinking:  “I don’t care how much you know until I know how much you care!”

When people feel like you care for them as a human being first, they feel trusted and respected.

Elegance => Commitment, Focus, Peacemaking

Commitment and Focus

I’ve combined these two but they do go together in many ways.  It requires a firm and aligned grip on the goal and purpose of the team to accomplish the required tasks in the simplest way with the least amount of friction.  Make the goals and purpose clear and then make sure everyone is committed.  This will eliminate much of the territorial behavior that happens with teams.

Focus is under attack more than any point in history.  All of our modern devices are determined to capture our focus thereby scattering our attention.  Our own egos also drive us to accomplish more things and be in more places than necessary or even possible.  Staying focused on the goal and purpose is the only way to keep things Elegant.


Peacemaking was discussed above.  In making sure that things are accomplished in the simplest way possible, it will take a great deal of peacemaking to settle territorial disputes.

Commitment => Commitment, Peacemaking, Endurance

Commitment and Peacemaking

These two were also discussed above.  In terms of Team Commitment, it will take a strong commitment to the goal and purpose of the team.  It will also take a great Peacemaking/Decision-Making process.  Our earlier blog on Team Commitment talks about the process that provides a win-win environment which is essential to reach full commitment.


I used the TREC (Truth, Respect, Elegance, Commitment) acronym because it looks and sounds like the word TREK.  A TREK is described as a long arduous journey.  Especially one involving difficulties and complex organization.  Building a great team is a long arduous journey.  It takes great leadership to deal with the difficulties and complex organizations.

Team and Leadership

That’s the summary of the first two elements of TLC, Team Leadership Culture.

  1. Build a great team
  2. Development great leadership skills
  3. Create the culture to achieve the goals and purpose

The Rest of the Year Adventure

Over the next several months we will be talking about Culture, the third leg of TLC.  We’ll be doing this in our Thursday morning blog posts.  Our Monday blogs have been dedicated to the Leadership aspect of TLC.  For the rest of this year, we’ll be using Monday’s to blog about things that provoke some thought.  These usually come from my daily experiences in life, what I observe in the world, an article or book that makes a point that I think should be shared.  They won’t happen like clockwork every Monday morning but simply when something strikes me as worthwhile.  Stay tuned.

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