This month I was reading some online articles and watching videos about how to build effective teams. It seems to be a hot topic especially for people in leadership and in management type roles.
Each of the resources that I looked at mentioned a list of important things that you need to do to build effective teams. One video talked about the 6 C’s… Communication, Commitment, Collaboration, Cooperation, Consensus and Celebration. These are 6 really good C’s, but rarely are we given the how-to for doing this. That’s actually ok because when it comes to leadership, the how-to’s can be great for one person and not work at all for another.
The best way to build effective teams is by practicing. Most leaders practice building teams at their work. For many people it is their job to help people work well together. Is it that way for you? Do you work with people? A great deal of time and effort is spent around team-building but this month I want to talk about YOUR TEAM!
Evidence of Your Team-Building Abilities
If you were to judge your ability to build and lead teams based on your personal board of directors, would you want to hire you?
Do you have a personal Board of Directors (BOD)? Have you selected people for your personal BOD that are challenging you? Are they helping you to grow? Are they strengthening your strengths? Are they helping you to achieve your goals and reach your successes?
According to research by social psychologist Dr. David McClelland of Harvard, your “reference group” [what I’m calling your Board of Directors] determines as much as 95 percent of your success or failure in life. Your “reference group” are the people with whom you habitually associate.
How can this be? How can others determine 95% of your success?
|Well, last week while I was on vacation in Orlando, I took a hot air balloon ride with one of the best pilots in the US, Jeff Thompson. Have you ever ridden in a hot air balloon? It’s a truly amazing experience. You lift off of the ground and go thousands of feet into the air and NEVER feel like you’re moving. (The balloon is going at the same speed as the atmosphere around it so you don’t feel a thing.) It reminded me so much of our associations, our “reference group”, because they don’t shove you in a direction, they glide you ever so slightly over time. Their influence is so subtle that it’s like floating through the air in a balloon, feeling like you’re just standing in place, until you look down and realize the gentle current of the wind has pushed you miles away from where you thought you were.
(and another balloon off in the horizon)
Sometimes, as with corporations, we need to take a closer look at our Board. We need to look at the value that they are adding to our company (which is this case is “YOU, Inc.”) As chairperson of YOUR BOD, is there anyone on your board that needs to be fired? I know that may sound harsh, but we become like the people we associate with. If you are associated with someone who takes away value or hinders you from achieving your goals, they may need to be fired.
Here are examples of 3 types of folks who should be fired from your BOD:
- Victims: These are people who see themselves as discriminated against. It’s the world’s fault that they aren’t productive or haven’t succeeded.
- Nonbelievers: These folks don’t believe in going all-in for the things that matter in their life. As Henry Ford once said, “If you think you can or you can’t, you are correct.”
- Know-It-Alls: Growth is based on learning and change. The best innovators and motivators are learners, no knowers.
I’m not saying that you should never speak to these people again, but you should realize that we all have different types of associations… There are people in your life who are “2 minute people”. It wouldn’t harm you if you spent 2 minutes with them but you wouldn’t want to spend 2 hours with them or they would take away your energy. There are others who you can spend a few hours with but you wouldn’t want to spend 2 days with them. Always remember that the influence of associations is both powerful and subtle.
Decide how much you can “afford” to be influenced based on how those people present and represent themselves.
Consciously Choose Your Board
Do me a favor, write down the five people that you associate with the most. Seriously, go ahead, take out a piece of paper or open up a document and write down their names. I’ll wait… Then, write down their main characteristics, both positive and negative. Now, average them out. What’s their average health and wealth? What’s their average relationship like? How intelligent are they? Are they successful as you would define it? As you look at your results, ask yourself, “Are these results okay for me? Is this where I want to go?”
Regardless of the answer, I want to encourage you to take some time to determine the quality of life YOU want to have. What kind of attributes do you want to use to describe you accurately? Now, surround yourself with the people who represent and support that vision.
I want to encourage you to take some time before the end of 2011 to look at your Board of Directors.
- Who are the people that you spend most of your time with?
- Who are the folks that advise you when it comes to
- career or business,
- Do they have the types of relationships, finances, health, etc. that YOU want?
- How did these people get on your BOD?
Are there folks on your board that need their titles and positions changed? Maybe they are not serving YOU, Inc. as best as they could because of the role you have them in.
As we start the New Year of 2012, take a step back and look around at your associates, your reference group, your board of directors. Make a conscious effort to recruit the best board members that you can find in each area of value in your life. Next year at this time, you will be amazed at not only what you have achieved but at who you have become.
Wishing you and your family a terrific holiday season
and fantastic 2012!!
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