I was with a senior global executive team recently and like many organizations due to the pandemic they haven’t all been in the same room together in over 2 years. Sure they’ve been on hundreds of video meetings and conference calls together but never in the same physical location at the same time. One of the most obvious group take aways from our day together was the value of meeting in person. While we understand this just simply isn’t possible all the time, when it does take place something magical can happen. Your team can actually become a team.
In all my years of facilitating executive alignment sessions, something I’ve alluded to is that there is value in any team all being in the same room together even if they just stare at each other and say nothing for a few hours. Because being together even if you say nothing, can help break down walls and barriers that may have existed for a long time.
Obviously, we don’t just sit and stare at each other, but what happens during these sessions is people begin to realize that the entire team tends to want to same outcomes. What also becomes apparent is that each individual has an entirely different process for achieving those outcomes and truly believes in that process with passion and enthusiasm. Passionate people do not always agree, which inevitably will create some conflict. It’s hard to understand some of those subtle differences and deal with conflict effectively on an email or a video chat.
The people that you work with are much more than someone with and @yourcompany.com after their name. They all have goals and objectives they have been asked to achieve by the organization and believe it or not, NO ONE wakes up every morning trying to figure out ways to piss you off or screw up your day! No, not even that person you are thinking about right now. You want to know why? Because we really aren’t that important to them, and they all have other things that they are focused on as they begin their working days.
While it’s obvious the workplace has profoundly shifted as a result of Covid, the fundamentals of building a high performing, cohesive team have remained somewhat the same. To build a foundation, which as we all know requires trust, a team must commit to something that is going to become harder and harder in the coming years… Time together.
What’s important is when you actually get that time together, don’t blow it focusing on the daily problems or transactions of the business. Those types of problems are well suited to your video chats, emails, and phone conversations. When you are fortunate enough to get in the same room together make sure you spend some time working “on” the business, vs. “in” the business. Your company has plenty of problems solvers ready to take on those problems every day. Your job as a leader is to build a team that’s capable of handling the challenges and problems that we haven’t even thought of yet.
The problems of tomorrow cannot be solved with the solutions we have today. Building and maintaining a high performing team is the best chance we have to be competitive in the tomorrow challenges.
This week ask yourself:
When was the last time my team spent a day or even a few hours together focusing on the team?
How am I personally contributing to building a high performing team?
What do I need to focus on to show up bigger in my team?
Cheers to you and building your High Performing Team
One Quarter Turn at a Time
Thoughts for the week:
Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships. –Michael Jordan
Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up. –Oliver Wendell Holmes
No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it. -H.E. Luccock
Looking forward to our next connection