On The Way Up – On the Way Down – Leadership Dynamics That Matter Most – Jim Collins cont.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28TH, 2009
There are some important if not critical lessons in How the Mighty Fall that all business leaders ought to be aware of. It’s in Stage three, Denial of Risk and Peril, that Collins offers differentiators between teams that are on the way down versus those that are on the way up. No matter what stage your business is in I strongly urge that that you review these and objectively decide where your leadership team is.
Collins asked FSB Growth Summit attendees to rank in order just the right side of the Team Dynamics for those we did best.
Here are the 8 team dynamics for teams on the way up.
1. People bring forth unpleasant facts – “Come here, look, man this is ugly” – to be discussed; leaders never criticize those who bring forth harsh realities.
2. People bring data, evidence, logic and solid arguments to the discussion.
3. The team leader employs a Socratic style, using a high questions-to-statements ratio, challenging people, and pushing for penetrating insight.
4. Team members unify behind a decision once made and work to make the decision succeed, even if they vigorously disagreed with the decision.
5. Each team member credits other people for success yet enjoys the confidence and admiration of his or her peers.
6. Team members argue and debate, not to improve their personal position, but to find the best answers to support the overall cause.
7. The team conducts “autopsies without blame,” mining the wisdom from painful experiences.
8. Each team member delivers exceptional results, yet in the event of a setback, each accepts full responsibility and learns from mistakes.
The easiest way to describe these for leadership teams on the way down, other than sending you to page 77 of How the Mighty Fall is to think of the opposite side of these statements.
After completing the exercise an audience member asked Collins which of these were most important. Collins replied that he would provide the top four that he felt where most important listing #4, #3, #7 and #8.
He pointed out that many times teams confuse the idea of getting together to make a decision with attaining consensus. Collins said the value in getting everyone on your executive team together is not to gain consensus but clarity. As someone once pointed out statues are never dedicated to a committee. It is critical once clarity is attained and the decision made, that everyone in the executive team moves forward in unity committed to the common purpose.
The key question he had for us as we reviewed these leadership dynamics is: Do we have the right people on the bus? I hope you recognize that getting your leadership team to respond to all of these 8 team dynamics requires having the right people in place.
Jim Collins is a big believer that the difference between good and great companies is discipline. We’ll explore what separates companies who overreach from those that succeed and the questions you should ask and answer on how to make sure you don’t over reach in my next blog.
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