Building organizational health starts by building a cohesive leadership team. “To those that have experienced working on a cohesive team, it is the most effective way to keep one another focused on what matters most,” from The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business by Patrick Lencioni.
Start by Building Trust
Cohesive team members trust each other. Patrick Lencioni details vulnerability base trust happens when members are open and honest with each other. They are not afraid to admit they were wrong and need help. Leaders don’t hide their weaknesses or mistakes and are not afraid to speak freely with one another. Their vulnerability with each other creates a bond. “At the heart of vulnerability lies the willingness of people to abandon their pride and fear, to sacrifice their egos for the collective good of the team.”
Team members willingness to disagree over important issues can only be achieved when there is trust. They understand not everyone has the right answer, and when they are willing to acknowledge that someone else has a better idea than their own, the fear of conflict is reduced. Conflict creates discomfort when people disagree. Healthy discomfort around an issue can open a needed discussion. Avoiding conflict can make the pain worse in the future.
“When there is trust, conflict becomes nothing but the pursuit of truth, an attempt to find the best answer.”
Before teams can achieve commitment, conflict must be mastered. Team members won’t commit to a decision unless they have had opportunity to ask questions, understand, and offer input. “If people don’t weigh in, they won’t buy in.”
“When leadership teams wait for consensus before taking action, they usually end up with decisions that are made too late and are mildly disagreeable to everyone. This is a recipe for mediocrity and frustration.”
Not everyone will agree on the consensus solution. But before they leave the room, everyone must be committed to the common course of action. It’s only when each person speaks up and offers their perspective on the issue, without holding back, the leader can bring the discussion to a clear close and expect all team members to support the final decision.
Commitment must be achieved before members embrace accountability to stick to decisions and goals. Peer-to-peer accountability is the leadership team’s most effective source of accountability. When team members know their peers are truly committed to the decision, they can confront one another without feeling defensive.
“To hold someone accountable is to care about them enough to risk having them blame you for pointing out their deficiencies.”
Focus On Your Organization's Results
The goal of building trust, conflict, commitment, and accountability is to achieve results.
This should seem obvious. Unfortunately, the greatest challenge to your team’s success is the lack of focus on results. An individual leader may focus on results of their department, individual career development, budget allocation, status, or ego.
“No matter how good a leadership team feels about itself, and how noble its mission might be, if the organization it leads rarely achieves its goals, then, by definition, it’s simple not a good team.”
When it comes to a cohesive team’s performance versus a non-cohesive team, the cohesive one’s goals are shared across the entire team. They view their responsibility as to help the organization succeed.
Book a call to talk with Wes about building a cohesive team.
Eldred Legg LLC