Brad Lomenick, director of Catalyst and leadership enthusiast, recently posted a helpful article on his blog about things that can poison any team or organization. I found it to be pretty accurate and revealing of team issues I’ve experienced in the past. It also made me look long and hard about the teams I currently lead and serve on and the importance of safeguarding them.
Here’s a repost of his article which you can also read on Brad’s website:
I’ve been reminded recently of the constant tension on a team. And…. the Tension is Good. We talked about this and leaned into this phrase at our Catalyst event earlier this fall in Atlanta. The right kind of tension is important for teams, as well as for individuals. It stretches and shapes and allows for growth.
But there are other things that can creep into a team and poison it quickly. Things that sneak up fast and before you know it, start to define the team and take everyone off course. In the wrong direction. Headed the wrong way.
Here are a few of the poisons to make sure and avoid:
1. Arrogance- Pride comes before the fall, and for teams, the same holds true. Jim Collins talks about this at length in his book How the Mighty Fall. Humble confidence is the ticket.
2. No communication- this one is the most common poison for all teams to have some form of. The remedy? Overcommunicate. Be intentional and make sure folks are in the know. For team leaders, this one is tough. I struggle at this.
3. Me first, vs. We first- see this alot on high profile sports teams. Or with celebrities. As they say, there’s no “I” in team. A WE first mentality starts at the top with the leader who has to set the tone in word AND deed. If you are hearing “it’s not my job,” then it’s time for a gut check.
4. Jealousy and Cynicism- many times these go hand in hand and one follows the other. The remedy? Confronting it head on. Don’t allow jealousy or cynicism or cliques to form. Stomp it out immediately.
Hopefully this is as helpful to you as it was to me. I wholeheartedly agree with Lomenick. We need to fight off these poisons at all costs.