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, trish dervin career coach
What’s It Worth?
I ran across an article years ago that comes to mind often when I hear of executives and managers trying to create talent rather than develop talent their team members already possess,
Who does this remind you of?
Once upon a time, there were 4 animals. They decided they should achieve something big and meaningful in their lives. So they organized a sports team that is they won the competition, they would donate proceeds to a local charity. The team activities consisted of running, climbing, swimming, and flying. Each of the animals, a duck, a rabbit, a squirrel, and an eagle, took on the challenge of learning each activity.
Well, the duck was an excellent swimmer, but he did not do so well in flying and was a poor runner. Since he was slow at running, he was pulled from swimming and had to focus his efforts on running. This caused his web feet to be badly worn, so that he was only average at swimming.
The rabbit started at the top of the team in running, but developed a nervous twitch in his leg muscles because of so much make-up work in swimming.
The squirrel was excellent in climbing, but he encountered constant frustration in flying because his coach made him start from the ground up instead of from the treetop down. Hence, he did not do well in climbing and running because he was exhausted,
The eagle…was a problem child that was a non-conformist. He didn’t see the big picture. In climbing, he beat all of the others, but he used his own way to get there.
The moral of the story is this. Each animal has its own skills and talents if encouraged to exercise those gifts, a greater contribution to the overall performance of the team would be realized. By NOT building on strengths and focusing on weaknesses instead, individuals begin to feel less of a contributor, which leads to feelings of failure, which leads to low morale and turnover. We all know the cost of hiring, training, and opportunity cost of good talent gone bad!
A GREAT team, like the one on the left, is one that has a shared vision and common goals beginning with the leader and expanding across the entire team. The leader knows how to choose the right person for the right position on the team. As one of my clients says- “The right seat on the bus”! This is how you realize record results from your team.
Patrick Lencioni, best-selling author of The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team, has a checklist for building a cohesive team:
1. The team is small enough to be effective 3-10 members
2. There is genuine trust among them
3. Members regularly engage in productive conflict
4. Meetings result in clear-cut action items and commitment to meet objectives
5. Each member holds one another accountable
6. Leaders are focused on the team versus their own agendas
So- what’s it worth to you to develop a cohesive team with a strong foundation of trust and build on the strengths of each team member?
I’d like to hear. Send me an email to provide feedback or ask questions. Maybe I can help!
Trish Dervin, CELDC, CCMC
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