Crafting Resilient Leadership Teams for Tomorrow’s Challenges

In my journey as the CEO of Activate Group, Inc. and through the insights shared in my books, including “The Leader Launchpad,” I’ve often grappled with a leadership puzzle: Should we endlessly chase the ideal of an all-star team, or is there merit in nurturing the team we already have, warts and all? In this article, I aim to dissect these approaches, highlighting the pitfalls and steering you toward a balanced strategy that embraces growth, potential, and excellence.

The All-Star Illusion

I recall consulting with a high-flying tech company, a story I touched upon in “The Leader Launchpad.” Their relentless pursuit of top talent created an enviable roster but also a revolving door, disrupting team cohesion and, ironically, limiting growth. They found there were downsides to this approach:

  • The instability is bred by constant change.
  • A culture where individual achievements overshadowed team dynamics.
  • The potential neglect of team synergy and collaboration.

The Comfort Zone Pitfall

A family-owned enterprise I encountered, preferring to rely on long-standing team members, missed crucial growth opportunities. This story, while not in my book, is a testament to the risks of complacency:

  • Becoming stagnant and resistant to new ideas.
  • Settling for mediocrity affects the company’s competitive edge.
  • The inability to adapt to market changes.

Striking the Right Balance

I recognize that flexibility and adaptability are necessary to build our teams correctly. I recommend using the following playbook:

(1)  Invest in People: Encourage and support the development of your current team.

(2)  Evolve with Purpose: As your organization grows, so should your team, but with strategic intent.

(3)  Uphold High Standards: Accept nothing less than excellence.

(4)  Lead by Example: Remember, the tone is set at the top. Mediocrity at the leadership level permeates the entire organization.

(5)  Continuous Evaluation: Regularly assess the dynamics and capabilities of your team.

(6)  Development Opportunities: Foster a culture of learning and growth.

(7)  Thoughtful Hiring: Look for candidates with both skill and potential.

(8)  Cultivating Excellence: Promote a mindset of relentless improvement.

Conclusion on Building a Resilient Team

The essence of effective leadership lies in navigating these complexities with wisdom and foresight. It’s not merely a choice between chasing superstars or settling with what you have. It’s about fostering a culture that values growth and excellence. As leaders, we shape our organizations’ futures. Let’s build teams that are not just fit for today but are resilient and adaptable for the challenges of tomorrow.

 

 

About the Author: Howard M. Shore is the founder and CEO of Activate Group Inc., a growth-focused coaching firm for business leaders. With decades of experience, as a CEO Coach and the author of The Leader Launchpad and Your Business is a Leaky Bucket, Howard is dedicated to empowering leaders to unlock their potential and propel their organizations to new heights.

Team-Building

STOP…wasting money on team-building exercises and retreats that, in the end, fail to bring about the desired results anyway. A significant reason that team-building initiatives fail is that too much emphasis is placed on the misconception that team-building should be fun. The purpose of team-building is to improve the performance of a work group, thereby creating better outcomes. This requires change, and for most people change is not fun … it is hard work. Team-building can be fun… if the members of the work group enjoy the learning process and relish the opportunities that change will bring. This is where a business coach plays a vital part in successful team building that brings results.

Key Elements For Driving Team Performance

If you want to improve teamwork and performance in your organization you have to look at the four core elements to driving team performance: relationships, goals, roles, and rules. All four of these elements must be executed well for the organization to flourish.

Focus on Improving Relationships LAST

Ironically, improving relationships is probably the last area you should focus on. Yes, the area that most leaders spend most of their time addressing is usually the symptom, not the problem. Almost every organization that has team-building issues will find their root of their problems in goals, roles, and rules. In my experience, when we address goals, roles, and/or rules, many of the relationship problems disappear.

State Your Goals

The first step toward achieving success as a team is to state your goals properly. You know your goal is well stated when anyone who reads it knows exactly what you are trying to accomplish and in what time frame. The better a person states the goal, the easier it is to create the action plan. An acronym commonly used for stating a goal properly is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistically High, and Time-based).

Understanding Your Roles

In order for a team to function properly it is important that every member of the team understands specifically the actions and/or activities assigned to them. This is not as simple as some make it out to be, which is why this is usually an issue for team. There are two different types of roles: task and maintenance. The “task” roles relate to driving the desired outcome of a team. The “maintenance” roles relate to managing team processes and relationships among people on the team.

Rules Must Apply to Everyone

Rules are a very important component of teamwork. This is one of those areas many leaders, particularly in entrepreneurial and family-owned businesses have the biggest concern with. Everyone is fine with rules as long as they apply to others. You cannot have one set of rules for some people and another set for others.

Contact us if you need team-building ideas.

Howard Shore is a business growth expert and business coach who works with companies that want to maximize their growth potential by improving strategy, enhancing their knowledge, and improving motivation. To learn more about him or his firm please contact Howard Shore at 305-722-7213 or shoreh@activategroupinc.com.

Profit Leak 4 – Are Vacant Positions Affecting Business Performance?

The Cost & Impact of Vacant Positions

Payroll is typically one of the largest costs in most companies, which may cause you to become too focused on individual salaries and myopic when staffing your company. While cost management is important for your business, it may also become a trap causing you to inadvertently develop leaks in growth and profits.

Do you give enough consideration to how hiring the right people can bring value and help you grow your business?

Imagine your business as a sports team. If we tried to match your team against the competition player by player, position by position, how ready is your organization to compete? Do you think the key performance indicators you require from each of your positions are lofty enough? How does it affect the team when one of the positions is not filled properly because the owner is trying to keep payroll down? How does it affect the team when a player has to leave their “real” position to make up for the absence or inadequacy of another player? How well can a team that has only filled some of its positions compete against another team that has filled all of its positions? What happens when one player has to play too many minutes or has too many positions to cover?

Invest In Growing Your Team

One of our clients increased revenue by 70% in nine months by identifying where they had unfilled and underinvested in positions. The company was growing and profitable but could not turn profits into cash fast enough. Had they continued with inadequate staffing, they might have gone insolvent. Instead, they invested in growing their team and found that for every $1 they spent in upgrading their team, their return was more than $10.

Discovering Vacant Positions

Here are some questions that can help you determine and discover if there are vacant positions in your company:

  • What key performance indicators do you use to measure high performance for each position/role/function?
  • Is anyone person accountable for too many key roles in the organization?
  • Is there any key role or function that has no one person accountable?
  • Is there any role that is not functioning well?

If you are interested in addressing your “profit leaks,” let’s schedule a time with our business coach to further discuss your business and how we might work together to patch up your leaky bucket. For a FREE consultation, please contact us today or give us a call at 305.722.7213.