We’ve reached Step 4 in our 5-Step Process to Building a Powerhouse Team. If you’ve missed the previous steps, you can find them in the articles section at www.makingteamswork.co.
Truth is a tricky one and it’s ALWAYS the product of embarking on a process of development like the one we’ve been discussing. Truth can be uncomfortable and traveling an empowered path to growth requires courageous leadership willing and curious to see what comes of it! (Somehow I can always hear Jack Nicolson’s voice in the back of my head from A Few Good Men”)
We all know that trust makes everything work better. Faster. Steven Covey Jnr. wrote a book entitled “The Speed of Trust” detailing the myriad of ways that everyone benefits from a system of trust, which is well worth the read. So why truth and not trust in this 5-step process? Because truth and trust are different. Linked, yes, but different. We leave out parts of the truth because we think it will help us maintain the trust of others, at least in the short term. We manipulate the truth to make it more palatable too. I’m a firm believer in the expression “I’d rather have your worst truth than your best lie”. Even truth that isn’t pretty can be accepted without losing trust. One “manipulated truth”, and doubt can destabilise the whole foundation you’re standing on.
Truth is the foundation of trust. Don’t aim at trust – because we’re only human, and we fail. Aim at truth, and trust will follow. So let’s have a look at a few of the truths that may come up when following this 5-step process…
1. Do you have the right people on board?
The Communication step of this process may have made it apparent that you have one or two people in your team who don’t fit. Perhaps they aren’t on board with the vision and goals. Perhaps their personal values don’t overlap sufficiently with the business and the rest of the team. Perhaps what they want and what you want for the business don’t line up. Whatever the problem, the chances are great that the Communication step will weed it out. The next question is whether you’re prepared to address it, especially when it may mean removing a team member.
2. Do you have the right people in the right seats?
In his book “Good to Great”, Jim Collins compares a business to a bus and asks leaders to consider whether they have not only the right people on board, but the right people in the right seats. Somewhere between the Communication and Connection steps of this process, it’s worth discussing the strengths of each team member. Often, job descriptions aren’t aligned to strengths, and yet people who use their strengths every day are three times more likely to report having an excellent quality of life, six times more likely to be engaged at work, 8% more productive and 15% less likely to quit their jobs (Gallup Analysis).
3. What are the underlying issues holding you back?
Once the flow is re-energised in your team and you start to address the goals for your business, I’d suggested that you ask each “department” to present on their part in those goals and various other things including how they thought their department could improve. This is always an interesting part of the journey as issues come to the fore that you may not have known existed. Perhaps they’re system or equipment related. Perhaps they’re people related. Perhaps they’re leadership related… Whatever they happen to be, you once again have the choice to address or ignore them – and doing so requires courage and commitment many leaders aren’t willing to extend – EVEN when their business is on the line.
4. Is your business viable?
This is probably one of the hardest truths to consider. It may come in different forms. Perhaps the original plan or target you had for your business is no longer viable or the goal posts have changed making it difficult to maintain the status quo. Perhaps your product needs a revamp to remain relevant. Perhaps you need a whole new team! Perhaps you need to make an educated decision to quite and start again. None of these are easy and all of them are WORK. All of them are change. And change is hard for so many reasons (that’s a whole other discussion!).
Whatever the case may be, truth is a necessary part of the process towards building a Powerhouse Team. It is inevitable. The question is only whether you have the stomach for it. Truth is a leadership choice. The Dalai Lama said “A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.” This applies to everyone and all sectors of our lives. I wrote an earlier article entitled “The Vulnerability of Strong Leadership”, if you’d like to investigate further here…
Hold on to your hats, people! We’re almost at the final step!!
by Christen Killick
10th September, 2018