There’s an abundance of information available on team building. The majority of the content is focused on getting better. But what is the case if “better” wasn’t feasible? What can you tell that you’re with a team which has no desire or ability to make improvements? What do you do if you’re stuck with a poorly run team?
There are several obvious signs that you are in the wrong group. As someone who has worked with more than one hundred executive teams, I can confidently say that you can identify the team that is not managed correctly by watching one of their meetings.
The list below isn’t exclusive. If one of the characteristics is present in the team, it is likely to be mentioned in a group meeting. When you look at each of the attributes, be aware each one is able to exist unless the leader has permission to the leader to allow it. No matter if it’s explicit or implicit, the leader is entirely accountable for the actions of their team.
Each of the following characteristics might be present on the team you’re on, but simply because one is present doesn’t mean that there’s trouble. The key is to observe and determine how the conduct impacts the team. Do you think it plays a minimal part in the team’s performance, or is it a significant factor?
1. “I am/we are superior” (or the”Swagger factor)
This is when the leader, or the team members, displays an attitude of knowledge or arrogance regardless of how subtle it might be or not be. We’re not talking about overconfidence or confidence here; I’m talking about a certain arrogance.
2. “I’m right; you do not exchange” (or the Win/Lose effect).
This occurs when a team member corrects the other. It’s not the act or the words used in this instance but the energy associated with the message. The way a team member is treated publicly (with other team members present) will be a reflection of how they conduct themselves in private. If the correction is in the act of joke or sarcasm, it’s a sign of trouble within River City.
3. “The “Overly happy executive” (or”the too cute factor)
It is when the person who is the leader simply refuses to look at anything negative. It is not to confuse with a highly positive or optimistic person. It’s the appearance of happiness used that is, clearly it is a mask. Everyone on the team understands (or should be aware) that this is sugar-coating, but it’s accepted or even encouraged by the team, as well as the team leader’s boss.
4. “1,000 Project mindset” (or the”overcommitted” factor)
A majority of teams will be faced with more tasks than they can effectively complete. The sign that something is out of hand is when the big projects on the team are met. Agendas for team meetings typically run for miles long, and discussions go on for hours without a beginning or middle, or even a conclusion. In meetings, conversations tend to be asynchronous in nature, and usually, there’s an air of tension or stress throughout the issues that the team has to do with. Drama prevails, or maybe it’s adrenaline.
5. “The “Kiss my ring” (or”the Hail Caesar factor)
Sometimes, the antics of a group can become too much when some or all of the team members start thinking they should get particular attention or appreciation for their work. They might not use the phrase “Bow before me,” but they do transmit the message. Do you remember Meryl Streep’s famous quote from the film “The Devil Wears Prada?” When she was done speaking to an employee, she would simply say, “That’s all,” and then dismiss them with a quick wave of her hand. She would then be so annoyed that she was forced to repeat these words to them.
6. “Sacred cow phenomenon” (or”The Chosen and Favored One factor)
It occurs when an individual is granted incredible powers and freedoms regardless of the results the person produces. I worked for an organization that was writing its own software. The manager who was in charge of the project consistently missed deadlines set with huge margins yet was shielded from any consequences due to his close connection to the company’s chief. Nobody on the team was ever aware that, year after year, deadlines were not met. Naturally, as the years went by, this individual’s standing grew due to the fact that the team was considered untouchable.
It’s not a secret that each team has at the very least one egomaniac, troublemaker, loudmouth, or eccentric as a participant. This is what makes teams distinct. The most important thing to consider is whether the person’s behavior can negatively impact the effectiveness of the group or not.
If the group or the leader doesn’t seek to alter the behavior but instead accepts the behavior, then the group is not a cohesive unit. If the members of the team cannot be honest with each other in a constructive and productive way, then there is no team.
If you happen to be a part of this type of team, think about the advice I got from Stephen Covey when I had the pleasure of meeting him many years back. He advised me to “Work in your circle” should you wish to influence positively a business (or a group) which you don’t control. He was referring to a circle. Talking about can be described as your Circle of Influence. This refers to the aspects of your life you are able to control and/or influence. Don’t worry about the things you cannot control (your Circle of Concern). If you are focused and persistent, your Circle of Influence will grow to eventually influence those things that were removed from the Circle of Influence.
If your team has one of these traits, If you’re unhappy with your team, you might want to look for a new opportunity. The ideal team isn’t an impossible dream; however, you’ll have to search hard for it.