The Why and the How.
The transition to team management, while still encouraging personal curiosity and initiative, continues to struggle as the usual leadership doesn’t know how to encourage risk taking without contradicting the work of the team. The true story of the ages is that people will take risks when they have less to lose and be risk averse when they have a lot to lose. In his book Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek, talks about the “Circle of Safety.” Within this circle we can say what we want about what we want, as long as it doesn’t get personal, without fear of exposure or consequences.
The German Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said “He who has a ‘why’ to life can bear almost any ‘how.’” That is a very powerful statement to me. So, we are confronted with a conundrum: How to encourage individual participation inside a team while at the same time maintaining the health of the team. All of our operational and process challenges exist because we have been rather timid over the past years to tackle changes necessary in a meaningful manner.
We have to have each of our teams understand the rules. Each team member has to understand their responsibilities and job functions. They have to know what has to be done and how to do it. The primary working rules from Lou Holtz, the one-time coach of the Notre Dame football team, are very simple and very clear. Do your best. Do what is right. Honor the Golden Rule.
This about the team goals having supremacy to individual goals. Team success ahead of selfishness. The role of the leaders is to provide protection, cover, to the employees working on their team. The individual team members will have more confidence in doing what is right when they feel trusted by their leaders. And that is a winning position to be in.
The Time is NOW.