Reflection: About a year ago, I joined a local artists group. We meet weekly to make art. We challenge and support each other. And, we show together annually.
Over the years, I’ve been a part of many groups at work and in the community. Rarely have I seen a group as cooperative and supportive as this one.
When a task arises, there’s no sitting on hands, avoiding eye contact, hoping someone else will take it on. There is an eagerness to volunteer – to step forward to make things happen.
Yes, there is a high degree of commitment to each other and the purpose of the group. But, underpinning all there’s a desire and willingness to bring who we are and contribute what we can in the service of the whole.
We vary in our interests and skills. Within the group we have: social media whizzes, creative photographers, skilled organizers, those with financial savvy, talented foodies, fine writers, imaginative thinkers, thoughtful listeners, and jokesters who brighten the mood and lighten the load.
Everybody is not expected to do everything. People step forward in areas in which they are skilled and have an interest; they pass on others. And, somehow it all works out.
Action: How well are the teams and groups in your world functioning? Are roles and tasks well matched to skills and interests? If not, try to learn as much as you can about:
- The various talents your people bring to the table. Take inventory. You might be surprised!
- The tasks that interest people and how that might be changing over time. Just because someone is good with numbers doesn’t mean they want to be assigned to finances forever.
- Where you might have gaps in skills. Could they be filled by developing from within or recruiting from beyond?
Think about how you could shift tasks around so that more often more people are doing more of the things that fit their skills and fuel their fires.
And always be sure to appreciate the heck out of people and their contributions. Never stop letting them know how much you value who they are and what they do.
Quotes Of The Week: A general rule I’ve found among successful teams is that everyone is better than everyone else at something. On effective teams, every member feels visible, valued, and involved. – Brett Steenbarger
No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it. – H. E. Luccock
Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life. – Amy Poehler
I would like to be remembered as someone who did the best she could with the talent she had. J. K. Rowling
Resources Of The Week: This is an interesting Harvard Business Review article on The Secrets of Great Teamwork. Haas and Mortenson observe that: “High-performing teams include members with a balance of skills. Every individual doesn’t have to possess superlative technical and social skills, but the team overall needs a healthy dose of both. Diversity in knowledge, views, and perspectives, as well as in age, gender, and race, can help teams be more creative and avoid groupthink.”
You might also appreciate this Forbes article by Brett Steenbarger: Three Strategies For Making Your Team Work.
News: Last call for the Customer Leadership Summit in Calgary, AB on November 14. There are just a handful of seats left at this event.
I’ll be sharing my ideas on Fueling Enthusiasm – Building A Culture of Appreciation. And, I’m just as excited about the chance to learn from the other five speakers. This link will take you to the full program info and details.