16 May Is your team compliant or committed?

I was cycling with a group of riders yesterday, and there were times when we were taking turns on the front to increase the pace while riding into the wind.  Most of us had ridden together before, and some of what we were able to do as a team was without anyone in particular demonstrating leadership.  It got me thinking about three major characteristics of an effective team:

  1. Shared accountability:  Everyone worked together on the ride and shared the work.
  2. A distinctive purpose:  We were trying to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible to push each other and ourselves.
  3. Real work:  Everyone had the same amount of work to do, and we were physically exerting ourselves for a purpose.

As the leader, think about the effectiveness of your teams:

  1. Is the accountability truly shared?  Are your team members empowered beyond a doubt?  Did you give up some measure of power and control?
  2. Does the team know their distinctive purpose?  Do they know where they’re going and why?
  3. Does the team exert themselves by doing mental work that’s aligned with your stated purpose?  Was the team involved in defining the purpose?  Is there alignment with the expected outcomes?

The key is shared accountability.  Now ask yourself, is your team truly committed to the purpose, or merely compliant?

Article first published as Is Your Team Compliant or Committed? on Technorati.

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