July 3, 2009 Chris Fuller

Team Health is rarely on accident

The formula for a great team is easy – be a great leader – have great people, a great plan, and great execution – sounds easy, right? Not so much….

We all make hiring mis-steps, we add team members that have great potential but they just don’t pan out, team members will (from time to time) have personal or interpersonal issues, and sometimes the reasons are difficult to diagnose. Leading to the realization that Team health, like personal health is rarely on accident. It is a matter and a make of up many choices along the way that add up to the sum of the whole. Team Health and productivity is from purposeful, consistent, and intentional diligence.

Continuing from earlier this week…. We have a team that doesn’t perform to expected levels, I have looked at my leadership areas and worked to correct any short falls there, and my team is still not producing expected results – where do I go from here?

From here, means that we look at the two parts of the team – the team as an entity, and the individuals that make up the team.

One of my consistent ‘ISMs’ is,

“To lead a team, you lead them one by one – beginning with you”

Earlier in the week we have dealt with the back part of that statement – ‘beginning with you’ – now we transition to the middle – we lead our team – ONE person at a time.

It’s difficult to say which we look at first – because it’s more of a both/and scenario – we look at our team and the dynamics of how they interact and operate AS A TEAM – but that is almost impossible to separate from looking at the individual players on the team and how they fit into the mix. Are they adding the right value? Running in their position right? Pulling their weight? Contributing to team synergy or detracting from it?

For the existing talent my questions are more along the line of: “Skill and Will”. Does this player have the skills need for the position or role that I need them to play? Do they have the WILL to succeed in their role and with the team? (The right attitude)

The skill part is capacity – can they do what needs to be done in order to perform at the needed level. Will comes into commitment – “Will they do what needs to be done?”

Start with evaluating individual performance – in other words, “Let’s look at what we can measure and put our hands on, first.”

Dialing down on individual performance means metrics and measurements. Here are the actions that we are going to measure your performance on – and here is how we are going to measure those. Throw in timing (for good measure) and they have the clarity on when, what, and the how. Short of that and they may not have the needed tools or clarity from you.

For today, invest a little time on clarity of desired performance and if you don’t have any, yet, developing an appropriate set of performance metrics. Boil this down to the clarity of, “What do I want you to do daily?” Let the person know you’ll be monitoring performance (daily for a while). Follow through! How can we expect our people to be – what we are not.

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