It was one of the many moments of an EOS® session where a big question was in the room which everyone has a chance to answer. Today the questions were: What are the problems, obstacles, barriers, ideas, opportunities you see as you look around your business? What’s frustrating you?
The Ops leader broke the silence: “Our sales are struggling and it looks like we will be faced with layoffs this quarter unless something changes. And we don’t have a plan.”
A hard conversation ensued, and before our next break a tired leadership team looked at me. The Integrator spoke up with the observation, “We must be one of your most messed up clients.”
My response was easy. “We are right where we need to be in this conversation, and I know this team can get to some action plans after break. As for what I see when I look at you? I see a group of people becoming a leadership team.”
One of the things EOS® has taught me is to celebrate when the team goes into what we call entering the danger. It’s a place with risk to egos, relationships, and outcomes; it is also a place where groups become teams. This is where respect and trust are built, which are foundations for great teams and teamwork. Nobody loves to enter the danger, and yet healthy teams who want to leave with a meaningful plan go there sooner rather than later.
Some teams head to a ropes course or a team-building event, but actually there are danger zones to walk by or walk into every time they get together.
As you go through your next leadership team meeting, do you see your team going through the motions or entering the danger and emerging with action plans that the whole team is behind? If you want to work on this with your team in 2019, a good place to start is with Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable.
One final thought: stop calling it team building and always refer to it as TRUST building – because all leaders and leadership teams need more of that.
Lead well . .