Late last week my team found it’s groove. We began to communicate effectively, and discovered that as a group we can really work together to get things done. We became a high functioning team after a number of challenging tasks were presented for us to complete together.
On more than one occasion I was struck with the idea that I could get so much more done alone, and during those times I could have. What is magical is when the team shifts as a group and starts to produce to the volume of their communal capacity. It took us twelve days to get to a place that many teams may never reach. It wasn’t easy, but it does say a lot about what effective communication can do to help a group move forward together.
I’ve worked on lots of “teams”, but they were more just groups of people following the demands/requirements that a boss set out for us. We didn’t collaborate on the best methods or approaches to problem solving, we just did it the way the boss said to.
I can admit that I have also been a”boss” at times when I thought I was a leader. Instead of having a dialogue with my reports I was mandating that they complete a project or task my way. Being a leader is an evolution. You need to grow with your team and take turns following another person’s ideas through so that you can understand what the best way to tackle a problem really is. You need to do things wrong, so that you really know and understand when you do them right.
Leading means learning and growing, not dictating.