Judy Dobles, General Management Consulting

YOUR TOUGHEST BUSINESS CHALLENGES SOLVED.

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  • I recently joined a Board of Directors which got me thinking a lot about leadership and teamwork.  A refresher was in order so I decided to read, “The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork”, by John Maxwell.    Here are my 6 favorites from the book.

    [1] The Law of the Catalyst:  Winning Teams Have Players Who Make Things Happen.   Any successful team that I have been a part of has a couple people that get things done.  They are willing to do new things and reach across functional boundaries to engage all the right people.  They are individuals who can get extra effort from people who already have too much on their plate.  They can do this by prioritizing the work, helping others and breaking barriers.

    [2] The Law of the Niche: All Players Have a Place Where They Add the Most Value.  Supervisors spend a lot of time working with staff to improve “weaknesses”.  I think it is far better to focus on an individual’s strengths and create world-class talents.   Know what your team needs to accomplish and then get the players on your team with those skills.  Everyone wins.

    [3] The Law of the Chain: The Strength of the Team Is Impacted by Its Weakest Link.  The challenges facing teams change over time.  As a leader, your responsibility is to look at your team and determine if you have the right players for the challenge facing you at this point in time.  If not, work quickly to make the changes that are necessary.  Stronger members of a team eventually come to resent the weak member and question the leader’s ability when the leader does not take action.

    [4] The Law of Significance: One Is Too Small a Number to Achieve Greatness.  Complex challenges cannot be solved by one individual.  For leaders this means understanding that solutions will be found only with the engagement of the entire team.  The people closest to the work will know what is not working and what the best solutions are.

    [5] The Law of the Compass: Vision Gives Team Members Direction and Confidence.  The visual picture that sticks with me is one from a class I took years ago.  Imagine bowling.  Picture a black cloth that covers the pins at the end of the alley.  When the bowling ball reaches the end of the lane after you have thrown it you do not know how you did.  That is what it is like to work on a team that does not have a vision and mission.  You are doing work but do not know if what you are doing is important or if you are achieving the goals you set.  As a leader, be sure your team fully understands the mission and vision.

    [6] The Law of the Bench: Great Teams Have Great Depth.  Everyone on a team should want to grow their skill and talent.   There will always be some people leaving the team periodically, so it is vitally important to recruit talented new staff to the team.  Foster an environment of learning and growth for everyone on the team.  This way the team improves continually, year over year.

    If you are a member of a team, I highly recommend this insightful book.  [Maxwell, J., The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001.  Print]

    Please call me for a confidential and complimentary discussion on how to improve the effectiveness of your team.  585-329-3754.

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