July 8

BEST BOSS EVER! Newsletter July, ’24

June Newsletter Recap

# 1 – Why does your business exist? Today, more than ever, it is not just about maximizing shareholder value.

# 2 – Purpose is the heart and soul of a company. Define it and decide to serve all stakeholders.

# 3 – Be a purposeful leader. Define your purpose, help others do the same, and connect individual purpose to the company’s purpose.

Hello Leaders! This month’s newsletter is about leading teams to perform at a higher level. Cheers!

Point # 1 – Teams don’t develop on their own.

Professional work teams don’t naturally play well together. They often act more like a ‘group’ versus a team. Why is this? One reason might be that they were not onboarded as a team. Additionally, many teams don’t receive development experiences and are not held accountable for high performance. They only carry the title of ‘team’ because they work for the same manager.

It’s a common misconception that a team of people should naturally know how to work together. In reality, less than twenty percent of teams can develop into high-performing teams on their own. From my perspective, most teams need a leader to guide them towards becoming a synergistic team. Your role as a leader is crucial in this process. Even though they aspire to be part of a high-performing team, they cannot achieve it alone. They need you and your leadership!


Ask Yourself: “Is my team effectively developing into a high-performing team?”


Point # 2 – Teams need “standards.”

Have you been part of a successful athletic or academic team and had a great team experience? This experience gives you a solid understanding of what exceptional teams do and don’t do. However, if you haven’t had a similar experience, you may not clearly understand how great teams behave. This lack of understanding is common.

Leaders must understand that many people don’t know how to ‘play’ on a great team… It’s not that teams don’t want to be great; they often don’t know how. It’s up to YOU to define the team standards.

Each person was hired to perform a job. The job responsibilities they agreed to perform are listed in their job description as their responsibilities. Each team member needs to own their job completely. However, owning your job does not mean you are not also a part of a high-functioning team. It’s crucial to help your team members understand that their responsibility is to be high-performing team members for one another, regardless of what their job description says.


Ask Yourself: What are my team’s standards? Do we need to define them?


Point # 3: Leaders challenge, stretch, and hold their team accountable.

One of the most essential things an extraordinary leader does is take full responsibility for their team’s effectiveness. Without the leader making team development a consistent priority and holding people accountable for being a better team, it will not happen. Leaders start by helping their team see how they are suboptimizing. Secondly, a great leader will declare the importance of achieving excellence as a team.

Once a commitment to team effectiveness has been achieved, engaging them in establishing the team’s standards is essential. A high-performing team holds itself accountable. Note that if they use a list of standards they didn’t create (your list, for instance), there will be less commitment to following those standards. Behavioral standards should be stated plainly and specifically so there is no ambiguity about what they mean. To see an example of behavioral standards, click on the first link under the ‘Want To Go Deeper?’ section.

Meeting agendas should remind the team to focus on their team standards. At the end of every meeting, the leader should ask for feedback in the form of a plus/minus assessment. Ideally, each team member comments on its effectiveness in following its standards. Additionally, great team members provide feedback, recognizing each other’s positive contributions. Finally, the best team members evaluate themselves and share it – “I didn’t focus today on what we were discussing as much as I could. I was somewhat distracted. Next meeting, I will plan better so my interferences are not distracting me”.


Ask Yourself: How can I challenge, stretch, and hold my team accountable?


Want to help a struggling leader? Refer them to me, and I will help them create an improvement plan.

Want to Go Deeper?

1.     Commitment to Coworkers Code of Conduct and Ethical Behavior – University of Rochester, Jones Memorial Hospital

2.     High-Performing Teams Start with a Culture of Shared Values – Harvard Business Review, May 11, 2021

3.     10 Steps for Establishing Team Norms – Center for Creative Leadership, November 23, 2020


Please forward this newsletter to a friend or colleague. Thank you!

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