Thursday, January 3, 2013

Fixing a Broken Team - Step 5 and 6

Step 5 - State the not-so-obvious     
The most fundamental observation you may make is that they are a team.  They may never have even thought that way before.   Most people are in ‘departments’.  They come to work in a department or a work group.  Identifying them as a team, even if it is only in name to start, puts a different viewpoint on the situation.  People on a team are responsible for the success of the team, not just themselves. 

Step 6 - Find the naysayers and bring them to your point of view or neutralize them
Every team has a ringleader that people look to when confirming or disconfirming a new boss.  In one of my situations, I got on a plane and flew to meet the guy who had the most influence on the group.  I wanted to hear him out.  The very fact that I went to him spoke volumes.  In another situation, I listened to a chronic complainer for about 30 minutes, then asked him what he would do to fix things.  The greatest fun I ever had was with some naysayers who regularly told me how much stress they were under.  At the same time, I contracted a serious illness that required I was taken out of the building in an ambulance.  When I returned, I faxed the ambulance bill to the team and never heard about stress again.  A little dramatic, I know, but it got the message across in a humorous way. 
Naysayers can be helpful ... I offer 'can be'.  But there are times when you simply must sit down with someone and say, "I'm heading in Direction A.  I realize you may want to go Direction B.  Neither of us is wrong, but we cannot go in both directions.  My job is  to lead.  If you help me, we can make this work out very well.  If you're not interested - - - you need to find something else to do."
This conversation, while not pleasant, is essential for the road ahead, for your success and for theirs. 

1 comment:

  1. This post has seen a fair bit of traffic. My guess is, many of you have faced a situation where someone on your new team wasn't playing by the new rules. I'll stress again, few people do this from malice ... but many are deliberate in avoiding your leadership or not supporting your direction. The longer you ignore this, the more difficult the situation becomes for everyone involved. So lead and get this done.