How teams more effectively drive transformations than do superstars

Recently my stepson, Jack, came home from his weekly, friendly basketball game. We engaged in a discussion about two types of players he has encountered over time. We’ll refer to them as Group A and Group B.

Group A players work as a team. They pass more frequently and leverage each other’s strengths to score. They inherently trust one another to do the best they can to achieve a win.

Group B players focus on their own ability. They pass the ball less, and when they do, it’s usually after holding it much longer than their Group A counterparts. It’s all about them.

Jack told me that it is more fun to play with Group A because they make sure everyone plays. No one is left out. On the other hand, he doesn’t like it when there are too many Group B players on the court. They show off, trying to make points on their own, and rarely involving others.

Who wins the most points overall? Group A.

This is a metaphor for ensuring your business leadership teams are aligned and working together for the benefit of the entire organization. Cross-functional dysfunction occurs when individual functional leaders become more interested in the success of their function than in the success of the overall company. As the leader, it’s your job to ensure that you set goals for your team that promote more to the success of the company, and then hold them accountable to these goals. This applies to the day-to-day operation of your organization and is clearly required for transformations.

Next week we’ll dig into this further and talk about one trait you can model and encourage to help drive transformational change.

Dedicated to your profitable transformation,


How to develop trust that in turn promotes organizational transformation

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post that discussed the need to develop more trust to be successful in driving transformations. The feedback I received suggested the article offered ways to demonstrate trust, and my readers wanted to know more about how to develop trust.

Coincidentally, the news lately has been filled with stories of leaders stepping down due to one indiscretion or another. Leaders of industry, government, education and others. I will leave the debate about why they stepped down to the media and others. Instead, let’s address the fundamental underpinnings.

About 15 years ago, I added a leadership component to my work in guiding organizational transformations. The model I developed started with character, based on true principles. These true principles include internal drivers such as humility, positivity, and balance. These in turn promote external focuses including service orientation and belief in others.

All these features drive to one’s ability to garner trust – or to be trustworthy.

  1. You develop humility by recognizing that you don’t have all the answers, and that you must rely on your team to impart their knowledge.
  2. Positivity is developed by looking at the glass as at least half-full. Yes, it’s important to recognize and manage risk, but your team is looking to you to guide them through the unknown. Stay on course to achieve your transformative vision. Look for the positives and accentuate them.
  3. Develop balance personally and in the office. Yes, there are times when work demands a few extra hours but make this the exception and not the norm. Exercise. Breathe. Meditate. In the office, be sure you allocate time to be creative and to renew. Don’t go to lunch every day with the same people. Mix it up.
  4. Serve others. Ensure your leadership includes helping others. This can be as simple as coaching someone through a difficult decision. Be sure you are rightfully taking on issues to resolve and follow through. Serving others includes holding people accountable. Don’t let commitments slip through the cracks.
  5. Believe in others. You have a team for a reason. They are there to help you run the organization. Trust them to do their job. Put measures in place to gauge performance but stay out of the way.

These are the underpinnings to leadership I believe are the most important for leaders to develop to successfully drive transformative change. How do you measure up? Are you a transformative leader? Drop me a note if you’d like to discuss this further.

Dedicated to your profitable transformation,