What Have You NOT Done For Me Lately?

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    This Episode: How to make what you did NOT do work for you, how being productive might be counter-productive, and how to build a talent-centric organization.

    Me vs We

    Every year hundreds of books are published, and millions of videos produced, all professing to make you more personally productive. But what if I told you that even the act of becoming more productive might be detrimental?

    To illustrate why this is, here’s a quick sports story, which you will be familiar with if you watched the Netflix documentary, The Last Dance. That show tells the story of the Chicago Bulls in their glory days and, of course, their superstar player – Michael Jordan. In the series, the Bulls Coach Phil Jackson describes sitting down with Jordan and explaining that he needs Jordan to change the way he plays. He is basically asking his star player to take a step back in a way that is likely to negatively affect his own contribution to the score line, but increase the chances of the Bulls wining overall. Jordan eventually agrees, and the Bulls become a multi-championship winning team.

    There are many examples and counter-examples of this in sport, and they all boil down to a simple fact. There are teams of great individuals and there are great teams. Only the latter become consistently remarkable.

    The same principles apply to the workplace. Companies are often full of great individual contributors, but few have mastered the art of building elite teams.

    So what does this mean if you want to be part of a great team, or even lead one?

    Well, first as an individual, it probably means a change in mindset. You are going to have to become deeply invested in the goals the team is looking to drive – so much so that it overwhelms your personal desire to be effective. This will probably be very hard, as you’ve probably spent years figuring out how to do your best work, and a change to your method may well reduce your own productivity. But it’s possible to do, particularly if the goals of the team align well with your own personal values and goals.

    Now to the team itself. If you are trying to build a great team, stop focusing, at least initially, on getting all “A-Players”. Instead, focus on three components – trust, generosity, and diversity of skills. Trust allows team members to share openly and naturally jump in to help each other problem solve. Generosity means that team members focus on achieving the overall goal, not who “scores” it. Finally, a diverse collection of skills, particularly soft skills, help ensure that you have a team that is adaptable enough to take on all challenges, no matter how things change.

    As you focus on these components, remember how you manage the team on a day-to-day basis, how you reward team members and how you respond to challenges all impact how well the team can be sustained. Think how you celebrate wins, and how you deal with setbacks. Do you do all of that AS a team, or do you single out individuals?

    Trust, generosity and diverse skills are attributes of every great sports team. Cultivate those elements and build your next great work team.


    Organization’s Got Talent

    Do you have a talent-centric organization? Carol Schultz thinks you should, so much so that she wrote a book about it called Powered by People: How Talent-Centric Organizations Master Recruitment, Retention and Revenue.

    I sat down with Carol a while back for the Humanity Working podcast and we discussed several of the themes from her book. What stood out for me was how much she sees organizations hiring for talent but doing very little to nurture it. I’ve seen the same, even though we know that one of the main reasons people leave companies is because they feel they have stopped growing.

    We talked about that, why the skills that get you to a certain point in a career may be the wrong skills for the next step, and why being talent-centric can be a particular strategic advantage for small and medium-sized organizations.

    Check out the episode, called How to Build Talent Centric Organizations Powered by People on your favorite podcasting platform, or if you prefer, just watch below!

    The Tip: What did you NOT do?

    Video Length: 2 minutes 15 seconds

    Most of us end every week with things we wish we had done but couldn’t get around to. That feeling can be pretty frustrating, even demoralizing. But perhaps paradoxically, what we do not get done every week can actually teach us a lot, and improve our effectiveness overall.

    Here’s my animated twin with more details on how to make the best of what you failed to do.

    About Us

    If you are worried about how prepared your employees are for change – change in work environments (like hybrid and remote), business strategy, or even technology changes, you should talk to us. Just reach out us here and we can get a call scheduled.

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