Want an “A” team ? Or “No”

It happens gradually so unless you are watchful, it will happen and you will keep wondering how it did happen ! Am talking about how your team’s composition changes. As you grow in your career and become management, senior management, leader and senior leader watch what sort of teams you develop around you.

Ask yourself a few questions –

Does the team challenge you ? Are you under pressure to learn new things to stay ahead of them ? Are they better qualified or have better quality experience than you, atleast a diverse experience ? Do you have to give them convincing arguments for any change ? Do they wait for your instructions ? Can any of them take your job today and do it 75% as well as you ?

If you got the answer as “No” for some or most of these questions, you have succumbed to the biggest mistake in managing teams. If the team does not challenge you, you are surrounded by “yes” women and men – soon, only your ideas will be implemented and even Einstein got many wrong ones !! If you are not under pressure to stay ahead, you have or will soon stop learning and without good past life karma, there will be no growth. If your team does not bring diverse experience, in the new global world, you will end up using Stone Age solutions !! If there aren’t questions when you bring change, the change is either insignificant or the team doesn’t care. Hopefully your answer to the next question is a “No” – except in the army, if a team waits for your instruction, you are clearly holding all the strings in your hand … Am not even going to the succession plan.

Watch as a new leader enters or an established leader moves roles – what does she/he do with their team ? Does he/she effectively move out the challengers ? Is there a change in the level of people reporting to this leader ? Are more junior folk reporting ? Is there a layer that is being kept vacant ? Are people getting promoted too soon ? – all or some of these could mean the leader is not right for the position she/he is at.

A team is like a music concert – a leading singer will want the best drummer, the best violinist, the best guitarist to accompany him/her. Imagine if the drummer waited for instruction before playing every note… There would be no concert. And a drummer has completely different skills than the singer – much needed to create a beautiful song. The corporate world is no different ! Go out and look for the best, so you can answer most of the above questions with a “yes”.

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