One of Chemeketa’s four institutional values is collaboration which is pretty easy to salute especially in an organization like ours where teams do so much of our work, and we don’t have a rigid chain of command culture like the military. But when the concept of collaboration comes off the flagpole and you find yourself sitting in a meeting wondering, “How did I get here?” collaboration may take a back seat to more personal values like endurance.
One of the books you can pull up on SkillSoft to improve your experience with teamwork is Gregory E. Huszczo’s Tools for Team Leadership: Delivering the X-Factor in Team eXcellence. Sure there is a bit of cheesiness in the title but if you don’t judge the book that way you may find the content useful. Huszczo identifies eight key components to team excellence –
- Clear goals and a sense of direction
- Identification of talent
- Clear roles and responsibilities
- Agreed-upon procedures
- Constructive interpersonal relations
- Active reinforcement of team-oriented behaviors
- Diplomatic external ties
Huszczo gave leadership the last seat at the table because he was leery of including it. His research found too many teams failing because of an over-reliance on a leader. You may know the feeling of hoping to be invisible while the person with the bigger title figures out what to do; or the opposite experience of being the one everyone looks to for a solution.
The type of leadership in this toolkit does not mean an over-reliance on one or two key people, but rather a willingness on the part of many people to take on the responsibility of contributing to decisions and events and helping a group of individuals move forward together. Effective organizations need to be full of leaders not bystanders.