A Group of Experts? Or A Leadership Team?

May 20, 2016

I live in a family of nerds!

I’m surrounded by technical geniuses that are constantly inventing, building and tinkering with everything. One day, the boys were stumped. I kindly offered to help. They assured me that a technical approach was their only path to solving the problem. It was clear they thought, “How can she possibly help?”  After some prodding, they gave in and explained the situation. I was quickly able to suggest an intermediate step that allowed them to overcome their obstacle.

Am I a technical genius? Definitely NOT! I used strengths they didn’t have to see things more broadly. They were stuck in the weeds, and my outside perspective helped them find a path to success – much to their amazement. The problem was solved with balanced strengths.

Too often in business, we structure our company in silos. Engineering does their thing, Marketing does their thing, etc. We dismiss the power of a true leadership TEAM, each with unique strengths to help others overcome their obstacles.

Sound familiar? Here are some questions to consider that will help you explore whether your leadership team is a group of siloed experts, or functioning as a leadership team:

  1. Has Marketing created campaigns that Sales can’t or won’t use?
  2. Is Sales making promises that Operations can’t keep?
  3. Is Finance creating policies that create bottlenecks?
  4. Are your Leadership Team meetings dreaded and unproductive?
  5. When one department has an issue, does it lead to finger-pointing and a blame game
  6. Hallway conversations include statements like, “Ops better figure this out.” and “Not my job.”

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, you may simply have a team of experts. Imagine what results you could get from a group of leaders that were truly a team, using each other’s strengths to solve issues! Take this insight as a driver to improve team communication, and begin shifting the thinking from “me” to “we.”

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