Working for the Team
You may not have ever heard of Ted Sorenson, but I doubt there’s a human being alive in the Western world that hasn’t heard one of his speeches. Ted passes credit, of course, to JFK, but the line is thus: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." In terms of relevance in business, this is akin to one of the Ten Commandments.
This week I was stunned to receive some unsolicited (and un-bribed, I’d add!) positive feedback from my team, which included “it didn’t feel like they worked for me, but that we were a team”. What I found so surprising is that even in terms of reporting line, the team don’t report to me at all – they report elsewhere. I’m the decision maker in a pulled-together team, but I take their advice on all things, rely upon their expertise at every turn and take their council and recommendations. Previous leaders it turned out didn’t take the same approach, didn’t get their hands dirty, and felt they needed to impress their will and authority. No matter how smart you are, there’s no way I’d take one person’s twenty years’ experience over a combined one hundred and twenty years in a diverse team.
And so, in a very short post this week for all those in leadership:
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