A sales leader asked us last week if we had found anything in our research that contradicts long-held wisdom about leadership? Yes, we said, there have been ahas in our work that should change the way we all think about the science of leading others.
Most of the truly great teams we’ve studied have at least one member who could be described as an independent thinker. These types of people don’t need much encouragement to share their views.
There’s some bad news about modern teams: Most are nowhere near as effective as they could be and many are riven by tensions. Such dysfunction drains employee energy and creativity rather than fueling them.
A few years ago we sat in the kick-off meeting of a cross-functional team of senior people, assembled to tackle a big project for their company. The team was in a circle; the men in blue button-down shirts, the women in sensible blouses; pens and pads were at the ready.
Over the past twenty years we’ve watched a few interesting revolutions in the workplace. We’ve coached leaders through globalization with all its cultural challenges, the dawn of the remote employee, even the commoditization of almost every product thanks to the Internet.