I’ve recently been speaking at conferences on some of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen out there when it comes to “team leadership.” It’s very popular right now, but for many organizations, it’s popular for the wrong reasons. I know, because I’m a people person. There’s nothing I like better than to get our team at Cooke Media Group around a table to brainstorm, and develop ideas for our projects and clients. I want to hear their opinion. On personality profiles like DISC, I’m off the chart when it comes to working with people. But I’m seeing some troubling trends that indicate many organizations aren’t understanding the concept. Which leads to perhaps the biggest problem:
We don’t understand what team leadership really is.
Here’s the simple answer:
Teams are for brainstorming and execution.
Leaders make decisions.
Simple as that. What’s happening today is that too many leaders are afraid to embrace decisions. Fear of not being liked. Fear of failure. Fear of making mistakes. Insecurity. There’s a number of reasons. As a result, they defer the decisions to the group. But all that happens in this scenario is that the decision devolves into endless discussions, debates, and arguments. I’ve been in leadership meetings that lasted for 12 hours because they couldn’t arrive at a decision. (No surprise there.)
Turn to your team for ideas, brainstorming, research, opinions, and more. Develop a killer team of brilliant people. But when it comes to making a real decision, nothing takes the place of genuine leadership. Once that decision is made, a great team is brilliant at execution.
In military terms, a great team can figure out how to take the hill. But someone has to decide which hill to take.
Don’t give up your role as being a strong decision maker.
I’d love to know if you’ve experienced a situation like this…..