Eric Jacobson

Posts Tagged ‘Team Building’

How To Maximize Your Team’s Results

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Skills, Leading, Team Building, Teams on May 1, 2016 at 5:18 am

High-functioning and effective teams can disagree and still produce excellent products and results. Team members can also disagree and still care about each other. And, they can challenge each other to think differently.

Best-selling leadership book authors Scott J. Allen and Mitchell Kusy recommend that leaders ask seven tough questions of their teams to help maximize their results.

Here are those questions to ask each team member:

  • What are some obstacles affecting this team?
  • What are opportunities we could take advantage of that we have been largely ignoring?
  • Where can you take greater ownership on this team?
  • Where have you let this team down?
  • Compared to other teams with which you are familiar, how are we doing?
  • When was the last time you complimented the team or one of its members?
  • How open are you to giving direct feedback to team members?

How To Build A High-Performing Team

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Leadership, Team Building, Teams on April 9, 2016 at 11:57 am

According to Ron Ricci and Carl Wiese, authors of the book, The Collaboration Imperative, high-performing teams have the following characteristics:

  1. People have solid and deep trust in each other and in the team’s purpose–they feel free to express feelings and ideas.
  2. Everybody is working toward the same goals.
  3. Team members are clear on how to work together and how to accomplish tasks.
  4. Everyone understands both team and individual performance goals and knows what is expected.
  5. Team members actively diffuse tension and friction in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.
  6. The team engages in extensive discussion, and everyone gets a chance to contribute–even the introverts.
  7. Disagreement is viewed as a good thing and conflicts are managed.  Criticism is constructive and is oriented toward problem solving and removing obstacles.
  8. The team makes decisions when there is natural agreement–in the cases where agreement is elusive, a decision is made by the team lead or executive sponsor, after which little second-guessing occurs.
  9. Each team member carries his or her own weight and respects the team processes and other members.
  10. The leadership of the team shirts from time to time, as appropriate, to drive results.  No individual members are more important than the team.

How To Build A Powerful Team

In Leadership, Leadership Books, Leadership Skills, Team Building, Teams on January 5, 2016 at 5:48 am

Take some quality time to read the book by C. Elliott HaverlackUnbunde It, because it explores the issues you face as a leader with a twist that is different from many other leadership books.  Throughout, the book offers suggestions on how to overcome the burden that complexity creates in our lives and businesses.

Most intriguing for me is Haverlack’s straight-forward, unbundled insights on teams.  “The healthiest teams trust each other,” explains the author. “When we trust, we tend to be more transparent and are more likely to share the hurdles we need to leap. And, once trust becomes a competency, accountability comes much more easily.” And, accountability is the key to delivering results.

Haverlack’s eight-point plan for a powerful team is:

  1. Engage a group that shares your core values.
  2. Set aspirational yet achievable goals for the company and every individual.
  3. Create an environment that encourages and rewards trust.
  4. Empower every individual to create and achieve greatness.
  5. Persuade them to stretch.
  6. Love them when they fail.
  7. Create an environment that encourages and reward self-discipline.
  8. Have the courage to exit those from the team who do not fit.

Other particularly useful sections in Unbundle It are the ones on:

  • Tips for excellence in the email world
  • Ground rules for meetings
  • Coaching

How To Create A High-Performance Team

In Building Teams, Teams on December 21, 2015 at 6:35 pm

Here is some great advice from the authors of the book, Light A Fire Under Your Business, about high-performance teams:

Once you have developed teamwork within a group, synergy is born. But it is the mission that creates motivation, an essential ingredient in high-performance teamwork. High-performance teams must have a common purpose to experience the motivation to achieve shared success.

When team members share a duty to serve a stated mission and respond in like fashion, they create motivation in each other. One of the greatest elements of a well-written mission statement is that every person on your team will use it as the same foundation for decision making. Regardless of his or her specific responsibilities or status on the team or in the organization, everyone is motivated by the same mission but from a different perspective.

Eight Ways To Build A Powerful Team

In Building Teams, Teams on May 7, 2015 at 7:17 pm

Take some quality time to read the book by C. Elliott HaverlackUnbunde It, because it explores the issues you face as a leader with a twist that is different from many other leadership books.  Throughout, the book offers suggestions on how to overcome the burden that complexity creates in our lives and businesses.

Most intriguing for me is Haverlack’s straight-forward, unbundled insights on teams.  “The healthiest teams trust each other,” explains the author. “When we trust, we tend to be more transparent and are more likely to share the hurdles we need to leap. And, once trust becomes a competency, accountability comes much more easily.” And, accountability is the key to delivering results.

Haverlack’s eight-point plan for a powerful team is:

  1. Engage a group that shares your core values.
  2. Set aspirational yet achievable goals for the company and every individual.
  3. Create an environment that encourages and rewards trust.
  4. Empower every individual to create and achieve greatness.
  5. Persuade them to stretch.
  6. Love them when they fail.
  7. Create an environment that encourages and rewards self-discipline.
  8. Have the courage to exit those from the team who do not fit.

Other particularly useful sections in Unbundle It are the ones on:

  • Tips for excellence in the email world
  • Ground rules for meetings
  • Coaching

Another of my favorite parts of the book is what Haverlack titled, The Silence Is Deafening.  He writes, “One of Colin Powell’s leadership principals is, ‘The day soldiers top bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them.They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.'”

Haverlack continues to say, “We can apply this same sentiment to business. If your employees stop sharing their thoughts and concerns with you, you are failing to lead. Allowing your people to think you’re incompetent or uncaring is not acceptable.”

Play, The Friend Game Teaches Team Building

In Collaboration, Company Culture, Effective Communications, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Management, Motivating Employees, Team Building on September 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm

While visiting the Orlando Science Center the other day I stumbled across a  family-oriented exhibit with simple, yet powerful principles useful within and outside the workplace.

The exhibit is traveling around the U.S. and it’s called, Play, The Friend Game.  Created by Nacho Rodriquez Bach, the display explores six universal civic principles through the use of games for children and adults.

The six principles are:

  • See yourself in others and others in you.
  • Listen to the dialogue.
  • Express yourself and respect the will of the group.
  • Help others and ask for help.
  • Think before you act.
  • Feel that you are part of something greater.

Civic principles indeed, and excellent guidelines for all members of any team.

Bach was born in Mexico City in 1966, currently lives in Mexico City, and is a philosopher who publishes through art.

How To Make An Effective Team Even Stronger

In Company Culture, Effective Communications, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Books, Leadership Education, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Management on November 12, 2011 at 10:20 am

High-functioning and effective teams can disagree and still produce excellent products and results.  Team members can also disagree and still care about each other.  And, they can challenge each other to think differently.

Best-selling leadership book authors Scott J. Allen and Mitchell Kusy recommend that leaders ask seven tough questions of their teams to help maximize their results.  Here are those questions to ask each team member:

  • What are some obstacles affecting this team?
  • What are opportunities we could take advantage of that we have been largely ignoring?
  • Where can you take greater ownership on this team?
  • Where have you let this team down?
  • Compared to other teams with which you are familiar, how are we doing?
  • When was the last time you complimented the team or one of its members?
  • How open are you to giving direct feedback to team members?

7 Tough Questions To Ask Your Team

In Company Culture, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Books, Leadership Education, Leadership Skills, Management, Team Building on April 16, 2011 at 9:21 am

High-functioning teams can disagree and still produce excellent products and results.  Team members can also disagree and still care about each other.  And, they can challenge each other to think differently.

Best-selling leadership book authors Scott J. Allen and Mitchell Kusy recommend that leaders ask seven tough questions of their teams to help maximize their results.  Here are those questions to ask each team member:

  • What are some obstacles affecting this team?
  • What are opportunities we could take advantage of that we
    have been largely ignoring?
  • Where can you take greater ownership on this team?
  • Where have you let this team down?
  • Compared to other teams with which you are familiar, how are we
    doing
    ?
  • When was the last time you complimented the team or one of
    its members?
  • How open are you to giving direct feedback to team members?

Customized Triathlons Offer Alternative To Typical Team-Building Retreats

In Company Culture, Employee Engagement, Employee Satisfaction, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Management, Motivating Employees, Team Building on February 20, 2011 at 11:11 am

Greater Kansas City businesses now have an out-of-the-box option to replace the “typical” team-building event or retreat.  It’s a customized Corporate Challenge Triathlon.

“The event is one that will not only delight your employees, but challenge them, reward them, and improve their level of fitness,” said Ted Kennedy, President of CEO Challenges.  “Best of all, it’s an event that requires no booking or planning on the part of the business, and it includes some of the world’s best known endurance athletes,” he added.

First Steps:  CEO Challenges brings in a team of experts a few months before the triathlon is to take place to encourage, guide, support, and motivate the business’ employees and to sign them up to take on the challenge of a ‘leg’ of a sprint distance triathlon.  Also, at the kick off meeting will be an athlete from the Challenged Athletes Foundation. “It will be very hard for employees to think they can’t ‘do it’ when they hear the inspirational stories about how people with only one arm, or one leg, or no legs, confronted their fears and finished a triathlon,” said Kennedy.

At the kick-off, each employee can decide to swim a 1/2 mile, bike 16 miles, or run/walk 3 miles, and join with other employees on a Company relay team.  Or, for those employees who are already fit and want the extra challenge, they may want elect to solo and do the full triathlon.

Next Step:  CEO Challenges’ team of world champions and experts in motivation will help the business pick a race location, help employees with confusing equipment choices (i.e., wetsuits, skinsuits, bike, pedals, aero bars, hydration systems, running shoes, etc).   Plus, employees are provided with an easy to follow training program to help them get ready while not interfering with their need to run their business, travel, and be with their families.  The event location can be a destination location or one close to the business.

Then:  CEO Challenges keeps in touch with employees on a regular basis to make sure they are on track and answer any questions they may have.

The Triathlon:  CEO Challenges meets with the business on race weekend to help it with final preparations, to make sure the equipment is ready to go, and to make sure employees have everything they need to perform.

“Your employees will experience a program that they will never, ever forget,” said Kennedy.  “While preparing for the event they will naturally increase their level of fitness, look leaner, and notice a marked increase in energy.  The triathlon will culminate in having employees accomplish a goal many of them never dreamed of, and one that will build teamwork,” said Kennedy.

CEO Challenges Team

  • Simon Lessing — five-time world triathlon champion, world record holder for the Olympic distance triathlon.
  • Lynn Kanuka, Olympic 3000m bronze medalist.
  • Ted Kennedy, President of CEO Challenges.

“The Corporate Triathlon Challenge will be the center-piece of a fantastic company retreat that will result in an intense bonding session, an incredible feeling of accomplishment, and increase in the level of fitness for employees,” said Kennedy.

How To Build Effective Teams

In Company Culture, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Books, Leadership Education, Leadership Skills, Management, Team Building on May 16, 2010 at 8:54 am

“A team can’t function well unless the members individually function well, and the performance of each person acts as a catalyst to the others,” says Price Pritchett, the author of the handbook, The Team Member Handbook For Teamwork

Prtichett’s handbook, published in the early 90’s (and unfortunately somewhat difficult to find today) is ideal for businesses and organizations,  for leaders who are forming teams, and, for members of teams.

Even if you can’t find a copy of the handbook, you can learn a lot just from seeing the following Table of Contents listing from the handbook:

  • Push for high quality communication
  • Bring talent to the team
  • Play your position
  • Turn diversity to the team’s advantage
  • Back up others who need help
  • Practice
  • Be prepared to sacrifice for the team
  • Help new teammates make entry
  • Play down yourself and build up others
  • Spend time with your teammates
  • Help drive discipline into the group
  • Make sure you make a difference
  • Give attention to group process
  • Help create a climate of trust
  • Strengthen the leader through good followership
  • Be a good sport
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