Saturday, August 15, 2009

Real leaders and the team mindset


Business Times p.B1

Saturday, August 15, 2009



By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM

Real leaders and the team mindset


Real leaders foster collaboration, encourage communication, push for innovations, advance discussions and consensus and nurture their team. Growing a successful and productive team starts with the leader's mindset and attitudes. They enjoy work life and become friends in and outside of work.


Jerk bosses promote competition, enjoy one-way communication, support the status quo, make decisions and announce it and expect total subservience from his employees. They don't even want you to eat together or to see you talking to each other. That is why when the mouse is away, the rats do play. They form cliques.


Author Linda Eve Diamond, in her book Perfect Phrases for Building Strong Teams, wrote about mindsets of real leaders and how they show in their speech in different circums­tances. Here are some examples.


Creative thinking


• Put out an issue and give people time to think about it. Ideas pop up at the oddest times, usually when we've stopped concentrating.

• Suggest that people take a brief break to recharge

• Allow people to express their won creative styles in the workspace and in the work itself.

• Leave time for creative thinking


• "Never be afraid to speak out with a 'crazy' idea. The team favors nonconformity over conformity."

• "Don't be held back by failure. Even failed experiments teach us something. At the very least, they teach us what won't work.

• "I suggest using the afternoon break for meditation, creative imagery, fresh air—anything that recharges your creative battery."

• "What connections [or disconnection] can you find between our customer service initiative and our team's ground rules?"


Problem Solving


• Examining the causes is often necessary to find and implement solutions and prevent recurrences of the issue. However, there are instances where the cause is unimportant and searching for causes detracts from the goal. In these cases, choose solution-oriented problem solving.

• Identify and challenge assumptions.

• Gather as many perspectives as you can.

• The central problem itself may be masked by symptoms or other problems. Dig down and get to the real problem,


 • "Start thinking of challenges as opportunities."

• "What assumptions do we have going in? Are they valid? What objections do they raise and what possible solutions can we find?"

• "How many alternative scenarios can we imagine?"

• "The quality of questions we ask will determine the quality of our solutions."


Spotlight your team


• Always give credit where credit is due.

• Don't feel threatened by a team member's success; it reflects well on you, and your support as team leaders is motivational.

• Never accept an award without thanking your team first.

• Look for opportunities to showcase your team's talents.


• "This award is a reflection of my outstanding team and belongs to them as much as it does to me!"

• "I'm being interviewed tomorrow morning. I'd like every one in the photo with me."

• "Congratulations on your latest accom­plishment! Who would like to write a press release?"

• "I think a blog is a great idea. I'd like to see one that gives the whole team a chance to comment, with rotating entries."


 This is intriguing. Let's have more on common work issues such as personality clashes, blame games, gender bias, discrimination of any kind, delegation, listening, coaching and others., innovation­

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