Outcomes of the Shift from Me to Team
As an organization does the work to clarify its Core Identity and foster a team culture, the outcomes are tangible. In this excerpt from The Shift from Me to Team, which will be published this year, we describe some of those outcomes.
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From a medical practice client
“When we started working with FS/A, Fritz put new “to-dos” on our full plate, and it seemed like just one more “to do.” Over time, perhaps a couple of years, the to-dos became habits. We look back with wonderment and ask, ‘If you do not think this way, how can you possibly make the right decision?’ Our mindsets are entirely shifted, and we see a much bigger picture than we saw before we went through this process.”
Exemplary leaders encourage and embrace the impact of group decision-making. They are fully aware that the best solutions come from a diverse group of team members collectively guided by their Core Identity. Leadership encourages creative input from team members at all levels of the organization is encouraged, and they value new ideas. It is never about any one individual. They understand it is about what is best for the organization. They have moved away from seat-of-the-pants decision-making.
We are Envisioning Shared Future Success
There is clarity in where we are going together as each team member is closing the gap on Peak Performance for themselves. Team members at every level are engaged in honoring the organization’s Core Identity in how they work together. They are energized by how their work moves the organization toward its shared vision for a better tomorrow. A connection between what I’m doing today and the difference we will make together for tomorrow generates positive feelings. There is comfort and security in knowing the organization is on a trusted, stable journey.
With the shift from me to team in effect, the clarity of the shared journey comes alive in the mind’s eye of every team member. The compelling picture of the desired future is referenced as the star on the horizon throughout the organization. The team knows where the organization is headed, and they are inspired, feeling responsible for their role on the journey.
Envisioning individual peak performance for team success
University of Michigan Women’s Swim Coach Jim Richardson had a psychologist work with his team to help them achieve peak performances. For the team to succeed, each individual must perform at their highest level. The psychologist worked with the team members, asking each swimmer to visualize her perfect swim with a stopwatch in hand. When the gun goes off, envision every stroke and motion perfectly executed to the most minute detail. Feel the water, the power of the rhythmic kick, the movement of each turn, and the power of each push off the wall, and then the finishing touch, clicking off the stopwatch.
Coach Richardson understood the power of the mind in envisioning an emotionally meaningful picture first. This imagined swim was often completed in career-best times. Soon after these vividly imagined swims, some swimmers proceeded to record career-best times.
The more vivid the desired picture in the mind, the more quickly it becomes a reality.
At the root of human nature is the desire to feel safe and secure. It is your Peak Performance culture that enables team members to feel safe and secure. Team members feel responsible for thinking about the team’s best interest, not themselves. They feel a sense of safety and security knowing that team members are looking out for each other. They have each other’s backs. There is consistency that provides an understanding of how decisions are made at all levels of the organization. Leadership values transparent communication and understands that over-communicating is better than under-communicating. Team members feel they are all in the game and are invested in sharing their ideas and feelings, openly giving feedback to support the journey forward.
The members of the two Big Ten Football Championship teams I was a part have always had a close bond. I had thought liking each other and socializing together was a requirement for building great teams—when in service of the organization’s Core Identity, you must be one team on the same page serving each other.
However, while having that close bond both inside and outside the workplace is great, it is not a requirement. The Detroit Pistons proved that.
In the 1990s, the incredibly successful NBA Detroit Pistons team was a great example of living a shared purpose and working in service of one another. Powerfully unified on the basketball court, the Pistons were champions year after year. But when the game or practice ended, they went their separate ways. Although they did interact outside work, their on-court shared focus was so great they still succeeded.
With a team culture in place, your organization can fully tap into its Foundation of Greatness: for each team member, the disciplined responsibility to honor the Peak Performance Core Identity, the competencies to work at the highest level for the job, and the ability to behave appropriate under pressure. Now, it is time to engage in Dynamic Strategic Planning for sustainable future success. Dynamic Strategic Planning sets initiatives in action to close the gap between your Vision and where you are currently. Your Dynamic Strategic Plan will be your map to close that gap.
By undertaking Dynamic Strategic Planning to move toward the organization’s compelling Vision, leadership reinforces confidence in the Vision. Team members can feel the integrity of what is said and what is being done.
The shift from me to team enables the organization to capitalize upon its Peak Performance Core Identity. The result is integrity in all decisions and actions. Team members feel like they are in the right place, doing the right thing, at the right time. There is a shared understanding of why they are doing what they do daily, as well as how they like working together.