I was thinking about an important aspect of peoples lives and business -TEAMS. I met another CEO this week who is going it alone, working in the business not on it and failing to listen when advice is given. The guy is even paying for the advice and won’t listen. Anyone who has read previous blogs with respect to my attitude about CEO’s today will realize I don’t have a lot of faith in them as administrators. Most will fail or at least not reach their goals in their business. The reason? Failing to take into account the value of others in the organization. I’m the first to admit I have failings myself so I surround myself two people deep with experts to oversee at times my business growth. It’s my personal team, mentors, coaches, advisors, and contractors whatever you want to call them but they are my team nonetheless. A CEO who fails to not only surround himself with great people but also fails to listen to these people is doomed. In Venture Capital circles its called the CEO (or Founder’s)Syndrome. Defined on Wikipedia sometimes called founderitis, is a label normally used to refer to a pattern of behaviour on the part of the founder(s)of an organization that, over time, becomes maladaptive to the successful accomplishment of the organizational mission. This typically manifests by the CEO doing everything himself without input from his team.
His team, adhoc or not, are those employees around him in a senior role or at least involved in the daily operation of the business. These people know what is going on everyday while the CEO stick handles dozens of issues in his head trying to keep his head above water. But he makes his team malfunctional because he wants to get ‘it done right’. Ha! I’m not saying run your business by consensus, I’m saying take advice from those around you or those you hire for that expertise instead of dissing their opinion you sought.
Teams are not new, I am COO of Power Productions a workshop company. We have two facilitators who present a segment on teams. Think about this one for a minute. We belong to teams every day at work and play. We play sports, our kids do too, we have a team at work and maybe a group of people we meet on a regular basis, e.g. Meetups, we ‘follow’ people on twitter but we’re not a leader we’re part of the team. My team pointed out that some teams are instantaneously setup for moments then disappear. How? Think about being the first person at a left hand turn lane of a stoplight. As the team leader your job is to get away fast when the light changes so you can get the most number of ‘followers’ behind you through that same green light. Not all those behind you are team players but most try. When those behind you get through the light the team dissolves, until the next light.
A man sees a young woman drowning in a lake and a group of people gather on the shore. You take off your shoes, pass your cellphone and wallet to a guy next to you and jump in to save her. When you reach the shore with your rescued woman the guy passes you back your wallet and cellphone like it was a normal thing to do. The man, you, the woman and the paramedics are all part of an adhoc team for the moment. Everyone has their expectations and job, even the guy holding your valuables. Try giving your valuables to a guy on the street while you go inside a store to browse, he’d be gone because you’re not part of team. Teams are built for a purpose, those who see the value and know how to play or work in that environment will succeed. Take heed CEO’s a team is your best ally.