In my professional life, I have been on many teams; some successful and some not so successful. After reading the “Strategies of Effective New Product Team Leaders”, I now realize that the success or lack thereof probably had more to do with the team leadership than the skills of the individual members.
For me, the most critical aspect is getting a good mix of people, from many different disciplines, and figuring out how to get them to communicate freely. Too many times I have seen groups that were set up to succeed…the right people, with access to all the resources they needed..and yet they still failed. At the time, I figured that it was just a bad project or a bad team. But I realize now that it probably was something as simple as people not trusting their teammates enough to have open and honest conversations. Free info sharing wasn’t an option for these people. I know that I have been guilty of it. In many group situations, knowledge truly is power. And, who wants to give up the power?
So what have I personally taken away from this article? Here’s my top Four:
- Keep senior management out of it—if they micromanage the group you are lost before you start
- Leaders should facilitate, not manage the meeting
- Team building is a must, don’t assume that the group will be harmonious…you have to make it so
- Check politics at the door—it has to be stated up front that politicking in the group will not be tolerated
So that’s what I learned. I have to end this blog with my favorite line from the article…
“The corporate seagulls are the people that fly in, make a lot of noise, eat your food, go to the bathroom all over you and then fly away.