Week of 3.28.24

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Morning Minute 3/29/24:

“Why Does a Leader’s Role Change?”

The caller was quite agitated. I listened quietly; mentally recording the conversation.

This leader stated there would be serious discussions with his staff members that day. He had recently hired an experienced person to fill an important vacancy. With that addition to the team, several problems had arisen. These included salary comparisons between team members, several best practices not being followed, and complaints from one of the older team members about the new person.

This discussion prompted me to reshare the 4 stages of team member development. These stages are best described by comparing the relationship of team member Skill Level with team member Enthusiasm.

1st stage)        FORMING:                High Enthusiasm with Low Skill Level

2nd stage)       STORMING:              Low Enthusiasm with Low Skill Level

3rd stage)       NORMING:                 Average Enthusiasm with Above Average Skill Level

4th stage)        PERFORMING:         Great Enthusiasm with Great Skill Level

As team synergy progresses, or regresses, teams move through these distinct stages. Thus, a leader’s role will change based on the stage that the team is in. These stages are covered in depth, in Chapter 18 of my recent book, WORK WITH ME NOT FOR ME.

FORMING: In the beginning, new team members are very excited and enthusiastic about their new role. In spite of their low skill level, their initial excitement may help them produce some very early successes. Usually, the other team members are supportive of the new person because they welcome the additional help..

STORMING: Relatively soon, after their initial excitement wears off, the new person may begin doubting their own ability. Their grace period with the other team members has worn thin. Disagreements may turn to conflict. This is the danger period, between 60 and 120 days, when many new team members fail.

NORMING: The new person is performing well. The conflicts subside as team members learn to either respect or tolerate each other. The quality of the team’s output is much better. Teamwork is at or above average.  Most teams never improve beyond this stage.

PERFORMING: Team members have learned how to work together to maximize output. They respect each other. Their pride in each other and in their work pushes them to be more, do more, and achieve more. Less than 5% of teams ever reach this level.

Navigating between these stages, the leader’s role will change from being trainer and organizer, to referee and team sheriff. From being sheriff to strategic planner. The leader organizes people based on their skills and talents. To achieve peak performance, team members must buy into each other, their leader, and their mission.

The best leaders identify and understand these 4 stages. Plus, they make the necessary adjustments in how they lead, to achieve maximize results.

“Why Does a Leader’s Role Change?”

That is today’s Morning Minute.