I was reading a great blog recently by Tracy Simmonds, Co-founder of LeadPages and was delighted to read that she subscribed to the view that poorly performing teams are a function firstly of poor leadership – music to my ears. Poor performance is the symptom, not the root cause. Therefore solving the problem needs more than a bandaid solution. It requires a fundamental change in thinking.
There are a number of components to this change, and one is the way a team comes together.
This started me thinking about what a good leader needs to consider when firstly recruiting and then retaining team members.
I am assuming that the organisation has a strong positive culture where there is alignment between the leaderships values and the values of the organisation and each of the existing team members is aligned with this. In other words, everyone is on the same bus.
Ensuring that new comers are a fit should not be left to guess work, nor should the process be just ticking the technical skills boxes. The cost of introducing a toxic employee into a team environment is catastrophic. A toxic employee can very quickly erode gains made by the team in terms of productivity, and can very quickly cause the “wheels to fall off the bus” as quality employees leave.
One way of minimising the risk of this happening, and also ensuring that the new team member will be a solid fit and is personally aligned to the values within the organisation is to use profiling tools such as Extended DISC and compliment this with frameworks such as Values Pendulum (TM).
A good leader knows that profile of their team and also knows where if any gaps exist, and actively looks for the right person to fill that gap. They avoid the common mistake of recruiting in their own image, but rather welcome diversity, and then have the behavioural flexibility to manage a diverse team. In fact, they don’t manage – they lead and inspire – they provide the footing on which the team is able to shine.