Does Your Team Mirror Need Changing?

We See What We Want To SeeRemember those mirrors at the funhouse? You’d stand in front of them and see yourself in all kinds of goofy configurations:elongated, really fat, small head bloated body-(OMG I must have one of those in my bathroom!) and as you moved you’d see your body image change. At hockey games these days they do the “bubble camera ” by taking a shot of a fan and distorting their image. Fun stuff.

Not So Fun In The Office Though

Your leadership team is the model that the organization emulates. Like it or not, how you act and react as a team, is interpreted through your employees’ filters…their eyes, their ears, their feelings.

You may say that the leadership team acts as one and supports each other. However, if there is back biting or finger pointing or self promotion then your message is negated. In fact, it erodes your position and credibility.

“How can we believe you and this team when we see how you actually behave?”

    • “You preach to us about team work and working together.
      Yet we observe your leadership team saying the right words in public but something different in one-on-one’s or staff meetings.”
      “You talk about respect and trust.
      Yet we don’t see this team demonstrating it when things go awry. “
      “You ask us to sacrifice our time and compensation for the good of the company.
      Yet we see your team spending company time and money on non essential perks.”
      (And you say, “Yes, but we have a lot of responsibility on our shoulders.”)
      “You talk about being optimistic and forward looking.
      Yet we don’t understand the direction we are going, how we are going to get there, and our own roles and responsibilities in helping us get there.”
  • Maybe It’s Time To Look In The Mirror

    Actually, it may be time to change the mirror. It may be distorting your view of reality. What you think your team is doing may be diametrically opposite to what others think. This difference is costing you dearly in financial results not to mention employee productivity and morale. (oops, I guess I did mention it)

    Research shows that employees’ behavior and culture reflects that of their leaders. It is not “do as I say” but “do as I do”. I remember years ago a GM took over a manufacturing division. He had a habit of using the “F” word as part of his normal every day language. I visited one of his directors about 3 months later. It was amazing how the management team, by osmosis, had let the “F” word infiltrate their language. In fact even the director’s administrative assistant would occasionally drop the “F” bomb unintentionally. (“Here’s your F***ing report”)

    While your situation most likely is not this bad, the negative business impact could be worse. Are you ignoring the effect your team’s behaviors are having on the whole organization?

    Better Now Than Later

    Do something now. Take an honest view of the behaviors of your team as a whole and as individual leaders. Are you acting true to your values? Have you as a team reviewed your organization’s culture and decided what you want it to be or have you just accepted “the way things are done around here”. If so, you are shirking your responsibility as a leader.
    You are letting your employees down. You are not achieving the results you could attain.

    Not to mention, you are leaving money on the table. (There I go again!)

    You might even want to think about having an off-site meeting to come to grips with your team culture and vision. In fact, you may even want to engage a professional facilitator to make sure all voices are heard and you can focus on getting the most out of the session.

    If as a leadership team, you are not all in agreement with how you want to be as a team and as an organization,then how will anyone else know?

    You reap what you sow.

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