Monday, June 20, 2011

Leveraging Human Potential

People use this term a lot...but what does it really mean?   I think there are basically two elements involved--one is having leaders or managers who have a desire and the skills to bring the most and the best out of their teams.  The other element is having a team that has the desire to grow and the willingness to experience the rights of passage involved in that growth.  There are times when I find myself in fear of growth--it involves revealing to people that I don't know everything, it will involve discomfort as I do something new, there will be mistakes, etc.   There is a lot of humility that is required for personal and professional growth.  As a result, leaders who are going to facilitate this growth must work the triangle of pushing their team mentally, helping their team grow the competencies necessary for growth, hold them accountable for their progress, and be there to support them when they run into inevitable challenges.   It is an exhilarating process, but one where all of these different elements should be kept in mind.


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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Teamwork--the benefits you don't usually consider

We all know of the accurate, yet well trodden benefits of teamwork--greater creativity, wider variety of perspectives, greater number of skills sets brought to a problem, etc.  These are obviously all very important, as well as quantifiable and measurable.   I thought I might take a moment to add a few from personal experience that are just as important, but not as commonly discussed:

1)   It is more fun--I know this is not true for everyone...I have very close friends who would be very happy if they could work in a cave with wifi, leaving for the occasional workout and a ray or two of sun.   But working with people is energizing for me....the process of building upon each other's work, giving and getting feedback, and coming out with something that I know is ultimately better is satisfying.

2)  You are not alone--being faced with a large challenge always seems much more daunting to me alone than when I am working with others who are equally committed.   Succeeding on my  own is great, but there is something much more satisfying for me about sharing that success with others, knowing that we truly all contributed.

3)  Getting to know each other in different ways--Each project brings a new set of challenges, and as I work with people over a period of time I start to see sides of them (and they of me) of which I was not aware.  They often have skills and experiences that weren't listed in their resume before they joined the organization, but that are often very valuable.

I have some other thoughts on teamwork that I will share in my next post.


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