The Double-Edged Sword of Virtual Teams

virtual teams

Remember when, before video conference calls were the norm, the team was in the same room and we could clearly see the eye rolls, the understanding smiles, the two people in the corner exchanging glances and the boss getting increasingly agitated? Back then there were abundant visual cues that alerted us to more going on […]

Healthy Accountability… What a “Sick” Idea!

healthy accountability

It was not a happy place to work. The mission was clear and meaningful. The people were good-hearted and good at what they did (for the most part). The customers were loyal…except for when they were disappointed, again. Something had to change. So, as the new guy in charge of operations, programs, and services, I […]

Team Values and Behavioral Norms

behavioral norms

“Our problem is not to find better values, but to be faithful to those we profess.”                                                                                                       – John W. Gardner Core Values are the foundational to shaping the behaviors of an individual, a team, and an organization. They influence all our actions, relationships, and work, whether we are aware of them or not. As the […]

Scanning for Danger: Building Psychological Safety on a Team

safety on a team

We’ve all been on teams where we don’t feel comfortable speaking up. We keep quiet even when we know we have something helpful or of value to add. Why is that? Self-censorship often happens in teams that lack what is called psychological safety.  Psychological safety is what you feel when you sense the group thinks, […]

Team Development: Pains and Gains

team meets to grow and learn

Remember when your team began? They were so excited. They seemed nice, fun, agreeable, and really seemed to appreciate your leadership. Things have likely changed since then. It might feel like disagreements surround almost every decision. Maybe they push back on your leadership decisions or style and sometimes it seems like you don’t quite fit […]

Team Purpose and Design

a team puts their hands together

You’ve heard it before: “Form follows function”. It applies to both physical and organizational structures. It applies to systems and processes. It also applies to teams.  Team Purpose A true team needs to know its purpose. Without a clear purpose, it will make up busy work or simply take up time that could be applied […]

Why Does Your Team Exist?

Why do your teams exist?

You’d be surprised at how few people can confidently answer that question.  When contemplating “Why does your team exist” it’s valuable to think like an ant. Ants are incredible creatures. A single ant can carry  10-50 times its own body weight! But even then, it cannot accomplish the main task of the colony alone. So, […]

What is Agency and How Does it Benefit a Team?

man taking agency up stairs into sun

Gary Gunderson, a pioneer in the field of faith in public health, explored many theories, research papers, speeches, and presentations about the causes of death. Medical science is continually focused on the causes of death and preventing them. For instance, if obesity is a leading cause of death, we focus on avoiding obesity. The same […]

Why Demonstrate Integrity as an Example for Others

A gold compass pointing to integrity

Setting an example worth following requires the establishment of a commonly understood “true north” (not to be confused with “magnetic north”). But it’s not an impossible task. Set your internal compass on demonstrating integrity, and you will lead with significance.  That’s a great sentiment in theory, but how does that translate into building and maintaining […]

“Character” Defined: What does it mean for the workplace?

a weathered sign with three planks points in three directions in a desert

What is “sound character”? It is the combined attributes of a person that prove solid and unshakable during difficult and disorienting challenges. We each think differently, and we believe different things. But there are commonalities that tend to produce an honorable person, a person with sound character. (There are also people with “unsound” character.) As […]