Gary Winters

Coach  Workshop Facilitator Author

Taking the Guesswork Out of Teamwork

In yesterday’s post Teamwork or Guesswork, I discussed the differences between teamwork and guesswork.

While fostering teamwork isn’t automatic or easy, it is possible to create conditions where people will rally around a goal, work cooperatively and efficiently to accomplish that goal, and achieve far better results than any other method could yield. Leaders who want the best return on investment for their teaming strategies are those who:

  • Thoroughly understand the dynamics of teams in organizations, including how and when to choose a team as the means to accomplish a particular goal, how to choose team leaders and team members, and how to include teamwork in their performance management system.
  • Invest in the continuing development of their team leadership skills.

The Three Ps of Effective Team Leaders

Preparing a team

  • Assembling the right players
  • Clarifying the expectations of the team sponsor
  • Drafting a team charter which sets the boundaries, includes a team mission and vision, clarifies team roles, and establishes linkages in the organization
  • Securing support and resources

Processing on-going teamwork

  • Building trust and commitment
  • Establishing and maintaining the “rules of engagement”
  • Facilitating effective meetings
  • Making appropriate process interventions
  • Fostering team-based decisions
  • Recording and communicating action plans

Performing as a team

  • Establishing a project plan
  • Achieving milestones and targets
  • “Moving the ball” between meetings
  • Providing on-going performance feedback
  • Rewarding individual and team performance
  • Disbanding the team while capturing the lessons learned

What’s More, Good Teamwork Costs Nothing

Leaving teamwork to guesswork may be common practice in organizations, but it is not common sense. The costs of guesswork are staggering, whereas the time and financial resources invested developing team leaders will produce a handsome reward on the bottom line of the organization. The greatest irony for team-based organizations may be that team training costs nothing as teams begin producing substantially better results, in less time, while increasing employee morale and retention.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is the sequel to the very popular “What Your Boss Never Told You.” Packed inside are more tips, techniques, and insights about the challenging, but rewarding leadership position.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is written in a conversational tone, as though you and the author were enjoying a cup of coffee and talking about the issues that emerge for new leaders. It stands alone, and/or could be read before or after the first volume, “What Your Boss Never Told You.” You can start with any chapter and read in any order you like.

if you search for a book on management, you’ll find a staggering 600,000+ books currently available. How can you narrow that down? “What Your Boss Never Told You” is the best place to start.

No textbook here – this book is short and sweet. It’s designed to help you “unpack” your new job and be effective from the first day with your new team. It contains twenty-one chapters filled with the wisdom Winters has gathered from real managers – effective, successful leaders in organizations much like yours.

Leaders make decisions every day – big and small. Most know that if they include others in the decision-making process, the quality of those decisions – and the commitment to them – will likely improve. That said, they also know it’s impractical, if not impossible, to include others in every decision they confront.

“To Do or Not To Do” tackles the question of when to make decisions on your own, and when to involve your team. It gives you a deceptively simple but proven method to determine, when you are facing a difficult decision, how to decide how to decide.

Far too many meetings are dreadful, mind-numbing, energy-draining, productivity-sapping, colossal wastes of time. As someone once said, “To kill time, a meeting is the perfect weapon.”

Here’s the deal: if you’re willing to learn and apply the techniques in “So, How Was Your Meeting?”, you’ll call fewer meetings, while vastly improving the ones you do lead. They’ll take less time, have more balanced participation, produce better decisions, and result in concrete action items for follow-up afterwards.

While there are thousands of books written for people about to retire, this may be the only book for people who manage soon-to-retire employees. Written in a casual, conversational style, “Managing the Soon To Retire Employee” will give you everything you need to know to move forward with confidence and grace.

You can be successful with Sooners. It won’t happen by chance, and it’s not a matter of pulling some management “trick” out of your hat. But you can learn how to do it, and you can apply what you’ve learned right away.

Managing friends or former peers can be awkward. When you become the boss, everything about these relationships can suddenly be uncomfortable. There’s a new set of ground rules to establish – as manager, you are going be accountable for the work performance of friends or former co-workers on the team, and they are going to have to adjust to the fact that they now report to you. Everyone involved can feel awkward and hesitant about the future. 

Have you been approached by management with an offer to promote you to supervision? Or, are you mulling over the possibility for the future? Find yourself not sure whether to accept the promotion?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. Help! They Want to Make ME a Supervisor will help you sort out a very big question: Should you accept the offer to become a supervisor? Once you’ve read this book, you’ll be confident that you’ve made the best decision for you and for your organization.