Recently I was reading one of my favorite columns, “The Corner Office” in The New York Times, and Peter Loscher, President and CEO of Siemens A.G., was being interviewed by Adam Bryant. Peter had this to say about building an effective team:
“I think the underlying principle is trust. How do you establish within a team a blind trust so that each person plays for the other? Business is about lining up a leadership team or a group of people and you rally them behind a cause or a certain direction. But the underlying strength is the trust within the team — so that you actually are no longer just playing individually at your best, but you’re also trying to understand what you can do to make the team better.”
I agree with Peter. This past week I had the privilege of leading a workshop focused on team effectiveness with a highly successful and rapidly growing company. We used Patrick Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team assessment to highlight the areas on which to focus for this particular team. TRUST was revealed as the critical component missing within this team. From my experience when I was in Corporate America, and also in doing my work with Alignment, Inc., the lack of trust appears to be a common challenge among teams. Why is this? Competition within the organization, overzealous individual ambitions, and prior historical experiences all factor into this being the case. Yet, when we look this harsh reality in the eye, we can move forward. We must work to understand and appreciate our differences, and our experiences up until now. We must reveal our individual and collective vulnerabilities. Only through a conscious process of building trust, can our teams optimize their effectiveness.
If you are interested in learning more about building an effective team anchored in trust, please reach out to me. The process is incredibly worthwhile and transformational.