Feed the Team's Development but Also Develop the Team

When we develop our team, we look for trust and transparency to develop; and as these start to develop, the team starts to become much more effective. The team starts to challenge each other, the team starts to support each other.

Team meetings become working sessions for critical issues and priorities. Time is planned and well spent. Team members build on each others' ideas and solutions come faster and they are better. The team finds that a collective power and autonomy develops naturally.

As leaders, we look to develop effective team dynamics. Just as when we develop our people individually, it is tremendously rewarding to see the team's progress, to witness its productivity, its efficiency.

But also, just as when we develop our people individually, the accountabilities and boundaries of the team must be established -- clearly and early. I have seen teams develop an autonomy that starts to challenge the boundaries, disrespecting lines of accountability. Sometimes the leader starts to be seen as a peer; sometimes peers in the organization are disregarded. The team starts to get wrapped up in its successful dynamics.

As leaders we have to manage the boundaries. We have to feed the team's development but also need to develop the team. New learnings, new styles, new approaches are for teams, as with individuals, learning opportunities; and for the leader, they are opportunities to define the sandbox while letting creativity and efficiency thrive.