Where the Magic Happens #84
I see it every session with our EOS teams. They are competent, independent, nimble, opportunistic, over-committed, growth-oriented leaders. They are hard-working, smart and caring people who want to make an impact as leaders and through their businesses. They are open-minded and curious, direct and challenging, but they just aren’t seeing the ROI they deserve for all their hard work. They are a team of leaders.
Most entrepreneurial companies are built by the people described above. An owner or owners who surround themselves with very talented helpers who are leading their teams. This is not how you will win the game. In fact, you will plateau or lose over time.
And that’s where the opportunity lies; to move from being a team of leaders to becoming a leadership team. Learning how to operate as one, not many. Learning how to build trust and become a champion of healthy conflict. Learning to put the greater good of the company before the good of ourselves, or our own team or department. Learning that there are exponential benefits we can’t realize until we make the tough decisions as one and stand by them together – no matter what.
For one of my teams, it meant challenging the owners to make a tough people decision about a family friend they employed. It wasn’t an easy conversation, but it was the right thing to do for everyone. Making the decision would clarify several things:
- You don’t get “special” treatment if you know the owners
- You truly have to live our Core Values – keeping this person would’ve told everyone that some people don’t have to live up to our cultural norms
- It’s not easy for anyone to let people go from the company
- The owners are part of the leadership team, they don’t get to create special rules or exceptions
- We are committed to everyone (the greater good), not any one.
That’s where the magic happens, when you move from a team of leaders to a unified leadership team. It takes courage and commitment to journey through the challenges of becoming a healthy team, but the rewards are exponential.