Defining Your High Functioning Culture
Your team represents you. Your team represents your organization. Therefore, it’s important to choose people of strong character. It’s important that you choose people that share the same values as you. It’s important that you choose people with highly developed skills, experience, and wisdom; maybe even a level higher than you perceive your own. Finally, choose and support people whom you respect.
The conductor of the choir or orchestra chooses the very best musicians possible to have the finest concert. To get the best results from these highly skilled musicians, the conductor studies the score and is well prepared for each rehearsal by knowing what the results are that they want to achieve and understanding how to achieve those results. It’s equally important for the leader of teams to utilize this same skill set by being very clear not only about the values but about the goals and the action plans to define a pathway to achieve those goals. So, as you step on the podium and grab the baton to lead your team, remember that each action is a rehearsal for success.
Sometimes you inherit a team that’s already in place when you arrive at a new position. Ultimately, you will be able to replace people with your own choices. In some instances, you will be able to form the team of your choice from the beginning. Therefore, I will give you some guidelines for choosing people for your team whether it’s starting a new team or whether it’s replacing people on your team. A choral conductor that I highly respect shared his process for recruiting new singers for his world-famous choir. First, there was a process of listening to everyone to determine if they were qualified. Next, there was a process of sorting out the quality and type of vocal tone. Finally, there was a process of fitting that person into the ensemble to see how that voice blended and complimented the rest of the ensemble. Be aware that every person that you add to your team can change how this team functions. It’s important to spend time at the front end selecting team members to save time on the back end fixing problems where a particular team member really doesn’t fit.
When choosing new team members consider the following:
- Look for specific skills
- Look for diversity of skills
- Look for diversity in perspectives
- Look for a balance in skills and perspective
- Look for compatible personalities
- Look for those who “fill in the gaps” (skills you or your team members don’t have)
- Look for those who accept a commitment
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