By Chally Kacelnik
Years ago, I was working with a team that had been neglected for a while. Reporting to a leader who had many responsibilities and very little time to devote to this team, they were struggling to organise and complete their work effectively. I in turn struggled to make any headway with the team in changing their work dynamics. They had a golden opportunity to work with a consultant who was there to help make things better and wanted to work closely with them to achieve that, but I was facing a lot of resentment and we were getting nowhere. Eventually, I was having a one on one meeting with a team member, who suddenly turned to me with a kind look on her face. “I get it,” she said. “You’re here to help.”
I’m not sure what kind of expectations about the project had been set for this team; in any case, there was no trust that anything would change for the better. In the absence of present, engaged leadership, nothing was going to change for the better. The nitty gritty work of documenting and improving day to day processes – which I was working on – is a vital part of making work better, but without a leader to set expectations and hold people to account for implementing the right change, it will not happen.
At LKS Quaero, we say that leadership creates the culture that creates the results, good or bad. The poor results for this team were stemming from a culture of inertia and neglect, and you can draw a line from that straight back to an absence of leadership. As a leader, you need to build expectations and trust through explicit, consistent communication and behaviour.
A leader’s job is to create the conditions for people to achieve objectives. Good team dynamics start with organisations supporting leaders with the time and skills to lead their teams.
At LKS Quaero, we support organisations to form and sustain well led teams. For more information, visit us at lksquaero.com or follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook.