A really great team, for example, is how an orchestra works. They will all better than competent musicians combining and enhancing to create a harmonious whole. I enjoy the story about the London Symphony Orchestra which demonstrated how a team can perform. A fastidious and dull guest conductor so enraged the orchestra by his pedantry that they decided to teach him a lesson. They did this with a perfectly synchronized and unscheduled speed up in the middle of a Symphony leaving him confused, sweating, trailing, and cowed in their wake, and of course the audience, not realizing anything was amiss, thought it was marvelous.
That’s a story of leadership usurped – proof that great teams can achieve miraculous synergy. And that great team can driver themselves without having to be managed; that they can have a will and power of their own. When Arturo Toscanini died, his orchestra performed for a while conductorless in honor of him. The ream is greater than the leader. Which given what follows may seem ironic.
You’ve been promoted – team leader we salute you
The stakes have been lifted. You’re no longer team coach or cheerleader – it’s now up to you to do three things:
1. Decide who’s on your team.
2. Decide what you want your team to do.
3. And how you as leader will run it.
How to say “no” to stop it all going wrong
There are those moments in life where what is desperately needed is a messenger who brings the missive that says “go back…what you are doing is going to cause you grief…retreat.” Well, we know what normally happens to messengers.
The trick is how to find the words and the tone of voice to bring bad (or less than wanted) news to your colleagues without them shooting you.