Go Climb a Tree

Time to Read: 1.5 mins...   

Let’s say your team’s task is to cut a path through dense forest. Your job, as their leader, is to make sure 5 things happen:

  • Support: make sure they have enough water, food, sharp saws, protective gear, etc. to accomplish the task.
  • Training: individually, do they have sufficient skill to do their part and carry their load?
  • Teamwork: collectively, do they work together well and support each other?
  • Encouragement: cutting through dense undergrowth is hard, demanding work – do you recognize them individually and collectively for their sweat and accomplishments? Do they acknowledge each other?
  • Get a Fresh Perspective: this may be the most important thing you can do. From time to time, get out of the weeds and climb a tree. Take a look at the big picture and do 4 things…
  • Check to see how far you’ve come. This can be a source of encouragement and new energy for your team.
  • Make sure you are headed in the right direction. The team may be making great headway, but if they’re headed off course, all their effort may be a waste.
  • Are there any new barriers or opportunities?  Since the last time you checked, there may now be a cliff or a large rock face in the way that wasn’t in view before. Or there could be a faster, better way forward. The landscape of a project at the start looks a lot different from the one you have to deal with in the middle of the project.
  • Discuss your findings with your team. If you are on the right track and making good progress – high fives all around and press on!  If a new obstacle or opportunity has appeared - huddle with your people to create a new, updated work-plan. 

Action Steps: 

  • Look at your team right now in whatever project you are working on. Of the 5 things above, what do they need most?  Resources, training, teambuilding, encouragement, understanding the big picture – something else?
  • Also look at each team member individually and see what they need most. May not be the same as what the team as a whole needs.
  • And lastly, how might all this apply to your family?

Charles St.John

P.S. Tell me what you think – add your comments below.

  • Ruby M says:

    This is solid advice! The only thing I would add is how to handle the few people who may not be able to “pull their fair share” such as kind and honest feedback, clear expectations, and support to improve. Thanks!!!

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