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Meet Ted: A Smart Leader Who Values Team Health



Okay, this is not really Ted. But I bet I got your attention!!!

Now, let’s meet Ted, the leader of a successful project team. His team is managing to stay on a very tight three-year project timeline, and getting tremendous work done while working across both a very large internal organization, and the community that they serve. They are rocking!

In fact, they are considered the best at what they are doing.

So you ask, “Why are they calling thrive!? Aren’t you two the teams in conflict folks?” Yes, we specialize working with teams in conflict, that are underperforming, or stuck in conflict, and we help them become cohesive, aligned, and produce great business results.

So we love it when we get a call from a leader like Ted. Why?

Can’t Just Rely on the Smarts of Superstars

Because his team is rocking AND he is smart enough to know that there is work to be done if he wants it to stay that way.

Ted realizes that if he wants to lead a team with that many superstars to continue to stay on time and budget over the course of next few years, he can not be simply relying on the expert skill sets and IQ of his superstars.

Frankly, one of the worst mistake leaders make is thinking, “I just need to pick a team of super stars or subject matter experts (SME), and assume that’s enough to ensure we can get to successful collective team results.”

Maybe it works for a while. Maybe, because superstars are often competitive or perfectionistic, there will be success. But there will be an equal level of burn out, unaddressed conflict, turn over, and eventually declining team results over the long haul.

For Long Term Success: Smart Leaders Focus on Team Health Too

So we love leaders like Ted.

He is a leader who is smart enough to know that he needs to also focus on the healthy stuff – EQ or Emotional Intelligence. He knows that taking time for his super smart team to make sure they are equally focused on being a healthy team is a key to long-term success.

Ted understands that his job is to make sure his SMEs know how to deal with their differences, and can navigate through the conflict, which will be a natural part of the journey of making a team vision a reality, successfully crossing the finish line.

What Smart People Are Challenged With

For experts often the biggest issue isn’t figuring out the smart stuff, it’s dealing with interpersonal challenges of working with other, equally smart people, who think differently, and who are passionate about their opinion.

A leader of a team like this has to be willing to be humble, and honest himself, about just how easy it would be for him (or her) to get in the way of helping these smart people work together, and have productive dialogue, rather than just doing their own smart thing.

He or she also has to be willing and able to ask for help before the tension gets too great. Ted did just that. We worked with the team for a two-day offsite.

The Results

This high performing team walked away from two days of having some frank, honest conversations about their styles, and their teamwork to date. They took the time to clarify their smart topics, and make sure everyone was bought in.

They got the value of investing early, and often, in taking care of relational health (the Healthy) while maintain clarity and commitment to the team’s greater vision and on-going collective results (the Smarts).

Yes – they are still rocking AND having a bit more fun doing it!!


CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke

Coaches, Business Consultants, Speakers and Authors of The Beauty of Conflict

CrisMarie and Susan work leaders and teams, couples in business, and professional women.

They help turnaround dysfunctional teams into high performing, cohesive teams who trust each other, deal with differences directly, and have clarity and alignment on their business strategy so they create great results.

Check out their website: www.thriveinc.com. Connect with CrisMarie and Susan on LinkedIn. Watch their TEDx Talk: Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It! Find your copy of The Beauty of Conflict: Harnessing Your Team's Competitive Advantage here.



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