Coaching World Issue 12: November 2014 - Page 31

become aware of hidden narratives around oppression, privilege, race and gender; and evolve beyond mere tolerance to fully embrace the extraordinary community of “otherness” represented by a global work force. By raising the bar on social awareness, leaders can not only engender an environment of respect and support in which their team members can thrive, they can call forth perhaps hitherto unknown reserves of creativity and insight from the most diverse pool of talent the world has ever known. 9. Teamwork to Teaming Knowledge-based teams are different. They do not always operate best when built around bounded structures with strict definitions of who’s in and who’s out. They do not focus exclusively on beating the competition, touting individual “stars,” or promoting conformity and sameness. As Amy Edmondson at Harvard Business School writes, for knowledge-based teams today, “… teaming is a verb. It is a dynamic activity, not a bounded, static entity …Teaming blends relating to people, listening to other points of view, coordinating actions and making shared decisions.” Leaders who wish to optimize team dynamics today need to know how to do “teaming,” not team-building. Knowledge workers and millennials with sought-after skills in business, engineering, science, math and medicine are quick to move around, quick to move out and quick to note if their team is functioning optimally under a boss who “gets it.” If they feel stymied, unheard, overly structured or micromanaged—even with a leader who has the best of intentions—the likelihood of that team remaining in prime operating mode for very long is small. Simply put, a traditional, heroic leader may Recommended Reading CONTINUED... Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate and Compete in the Knowledge Economy, by Amy Edmondson (JosseyBass, 2012) True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership, by Bill George (Jossey-Bass, 2007) Why We Do What We Do: Understanding SelfMotivation, by Edward L. Deci with Richard Flaste (reprint ed., Penguin, 1996) Your Creative Brain: Seven Steps to Maximize Imagination, Productivity and Innovation in Your Life, by Shelley Carson (Jossey-Bass, 2012) “For coaches, the challenge is to accelerate the shift: to listen, to support, and to coax from leaders greater self-awareness, inclusiveness, empathy and a willingness to experiment and take risks.” find him or herself captain of a ship without a crew. So for the emergent post-heroic leader, and his or her coach, the dilemma of teamwork is clear: How do I “run” the show, motivate the team and focus on the goal of winning if truly high performance is determined by a very different set of organization dynamics: permeability, flexibility, collaboration and a willingness to fail and learn fast? It would appear that the tectonic plates of traditional leadership theory are adrift. Ye а