Simple Wisdom for Leaders and Organizations
We offer two-day sessions for executive leadership teams and one day sessions for departmental teams. We also hold teaminars for cascading our team building concepts throughout an organization.
We do organizational health, team building, and business management consulting. Our work is fast, non-academic, and all about your business.
Four disciplines for busy executive teams: Build a cohesive leadership team, establish real clarity among those leaders, over-communicate that clarity, and reinforce that clarity.
We help leaders and their teams build emotional trust, engage in healthy conflict, make real commitments, hold people accountable, and focus on collective team results.
Great leaders introduce conflict and drama into meetings. We promote the four meeting model and how to end meetings with clarity, buy-in, and commitment.
If you don’t know what an extrovert thinks, you haven’t been listening. If you don’t know what an introvert thinks you haven’t asked them. Myers-Briggs for teams.
Managers get to know employees on a personal basis. They remind reports why their roles are important. And, they give employees a way to measure success on their own.
How to recognize and cultivate the three virtues of the Ideal Team Player. Hiring the humble, hungry, and people smart and instilling these values in current team members.
More than anything else, leadership is first and foremost about behaviors. We teach five simple temptations every leader should strive to avoid.
If everything is important, then nothing is. What is your single, qualitative, time-bound, shared, and metric driven thematic goal or rally cry?
Keynote and topical speaking engagements from 30-minutes to 3-hours. Topics include: leadership, teamwork, and employee engagement.
Our team building session taught us that commitment is all about the clarity and buy-in into our decisions. We learned to disagree and commit. Now, even team members who vote against decisions buy-in - because all opinions are heard and factored into our decisions.
CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER, SAN JOSE, CA
The four disciplines are all about making a company more effective by building a cohesive leadership team, establishing real clarity among those leaders, over-communicating that clarity to everyone in the organization, and then putting in place just enough structure to reinforce that clarity moving forward.
Discipline # 1
Build a Cohesive Leadership Team. This creates executive team behavioral alignment. Once aligned, they are open with one another, passionately debate important issues and commit to clear decisions even when they disagree. They call each other out when their behavior or performance needs correction, and they focus their attention on the collective good of the organization.
Discipline # 2
Create Clarity. Answer six critical questions. Doing so creates executive team intellectual alignment and eliminates even small discrepancies in their thinking. This gives employees the clarity they seek. The six critical questions:
1. Why do we exist? (core purpose)
2. How do we behave? (core values)
3. What do we do? (biz. definition)
4. How will we succeed? (core strategies)
5. Most important now? (3-12 mth. goal)
6. Who must do what? (division/labor)
Discipline # 3
Over-communicate Clarity. Until employees have heard the answer to the six critical questions again and again and again, they are not going to believe you. This is because of flavor of the month, quarter, and year. The answers should also be communicated in every major announcement, rollout, and initiative going forward through top down cascading messaging.
Discipline # 4
Reinforce Clarity. Take your answers to the six critical questions and incorporate them into your human systems including recruitment, hiring, on-boarding, reviews, raises, rewards, promotions – everything.
Once an executive team is both behaviorally and intellectually aligned, a company is positioned to dominate any industry in any market against any competition at any time.
Clarity is your organization's mantra tied to culture, decisions and goals.
Contact us about our business management consulting.
Our services are economical and we have options for busy teams
We offer full day departmental team sessions and two-day executive team retreat sessions. We hold teaminars for cascading our work to groups of 20 to 500 participants.
Benefits of a high performing team building
People on high performing teams, beginning with the leader, learn from one another, identify critical issues, and quickly recover from mistakes. They don’t let politics or confusion get in their way. They cycle through problems and rally around solutions faster than dysfunctional teams.
Discipline # 1 - build and maintain a cohesive team
If you seek a team building session where team members catch free-falling team members, build life rafts, or hold hands and sing Kumbaya – you are on the wrong website. These can be fun and competitive activities, but they are best suited to help teams blow off steam or simply have fun. Our sessions are fun, but result in cohesive, effective, and high performing teams.
What makes our team building activities effective?
We don't do slow or boring. Our sessions are fast, relevant and interactive. We don’t do touchy-feely. Our work is about your business. We don’t do academic. We do practical and put it to work on day one.
Results not measured in quarters or years
We set expectations for weeks and months. We combine team behaviors with the insight and appreciation from Myers-Briggs Type Indicators®.
Overcoming team dysfunction outcomes
Results start on the first day. Contact us now to discuss team building.
Meeting effectiveness enables success
Meetings are where values are established, discussed, and lived. Where decisions around strategy and tactics are vetted and decided. If meetings are boring, have too many topics, or fail to end with clarity – people, rightly so, question their value.
Meetings are where we make important decisions
The rewards of great meetings are: higher morale, faster and better decisions, and greater results. We teach you to make your meeting more like edge of the seat movies.
Many of us dread attending meetings
Yet, there is nothing inherently boring or unproductive about meetings. They are the activity at the center of every organization and should therefore be both interesting and relevant to all participants.
If we can just learn some simple concepts about meetings and put them to work. We can replace agendas and decorum with passion and conflict and get to the very best decisions quickly.
We can transform drudgery into meaningful advantage
The good news is that there is nothing about meetings that make them inherently bad, and it is entirely possible to transform them into compelling, productive and fun activities. The bad news is that to do this, we will have to rethink the way we perceive, lead, and manage meetings.
We can't keep hating meetings
We must abandon our search for hi-tech solutions. We must stop focusing on agendas, minutes, and rules, and accept the fact that bad meetings start with the attitudes and approaches of the people who both lead and attend.
For organizations that can make the leap from painful meetings to productive ones, the rewards are enormous. Higher morale, faster and better decisions, and inevitably, greater results.
Contact us now to discuss your meeting effectiveness and start reducing meetings after the meeting through our team building activities.
Teamwork Principals - Myers-Briggs Type Indicators® Certified
MBTI is an introspective self-report questionnaire designed to indicate psychological preference in what motivates people, their natural strengths and potential areas for growth. It also helps people appreciate their differences. Myers Briggs benefits:
We Leverage Myers Briggs Type Indicators ® (MBTI) because:
Brief Myers-Briggs ® history
In 1921, Swiss Psychiatrist Carl G. Jung published Psychological Types which introduced the ideal that each person has a psychological type. He believed that people have inborn (innate) preferences for how we direct and receive energy, take in information, decide and come to conclusions, and how we approach the outside world. His book was written in an academic language which made it hard for everyday use.
A Mother / Daughter team leaning in
During the 1940’s, two American women; Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother Katharine Cook Briggs set out to find an easier way for people to use Jung’s ideas in everyday life. They sought a simple way for people to identify their psychological types without having to sift through Jung’s academic theory.
Everyday use – The Myers-Briggs ® preference pairs
Jung’s theory was simplified to the Myers-Briggs ® : Four Preference Pairs. The pairs are positive polar-opposites that are forced choice selected by answering questions based on innate natural preference. Jung believed all of us use both sides of the preference pairs every day, but we naturally prefer one side of each pair over the other. Preference pairs:
Extroversion vs. Introversion - ENERGY
Sensing vs. Intuition - INFORMATION
Thinking vs. Feeling - EVALUATE
Judging vs. Perceiving - ORGANIZE
Contact us now to discuss how Myers-Briggs team building can help transform your team.
The remedy we propose for employee engagement may seem ridiculously simple and obvious at first glance. But when we consider how many managers fail to put these ideas into practice, perhaps simplicity and obviousness are needed.
When managers take an interest in their direct reports on a professional and personal basis, employees outperform and retention rates go up. Employee job satisfaction also increases when managers frequently remind direct reports why their work is important to them, others, and clients. Finally, managers help employees measure success on their own - so they're in control of their own fate.
The three benefits of employee engagement
1. Increased Productivity - Employees who find fulfillment in their jobs are going to work with more enthusiasm, passion, and attention to quality than those who do not.
2. Greater Retention/Lower Costs - Simply stated, employees hang onto fulfilling jobs as long as they can, because they know that their chances of finding another are relatively low. They also attract good employees.
3. Sustainable Cultural Differentiation - The opportunity for differentiation from competitors with a culture of employee engagement cannot be overstated and it is both free and available.
The company you keep or leave?
The person who has the greatest influence on an employee is their direct supervisor. A direct supervisor needs to take a genuine, personal interest in each employee.
Managers must know each employee, communicate relevance, and help employees find a way to measure success on their own.
Contact us now to discuss how employee engagement team building activities can benefit your team.
Some people add immediate value in a team environment and require much less coaching and management to contribute in a meaningful way. How does one identify these people, and can they be cultivated from existing staff? Ideal team players are identifiable and others may be cultivated once you know all three virtues they embody:
The first and most important virtue of an ideal team player is humility. A humble employee is someone who is more concerned with the success of the team than with getting credit for his or her contributions. People who lack humility in a significant way, those who demand a disproportionate amount of attention, are dangerous for a team. Having said that, humble team players are not afraid to honestly acknowledge the skills and talents they bring to the team, though never in a proud or boastful way.
The next virtue of an ideal team player is hunger, the desire to work hard and do whatever is necessary to help the team succeed. Hungry employees almost never have to be pushed by a manager to work harder because they are self-motivated and diligent. They volunteer to fill gaps, take on more responsibilities and are eagerly looking around corners for new ways to contribute to the team.
The final virtue of a team player is not about being intelligent, but rather about being wise in how to deal with people. Smart employees understand the nuances of team interactions and know how their words and actions impact others. Their good judgment and intuition help them deal with others in the most effective way.
Contact us now to discuss our Ideal Team Players business management consulting.
Choose RESULTS over Status
· Publicly commit to measurable results
· Evaluate success based on these results alone
Choose ACCOUNTABILITY over Popularity
· Confront direct reports immediately about behavior or performance
· Communicate expectations up front clearly to avoid surprises
Choose CLARITY over Certainty
· Set public deadlines for making key decisions
· Be decisive – a decision is often better than no decision at all
Choose CONFLICT over Harmony
· Draw out differing opinions and perspective from all team members
· Praise and permission conflict and mine for it during key decisions
Choose TRUST over Invulnerability
· Acknowledge your own weaknesses and mistakes
· Allow direct reports or team members to see your human side
Contact us now to discuss our leadership for your leaders.
This question, "What is most important right now?", perhaps more than any other, will have the most immediate and tangible impact on an organization, in a department, or for a team. Achieving goals requires the focus that comes from a rotating thematic goal.
Most organizations, departments, and teams have too many top priorities to achieve the level of focus needed to cross the finish line with success.
Wanting to please all stakeholders, they establish a long list of disparate objectives and spread their scarce time, energy, and resources across all of them. Often this results in a lot of initiatives being completed in a mediocre way. “If everything is important – nothing is.”
The five elements of a Thematic Goal or Rally Cry:
Who knows, your Thematic Goal just may help you avoid a crisis in the future. Contact us now to discuss creating, singular, temporary, and qualitative thematic goals or rally cries.
Steve Fairfield is a gifted speaker and thinker. His talks both challenge and encourage audiences in the areas of leadership, team building, and employee engagement.
His speaking topics include:
Topics can be mixed or customized for your audience.
Contact us now to discuss your event.
Executive Leadership Team or Departmental Team Sessions