Weekly Thought – August 15, 2017
Fred took his last earthly breath at 9:15am on August 17th. The afternoon before his last words were “I’ve learned to trust in Jesus; I’ve learned to trust in God.” He loved the gospel hymn “Through It All.” His daughter read to him each day. The hymn story that day was “When They Ring Those Golden Bells.” “They will ring for me soon” was his comment. Then later he mouthed the words to Andrae Crouch’s well-loved song.
An executive generally play three positions simultaneously. Each requires separate skills. First, as a member of the boss’s team. On this team the role is as a peer among others at this same level.
Second, as the quarterback of the team of direct reports. On this one the role of peer is inappropriate. The final decision belongs to the quarterback. The huddle is great and useful for advice, but in 30 seconds the quarterback must have the play called and action underway. Most huddles don’t use a vote.
Thirdly, as a coach to younger and more inexperienced men and women coming up through the organization. This should be a natural process as upward movement occurs. As a coach, the role is secondary to the younger employee’s own quarterback and team. Confusion occurs if the coach tries to take the place of the quarterback.
At Fort Monmouth one of the officers described the unique genius of the American soldier as the ability to move from corporal to sergeant to lieutenant quickly on the field of battle without formal training or ceremony. The speaker pointed out that this distinguished them from other fighting forces which lacked this flexibility.
A good team member with less talent will make a greater contribution to the corporation team effort than a maverick with greater talent. The “individualist” causes problems which interrupt the steady progress. When one focuses on personal gain and visibility to the detriment of the team organizational chaos results. Sometimes extraordinary talent must be sacrificed for the good of the well-performing team. Often in sports hot shots make a team suffer when they won’t sublimate their own numbers for the good of the team.
Another challenge to a well-run team is rhythm. When certain members want to rethink decision ad infinitum (and even ad nauseum) hinders progress. It is important to understand the roles and the responsibilities – and how final decisions are made. Understanding when input is accepted and when it is no longer received is part of the successful pattern of team work.
This week think about: 1) How many teams am I on? 2) Which role do I handle most effectively? 3) Who am I coaching currently?
Words of Wisdom: “A good team member with less talent will make a greater contribution to the corporation team effort than a maverick with greater talent.”
Wisdom from the Word: “May the Lord your God be praised because he favored you by placing you on the throne of Israel! Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he made you king so you could make just and right decisions.” (1Kings 10:9 NET Bible)