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The Music of Teams

The executive leadership team I coach on Friday mornings doesn’t always see eye-to-eye. Sometimes, a teammate opts out of the discussion when he or she isn’t getting their way. As a coach, I finesse a way to invite them back into the conversation. The musicians who gather in my basement on Friday nights find ways to collaborate without words. It’s a universal language. Sometimes there is harmony and other times there is dissonance. There is always communication. Fridays are full of lessons.

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Free Agents

The grace period has ended. Now that the economy has begun its recovery, gainfully employed talent has joined the throngs of unemployed in searching for the perfect gig. Just a year ago, you were supposed to be happy to have a job…any job. Now, tolerating unhealthy workplace culture is no longer a requirement of vocational survival.

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Going Undiagosed

Three years was enough. The pain had simply become unbearable. The symptoms could no longer be ignored. It was time to get a proper diagnosis and consider treatment options. Ever since the economy bottomed out, the team had been spiraling toward its demise. Organizational morale was at an all-time low. Top talent was jumping ship. Yet, their competitors had already recovered. Perhaps it wasn’t the economy…

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Sleepwalkers

It was a battle of emotional immune systems. The team’s leader was burned out. He had been in his role too long without growth or challenge. Each day, he dragged himself into work, put in his hours, produced the minimum necessary to keep his job, left at 5:00 on the nose, and returned home to refuel sufficiently to come back and do it again. Another day…another dollar. Most of his direct reports followed his lead and sleepwalked through their careers…except one.

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The Intimacy of Teams

The eyes of the 21-year-old college student lit up as she raised her hand. She had experienced an epiphany. Suddenly, the theory of effective teaming crystallized when she applied it to a current romantic relationship. “I have a personal responsibility for my contribution to the relationship I’ve joined,” she observed. “The entity itself needs to be nurtured and cultivated.” Not surprisingly, the same “ah-ha” moment had occurred in a recent executive coaching conversation in a global telecommunications company with a senior leader twice her age.

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