Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Team Leadership

I took this next part from a book on Team Leadership. I thought it was a great illustration on teamwork. If you have ever water skied, you'll know exactly what he's talking about. (By the way, this is a metaphor of their teamwork style, not an actual event of them water skiing.)

In ORBITING THE GIANT HAIRBALL, Gordon MacKenzie, longtime creative director at Hallmark, describes what, in that environment, seems to me to be a healthy team leader:

"My last boss at Hallmark, a fellow by the name of Bob Kipp, sat at the wheel of one of the corporate speedboats. I was at the end of a towline on water skis. We spent our time together skimming across the great Lake Hallmark. Kipp was so sure of who he was and why he was where he was and where the power was that he was not threatened at all when I would ski around in a wide arc until I was up even with the boat and sometimes even past it. He knew I was not going to start pulling the boat with him in it. It just doesn't work that way. The power remains in the boat. But, in allowing me to ski past him — in a sense, allowing me to lead — he would unleash in me an excitement about our enterprise that served our shared goals."

Then MacKenzie drives home his point: "If you are in a position of power and want to lead well, remember: Allow those you lead … To lead … when they feel the need. All will benefit."

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