Leadership in Action – Results: Rubber, Meet Road

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The final piece to the five Key Characteristics of Team Effectiveness is Results. This is not just getting numbers on the board. It is a focus on the overall team results, even if they have a negative impact on individual members’ goals. The pinnacle of this type of team effectiveness – built on trust, healthy conflict, commitment and accountability – is the willingness to take one for the team, to put the team’s collective need above your own.

Many teams are teams in name only. The members can feign some of the other key characteristics at the surface level. However, to put the needs of the team goals ahead of their own cannot be faked. In other words, this is where the rubber meets the road.


As you lead your team to these results, keep the members focused on the long-term strategic objectives. If it becomes clear that the appropriate course of action may have a short-term negative impact on one of your team member’s area, give them a chance to step up. When they do, acknowledge them putting the long-term strategic goals ahead of their short-term benefits.


If they do not step up, take the time to acknowledge that the course of action, that is proving to be most appropriate, is right for the organization in the long term. Recognize the impact that the course of action has on specific members and their own areas. You can ask that team member if there a perspective that the team is not seeing. As you work through  the conflicting perspective, reinforce that, as a team focused on results, these are the tough decisions that we need to make.


As you work towards this aspect of team effectiveness, you want to make sure the reward systems are aligned to your goals. The higher a team member is in the organization, the more their compensation-at-risk should be based on the overall team performance and less on their individual performance.


Remember, your team effectiveness is built on these key characteristics: Trust, Healthy Conflict, Commitment, Accountability and Results. Together, these traits enable your team to function with psychological safety, which heightens both connection and innovation. As a leader, you have taken the steps to Energize Action toward the long-term, strategic goals.