I have spent a lot of time contemplating the diversity of recommendations to strengthen and support teams. My conclusion is that the team is only as good as its weakest link.

Team leadership is not about empowerment as we once thought. Moreover, it is to educate and make wise those we lead. If there’s an empowerment philosophy and those we empower have the consciousness of a frog and intelligence of a mosquito, we empower danger.

Consciousness is a big word. It has so much attached to it and so many hippies use it to describe their “green” philosophies. As if consciousness and conservation are one and the same topic. Far from it, consciousness is not founded in opinions.

I’d like to enable a more healthy approach to team leadership in which education becomes the primary focus of the leader. Not only product based education but self-leadership education which bans words that include blame and victim. It’s impossible to lead a person who doesn’t want to be at work and from years of coaching Canadians, I can say, at least in that country in the public service, 99% fit the “don’t want to be at work category.”

Then there’s the “harmony at work” community who also can’t be led. They will only dance to a flute that plays their song, at the volume they like, in the time they like with the music they like. Team leadership in these circumstances is impossible.

Finally, an un-inspired person usually makes the most noise in any group. They go up and down like a honeymoon penis. It’s a sad comparison but that’s the best I can do.

Education – I believe, is the core of team leadership and what we educate people about must stand the test of time. Unlike short fast results with high volume interventions, I believe in the longer term nature based self-leadership, one that lasts a lifetime.

And, finally, my motto:

Coach em up or out.

Christopher Walker
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