Let me introduce you to my friend, Julie. Julie Pierce has one crazy dream: to empower leaders to change the world. She does this through coaching, consulting teams, and speaking around the country. Author of Play, Team, Play!, she lives in the Dallas area with her family. Julie is a dear friend and Writers Boot Camp graduate.
Every Monday morning, my boss and I met to dissect my team’s latest marketing plan. His cut-to-the-chase tone and mannerisms made it clear to me he didn’t care to know me as a person, only the details of our projects. These meetings left me feeling like a commodity rather than a contributor, a producer rather than a person.
A few hours later, I’d walk into a meeting with those who reported to me. The transition was like an unexpected ice bucket challenge: a shock to the system.
I knew my team. I sympathized with the financial pressure Frank felt as he pursued a master’s degree. I appreciated Nicki’s ability to silence a crowd with her chimpanzee call. And I understood Cara’s nervousness about pregnancy and Charlie’s nerves about proposing.
In turn, my team knew me. They recognized the “tell” of my tiredness—that’s when my Texas twang drawled every word out for days. They could read the stress on my face and the sparkle in my eyes.
The stark contrast between these two meetings highlighted a deeper truth:
Working for a stranger isolates and demotivates.
Working with a connected team includes and energizes.
Frank, Nicki, Cara, Charlie and I had moved from having a cursory knowledge of cubemates to becoming a knowing community of teammates. Because we knew each other beyond our titles and alma maters, we were motivated to help each other succeed. We wanted to see each other’s strengths shine.
Leader friend, are you leading a group of strangers or an energized, connected team? If you want to lead a dynamic, effective team, try these 3 steps for eliminating the strangers and cultivating team community:Continue Reading...
The inquiry caught me off guard. Popular author Gary Smalley and his team were peppering me with questions, determining if I was the best candidate to collaborate on his next project.
“Do you limp?” his mentoree, Ted Cunningham, pressed again, determined to discover if I’d experienced adversity or hardship.
“You have no idea,” I answered.
That conversation, which took place more than six years ago, still echoes in my mind. Gary Smalley, Ted Cunningham, and I have worked on more than a half-dozen projects together, but I’ve never forgotten the issue they raised that day.
Do you limp? remains a timeless question among those in leadership. It’s the gentle way of asking:
Margaret Feinberg is a popular Bible teacher and speaker at churches and leading conferences such as Catalyst, Thrive and Extraordinary Women. Her books and Bible studies have sold over 600,000 copies and received critical acclaim and extensive national media coverage. Click the image to learn more.
Margaret, Leif, and Hershey are traveling all across the country this year. Check out the speaking schedule to see when they visit a city near you.