Archives For Extreme Leadership

For the past couple of weeks, I have been discussing the virtues of Extreme Leaders. However, the truth is that we cannot be Extreme Leaders on our own – in most instances we depend on people to facilitate the achievement of our goals. As you strive to become an Extreme Leader, you will come to realize (if you haven’t already) that your people will determine whether or not you win at the great game of business. The question then becomes: Are you going to dream of what it would be like to have a team that works well together, executes across boundaries & borders, and produces Extreme Results OR are you going to build an Extreme Team that does all of that and more?

You can attempt to build your Extreme Team by design and by talent, but you will likely fail. You may put together a team of specialists, but that will not create what you need to win. Performance depends on both individual excellence and on how well the team works together. It is not friendship that creates an Extreme Team – it is a different kind of team relationship. It is a concept known as “alignment” – when a group of people understand the unique value of each player and leverage that value to function as a cohesive whole. In most teams the energies of the individual players work at cross purposes – the fundamental characteristic being wasted energy. Everyone may work exceptionally hard, but the efforts do not translate to an Extreme Team delivering extreme results.

In contrast, when a team becomes aligned, a commonality of direction emerges, and individual efforts synchronize with the whole. Synergy evolves – there is commonality of purpose, a shared vision, and an inherent understanding of how to leverage one another’s talents. The individual player does not sacrifice his/her personal desire to score to the larger team vision; rather the shared vision becomes an extension of the personal vision.  Alignment is a necessary component in building your Extreme Team – empowering the team will empower the individual players.

Extreme Team learning is the process of aligning and developing the capacity of the team to create the winning results the team strives for. It builds on the discipline of developing shared vision. It also builds on personal mastery: talented teams are made up of talented individuals. But the bottom line is that shared vision and talent are not enough to create an Extreme Team. The world is full of talented teams who share a vision for awhile, yet they fail to learn and grow together and ultimately fail to win. Extreme sports team champions have talent and a shared vision, but what really matters is that the team knows how to play together – Extreme Teams in organizations are no different.

There has never been a greater need for the development of Extreme Teams in organizations than there is today. Almost all important decisions are now made in teams –  directly or through the need for teams to translate individual decisions into organizational actions. If Extreme Teams are developed with focus and intent on learning to excel as a cohesive unit, organizational insights are gained that can be translated into extreme results. Skills are developed that can propagate and motivate other teams to be extreme. Most of all, the Extreme Team’s  accomplishments can set the tone  and establish a standard of excellence for the larger organization. So, what will it be? Dream Team or Extreme Team?

You can contact me at Sheri.Mackey@LuminosityGlobal.com or by visiting our website at www.LuminosityGlobal.com. Check back next Thursday for the next installation  of Across Boundaries & Borders.

Last week I discussed your commitment as an Extreme Global Leader and challenged you to build an Extreme Team, not just dream about having one. This week I am going to challenge you further –    to focus in on the development of four critical dimensions that your Extreme Team must have: 1) the ability to think insightfully about complex issues as a group; 2) innovative, coordinated action; 3) a significant impact on other teams; 4) strong coaching and adequate practice time.

There is a real and present need for global teams to think insightfully, and creatively, about complex issues. I was recently speaking with Robert Hargrove, one of the most prominent CEO Coaches in the world, and we were discussing how organizations had changed in the past 20 years. One key component to our conversation was teams and how complex success in organizations had become. It is no longer enough for a leader to present a business case to his boss or lobby the Board of Directors for funding for a large project with no accountability to deliver – S/he must have a team that can drive Extreme Results. This requires the team to be insightful and innovative enough to look at possibilities from every angle, leveraging the expertise and excellence of every team member in order to explore and exploit every opportunity. Teams must learn how to tap the potential of many minds so that the sum of the whole is more intelligent than a single intellect. This is an obvious deduction to make, however there are significant, less evolved, forces at work in organizations that are eager to make the collective intelligence of the team “less than”, rather than “greater than”, the intelligence of the individual – you will always have competitors with alternative interests.

Innovative, coordinated action on the part of a team, much less an organization, has the potential to be the equivalent of winning the Gold at the X Games. Championship sports teams provide excellent metaphors for acting in spontaneous, yet coordinated, ways. Extreme Teams in organizations develop the same dynamic – “operational trust” is the “X” factor –  a condition where each player remains conscious of the other team members and can be counted on to act in such a way to enhance the overall outcome.

Also critical, is the role of your Extreme Team players on other teams. The reality is that a great deal of the time, actions of senior teams are actually carried out through other teams. As such, Extreme Teams have the capability to continually cultivate ongoing learning through their involvement on other teams. If the individual player can understand and embrace the complexity of the Extreme Team, they have the ability to transfer the learning in such a way that it permeates through to additional teams they are involved with – creating a coalition of Extreme Teams throughout the organization.

Extreme Team learning is above all else, a collective discipline that requires ongoing practice and Extreme Coaching. Unfortunately, teams in organizations today often lack the extreme leadership of a value-add coach, as well as the opportunity to move between the practice field and the playing field. Imagine a championship sports team with no Head Coach and without the ability to practice. There is little likelihood the team will get to the final game in the World Cup if they are out there playing together for the first time, with no ability to align themselves, correct misperceptions and mistakes, and respond to insightful and knowledgeable coaching.  The reality is that the mechanism used to create winning teams is the ability to learn together and leverage the collective intellect. The ability to win the big game requires continual movement between the practice field and the playing field, as well as an Extreme Coach that will facilitate Extreme Team advancement to the Big Game. There is little opportunity for this team to emerge without a balance between strong coaching, practice, and leveraged play time.

Challenge: What are YOU going to do to facilitate and leverage EXTREME TEAMS in your organization?

You can contact me at Sheri.Mackey@LuminosityGlobal.com or by visiting our website at www.LuminosityGlobal.com. Check back next Thursday for the next installation  of Across Boundaries & Borders.

For the past couple of weeks, I have been discussing the virtues of Extreme Leaders. However, the truth is that we cannot be Extreme Leaders on our own – in most instances we depend on people to facilitate the achievement of our goals. As you strive to become an Extreme Leader, you will come to realize (if you haven’t already) that your people will determine whether or not you win at the great game of business. The question then becomes: Are you going to dream of what it would be like to have a team that works well together, executes across boundaries & borders, and produces Extreme Results OR are you going to build an Extreme Team that does all of that and more?

You can attempt to build your Extreme Team by design and by talent, but you will likely fail. You may put together a team of specialists, but that will not create what you need to win. Performance depends on both individual excellence and on how well the team works together. It is not friendship that creates an Extreme Team – it is a different kind of team relationship. It is a concept known as “alignment” – when a group of people understand the unique value of each player and leverage that value to function as a cohesive whole. In most teams the energies of the individual players work at cross purposes – the fundamental characteristic being wasted energy. Everyone may work exceptionally hard, but the efforts do not translate to an Extreme Team delivering extreme results.

In contrast, when a team becomes aligned, a commonality of direction emerges, and individual efforts synchronize with the whole. Synergy evolves – there is commonality of purpose, a shared vision, and an inherent understanding of how to leverage one another’s talents. The individual player does not sacrifice his/her personal desire to score to the larger team vision; rather the shared vision becomes an extension of the personal vision.  Alignment is a necessary component in building your Extreme Team – empowering the team will empower the individual players.

Extreme Team learning is the process of aligning and developing the capacity of the team to create the winning results the team strives for. It builds on the discipline of developing shared vision. It also builds on personal mastery: talented teams are made up of talented individuals. But the bottom line is that shared vision and talent are not enough to create an Extreme Team. The world is full of talented teams who share a vision for awhile, yet they fail to learn and grow together and ultimately fail to win. Extreme sports team champions have talent and a shared vision, but what really matters is that the team knows how to play together – Extreme Teams in organizations are no different.

There has never been a greater need for the development of Extreme Teams in organizations than there is today. Almost all important decisions are now made in teams –  directly or through the need for teams to translate individual decisions into organizational actions. If Extreme Teams are developed with focus and intent on learning to excel as a cohesive unit, organizational insights are gained that can be translated into extreme results. Skills are developed that can propagate and motivate other teams to be extreme. Most of all, the Extreme Team’s  accomplishments can set the tone  and establish a standard of excellence for the larger organization. So, what will it be? Dream Team or Extreme Team?

You can contact me at Sheri.Mackey@LuminosityGlobal.com or by visiting our website at www.LuminosityGlobal.com. Check back next Thursday for the next installation  of Across Boundaries & Borders.

 

Last week I discussed what a Global Extreme Leader is and the parities between global leadership and extreme sports captains. All well and good, but what if you recognized yourself as one of those 100’s of thousand’s of “leaders” out there who are merely meeting your established goals and collecting your paychecks?  Isn’t there more to life? Shouldn’t we all be seeking to maximize our own potential, walk in our own greatness, and win at the great game of business? How would you feel knowing YOU make the impossible possible? Can you imagine the difference YOU could make as an Extreme Global Leader? What would it feel like to wake up every day energized by the idea of the amazing things YOU are achieving at work and in life? To have a plan to overcome your biggest obstacles to create and deploy extreme championship-defining strategies? To create your legacy as a game changer instead of just a game player? To know every day that YOU, yes YOU, are making a real and significant difference!

Well, here are some realities of what it takes to become an Extreme Global Leader, much the same as with an Extreme Team Captain:

  • You have to want it more – never let up or give up: Lead your team with passion and confidence.
  • You can only become an Extreme Leader in the process of producing extreme results.
  • Know that what you say is possible…IS possible. Conviction, my friend…
  • Realize that before you can transform your global organization, you must first transform yourself – and commit to doing so. Never ask others to do what you are not willing to do yourself!
  • Remember that the stand you take is who you are – define your identity from your commitment to changing the game, not your history (what got you here will not get you where you want to be).
  • Leverage a wise and knowledgeable mentor – identify and engage a real game-changer – commit yourself to continual learning through observation, emulation, and conversation.
  • Recognize and appreciate that the journey is of far more importance and value than the destination will ever be.
  • Leverage creative collaboration (across the globe) – ensure you have extreme players for all positions and lead by example into the toughest of matches.
  • Always exhibit good sportsmanship – your fan club as well as your opponents are always watching.
  • Practice 360 degree leadership – know what others perceive as your strengths and weaknesses & keep your playbook flexible.
  • Know that competition is good – it pushes potential to new heights when leveraged for home court advantage.

While this may seem a daunting list, it is achievable. I can not tell a lie –  it will require hard work, a strong and unwavering commitment, and a monumental belief in yourself, but YOU CAN become an Extreme Global Leader! How you move forward into your impossible future is up to you, but I would strongly recommend one action item above all else – Partner with an Extreme Executive Coach that will help you to define your impossible future, hold you accountable to it, and stand in your greatness (even when you can’t).

You can contact me at Sheri.Mackey@LuminosityGlobal.com or by visiting our website at www.LuminosityGlobal.com. Check back next Thursday for the next installation  of Across Boundaries & Borders.

Wanted: Extreme Leaders

March 18, 2010 — 1 Comment

 

 

Are you an extreme sports fanatic? Do you appreciate the risk and intense talent involved in the earth defying feats of these incredible athletes?  Global leadership today is not so different. It requires leaders to be like extreme sports team captains – they must guide the organization through unfamiliar and turbulent environments, while maximizing the functional, geographical, and cultural diversity of their teams to create and deploy a winning strategy that will change the game forever. In today’s multicultural, dynamic world, understanding this new breed of extreme global team captain is critical to achieving high performance and sustainable growth in every organization.

Global business is a way of life for most of us – no one can deny that reality. Despite this knowledge, we continue to operate on old paradigms, outdated business models, and disparate policies and procedures. We continue to generate few Extreme Global Leaders – those fearless few who have the courage and commitment to identify and deploy game-changing solutions on a global basis, creating exciting new products and services – as well as memorable client/partner/team/organizational experiences – spanning geographies and cultures.

In most successful global organizations, there are a handful of extraordinary leaders who make all the difference, but there are also 100’s of thousands of ordinary leaders who are more concerned with meeting this years numbers, and getting their bonus than anything else. If we could double that handful of extreme global leaders in organizations, imagine the impact it would have on any business – not to mention partners and customers.

With markets, suppliers, competitors, technology, and customers around the world constantly changing the rules of the game, traditional leadership models no longer work. Companies seek out extreme global leaders and desire leaders of exceptionally high caliber and quality as the only true source of competitive advantage. Research reveals that every global leader needs certain core qualities: character, capacity to build relationships with people from different backgrounds, and morals to act with high ethical standards; the ability to embrace duality, know when and where to act and initiate change; demonstrate savvy, recognizing worldwide market opportunities and understanding capabilities. Underlying each of these characteristics, there must be a sense of adventure and a desire to experience new things. These are minimalistic requirements, in my opinion – much more must be required to attain sustainable excellence and market leadership.

So, what makes this elusive Extreme Leader? I would submit to you that there is a possibility of transformational leadership that incorporates all of the above, but also transcends the accepted leadership characteristics to create a new global leader that is emotionally, politically, and culturally intelligent, but also a global team captain who has the courage to step into his/her impossible future in order to win the great game of business. Extreme Leaders dare to hear and see the call to global leadership and have the strength and persistence to mobilize people to bring about new, innovative solutions to the global marketplace – giving people the power and velocity to achieve remarkable feats.

Will you be the Extreme Global Leader who creates innovative, blue sky strategies to pull your global organization out of the polluted urban air where competition is thick, and into an uncontested atmospere? Are you called to this remarkable future? What will you do about it today?

You can contact me at Sheri.Mackey@LuminosityGlobal.com or by visiting our website at www.LuminosityGlobal.com. Check back next Thursday for the next installation  of Across Boundaries & Borders.