Friday, March 22, 2013

Leadership in Business – Symptom #3 – Conflict: The Management Team Keeps Clashing

You’ve sat in those meetings when everything starts to get heated. The fingers start pointing, everyone is blaming everyone else. As the CEO or leader of this group you’re thinking ‘Come on guys, aren’t we on the same team here?’
‘If this was a football team here, and we were in the middle of a game, the competition would have simply run around us all and just scored a goal!’
In fact, that’s exactly what IS happening. When there is constant conflict and clashing at the Management Team level, that’s when your eye is off the ball and your competitors are taking advantage of that.
So, what is really going on? Why is there so much conflict?
When trust breaks down between teams, when each team or division cannot rely on the other to deliver on what was Expected, what is Needed and what was Promised, teams go into a huddle and start working on their own agenda – the very people you are supposed to be working with become your internal competitors. It's dog eat dog now. 
When teams start working on their own plans in isolation of the rest of the business, you get silos, you get conflict, and you get poor performance. At the end of the day, the organisation is structured in such a way that each team or division specializes in some aspect that is critical to the success of that organization, and therefore all must work together for the whole thing to succeed.
The thing that pulls all the teams back together, that settles the conflict and clashing, is to get back to the game plan. What is the Common Ground here? What are we ALL working towards? Why are we ALL here?
When your Management Team gets clear about that, and can determine their role in achieving that, when they can begin to communicate clearly what they Expect, Need and can Promise each other to achieve that, that is when it all comes together and they all start working together, performing, and scoring goals way ahead of their real competitors.

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