>Inspiring Your Authentic Week

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Inspiring Your Authentic Week


Team work and leadership

Posted: 05 Jul 2009 10:46 AM PDT

Individually we can make a difference, together we can
change the world.

Sadly many of us find true collaboration and team work difficult. The need for personal recognition of ‘our’ idea or ‘our’ work gets in the way.

Our education was largely an individual pursuit, at school collaboration is known as cheating. Equally signs of leadership among the pupils are frowned upon (I was expelled from one school specifically for showing signs of leadership!).

Our culture promotes the ideas of fixed hierarchy and appointed leadership, another two things that limit the opportunities for team work. The effectiveness of hierarchical systems is limited because, by definition, they do not have the most appropriate leader most of the time.

When we truly work as a team we notice that leadership is not static, it is dynamic. Leadership flows around the team to where it is most relevant in the moment. It vests temporarily due to skills, knowledge, relationships or whatever is important in that moment. When that moment passes it moves on.

WL Gore the manufacturers of Gore Tex fabric, who perennially feature at the top of lists of most innovative companies and best places to work, have a rotating hierarchy. Managers have fixed term appointments and are voted for by their teams.

However team work is compatible with the more rigid hierarchies found in most organisations, it just requires the appointed leaders to have the self confidence to be part of the team. To recognise that the answers come from the team (not from them) and to be prepared to follow as well as lead. Their leadership space is specifically in taking responsibility for relations with the rest of the organisation, which is probably why they got the job.

In my own career I remember the shift from feeling the terrible responsibility of solving every problem, to the relief of realising that I didn’t have to.

I have worked largely solo for the last 10 years, with occasional informal partners and teams. I have been looking, unsuccessfully, for long term partners – but perhaps I was not ready.

True teamwork and partnership requires a level of trust and love most usually found in a more romantic relationship. It requires us to transcend our fears and accept that our self interest is better served by collaboration than by individual effort and control.

Today, perhaps, I am ready. I am now working in three different partnerships on three different projects: A Mentor for every child, Authenticis 2.0 and Stratum Social Value Partnership. In all cases it is wonderful to share the thinking, the responsibility, the credit and the work.

All of these projects deliver on my life purpose, “to heal the world through authenticity”, and on the life purpose of the other partners involved. We are all passionate about the success and effect of our projects.

Technology facilitates all of these partnerships brilliantly. All are based in more than one country and we use a mixture of instant messaging, Skype, e-mail, iwork.com, Ning and Powwownow to collaborate as effectively as if we were in the same office – it is remarkable.

Over the summer I am offering my usual “summer sale”: Three for the price of two on coaching sessions held during July and August. If you would like to find out more about how my style of authentic coaching can benefit your leadership, work and your life give me a call.

With love

nx

Neil Crofts
Neil Crofts
authentic business

+44 (0)7775 658534
neil@neilcrofts.com
www.neilcrofts.com
Skype – neilcrofts

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About Neil Crofts

Writer, coach and consultant on authentic business and authentic leadership. Neil has inspired and motivated hundreds organisations and thousands of individuals to their highest potential. Neil has written three published books and numerous e-books. Neil is a coach, facilitator and consultant helping people and businesses find their authentic purpose and use it to inspire and motivate them to be everything that they can be. Neil has raced cars, been self-employed, run a company and sold it, been employed by large companies, experienced growth and contraction at the heart of the dotcom boom, tried changing companies from the inside and from the outside as European Head of Strategy at internet consultancy/rock band Razorfish. Neil has been independent for over 10 years and delivered his Authentic Leadership message to a diverse range of business audiences including people at BP, Shell, Microsoft, Kraft Foods, MSN, Jamie Oliver, South Gloucestershire Council, National Blood Transfusion Service, KaosPilots Business School, Fashion company By Malene Birger, German technology company Eleven.
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