Where does my team need help?

by Sam on December 5, 2011

Most so-called managerial teams are not teams at all, but a collection of individual relationships with the boss in which each individual is vying with every other for power, prestige, recognition, and personal autonomy. ~Douglas McGregor

The McGregor quote isn’t the pithiest that you’ve seen on this site, but it says it all. I have yet to encounter a team of executives that didn’t have incredible opportunity to become a more unified and a more positive force for leadership.


Where is that opportunity for your team?

Here’s an assessment that I apply to executive teams. Have your team rate itself on the 20 items using this scale.

1 : Not true

2 : Slightly true

3 : Somewhat true

4 : Largely true

5 : Completely true


1. Have a unified strategic direction and a common vision that unites us

2. Believe in each other

3. Build each other up

4. Defend each other

5. Trust each other fully

6. Debate issues to resolution where merit typically wins

7. Welcome disagreement and diversity of opinion

8. Resolve interpersonal conflict that arises out of our disagreements and our differences

9. Act respectfully toward each other

10. Share our ideas openly with each other

11. Speak our minds without attacking each other

12. Take issues we have with each other directly to the person involved

13. Keep each other fully informed on a timely basis

14. Listen to each other

15. Make every effort to build collaborative relationships with each other

16. Fully support team decisions, even after not fully agreeing with them

17. Understand each other’s needs and expectations

18. Are accountable to each other for meeting needs and expectations

19. Work to help each other succeed

20. Are execution oriented, taking action with a sense of urgency


Do this next: Lead a team discussion of the scores along these lines:

A. What does our degree of agreement/disagreement on the ratings tell us about ourselves?

B. On which items do we agree that we’re pretty good—typically scores averaging 3.5 and higher? Did anyone on the team score these items as a 2 or lower? Why do they disagree with the mainstream?

C. On which items do we agree that we have the best opportunity to improve—typically averages of 2.5 and lower? What barriers stand in the way of us getting better on these items? What vows can we muster to overcome those barriers?

D. When will we meet again to assess our progress toward improvement as a team?

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