When leaders take new roles, they typically inherit someone else's team and need to assess, reshape, align, and accelerate it. Michael Watkins outlines the steps newly appointed leaders need to take to align effectively with their teams and to get them to deliver results on their watch in his Harvard Business Review article "Leading the Team You Inherit," which is also the subject of this excellent Whiteboard Session by the same title.
In "When is Teamwork Really Necessary" (Harvard Business Review, August 2018) Watkins makes the point that, "Most leaders assume that they need to foster teamwork among the people whom directly and indirectly report to them." However, it is often the case that those reports do not constitute a team. Watkins suggests that "Before embarking on any team-building activities or even setting up team meetings," leaders should first determine whether they are managing a high-performing group of individuals or a high-performing team.
Once you have determined whether your reports are a team, "the next step is to identifywhatfocus of that teamwork should be andhowthe work will be accomplished," says Watkins. He goes on to define eight roles that reports can play as part of a team:
1. Agenda Setters: define and communicate strategic direction and priorities
2. Integrators: ensure integration and make tradeoffs across units
3. Execution Drivers: drive planning, execution, and accountability
4. Talent Developers: attract, assess, develop, and retain talent
5. Diplomats: build alliances internally and shape the external environment
6. Role Models: shape the values, behavior, and culture of the organization
7. Architects: design and transform the organization
8. Trailblazers: foster organizational learning, innovation, and adaptation
Use the table below, excerpted from the article, to determine the composition of your team:
Genesis hosted a Power Onboarding Webinar on the subject of teams entitled, "Leading the Team You Inherit: When Does Your New Team Really Need to be a Team?" To watch the webinar on demand follow this link.
Genesis is a global provider of leadership development programs, coaching, and transition acceleration solutions for individuals, teams, and organizations. Genesis offerings are based on the research of Michael Watkins, co-founder and author of the book "The First 90 Days." Genesis provides a comprehensive range of programs, coaching processes, and consulting services aimed at speeding up transitions at all levels, from front-line managers to C-level executives.