Leadership Development and Team Building Program

Earlier this year, BEI contracted Excellence-In- ..., LLC to develop a customized version of its Leadership Development & Team Building Program. The purpose of this program was to guide BEI's supervisory and leadership group through a program designed to achieve three primary goals:

  1. initiate a process to master the basics of leadership development;
  2. teach fundamental team building skills; and
  3. grow closer as a business unit while continuing to increase their ability to function as a well-coordinated team.

This article is the first of a series that will describe the principles and key components of the Leadership Development & Team Building Program.

In order to develop leadership, let's first define some key terms.

Leadership comprises all of these elements:

  • The ability to guide, direct, or influence people, and the process of providing guidance or direction.
  • The process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task.
  • The ability to successfully integrate and maximize available resources for the attainment of organizational or societal goals.
(See Ken "SKC" Ogbonnia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leadership).

Ultimately, leadership is about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen.

Leadership development is any activity that enhances the quality of leadership within an individual or organization. When we engage in a leadership development program, one of our objectives is to strengthen the connection between, and alignment of, the efforts of individual leaders and the systems through which they influence organizational operations. Another objective is to develop personal attributes desired in a leader. These will empower the leader with new habits to enhance the effectiveness of their behavior, while creating positive attitudes to view problems as nothing more than challenges with solutions.

A team is a number of individuals with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, share performance goals and who possess a unified approach for which they hold themselves mutually ACCOUNTABLE for their collective success. Team building is the process of training individuals (using their own talents, skills, goals, needs and perspectives) to work together effectively for the good of the project, such that their team will accomplish more than the sum of their individual efforts could otherwise achieve.

The focus of Excellence-In...'s customized Leadership Development & Team Building Program for BEI was:

  • Develop trust and credibility.
  • Define and strengthen "effective communication."
  • Understand the value and importance of each member of the team.
  • Convert challenges into opportunities.
  • Become laser-focused on achieving common goals.
  • Establish the habits of a winning team.
In order to build a winning team, we must first start with the concept that there is no "I" in TEAM - Together Everyone Achieves More. From there, this concept is deconstructed by highlighting that there are two "I"s in WINNING. The first represents Individual Preparation & Performance — striving to achieve your personal best. The second represents Interdependent Collaboration & Collective Performance — combining your personal best with the personal best of your teammates to achieve excellence in your collective organizational performance. If we desire to build a WINNING TEAM, our focus must remain on these two "I"s as well as bringing everyone together to achieve more.

Every organization expects three areas of performance:

  • Individual performance;
  • division/departmental performance; and
  • company/organizational performance.

These areas form the arenas in which our entire team experience takes place. When we perfect the coordination and interactions between and among employees in the interior junction of all three arenas, we experience Excellence-In-Performance.

Performance Arenas

Excellence-In-Performance is achieved at the junction of all three arenas. This interior junction forms a "shield" composed of eight critical components of leadership and team building:

  1. Trust and Respect: Developing Unity and Character First
  2. Effective Communications: Empathy, and Understanding Personality and Behavior Styles
  3. Establishing Common Goals
  4. Planning and Execution
  5. Defining Roles and Responsibilities
  6. Coaching: Employee Development
  7. Best Practices
  8. Continual Improvement: Exceeding Expectations