6 – Leaders Discuss Teamwork

6 – Leaders Discuss Teamwork

Leadership and Teamwork

The saying goes that there is no “I” in team…and as it turns out, there is no “I” in leadership either – at least according to the experts we’ll hear from today.

Today’s segment, the third in a series of podcasts on leadership, focuses on the idea that strong leaders care first and foremost about their team.

Transcript

Loynd: The job is to show the team that you are worthy of being a leader.

Mayerhoefer: And you know, I did this, or I – you know, that kind of stuff. More often than not, it doesn’t work out

Hill: It is not about the leader. It is about the team. And once you can figure out – you’re job is similar to a parent. (Hill22_leaders1)

Kristen: Welcome to “Sound Advice” – the brief audio download that brings the best of eClips to you. I’m Kirsten Barker.

The saying goes that there is no “I” in team…and as it turns out, there is no “I” in leadership either – at least according to the experts we’ll hear from today.

Today’s segment, the third in a series of podcasts on leadership, focuses on the idea that strong leaders care first and foremost about their team.

We’ll open with a comment from Richard Loynd. Loynd has had a distinguished career which included his position as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of INTERCO. It was under his leadership that the company engaged in its negotiations to restructure its debt, and ultimately emerged from Chapter 11 proceedings with a stronger balance sheet and a new focus on growth. During his time as CEO, INTERCO had four primary operating companies: Florsheim and Converse in footwear manufacturing, and Broyhill and Lane in furniture manufacturing. His observation about leadership is that you can’t be a leader unless the team is behind you.

Loynd: I always used to say, and I think it’s true. That you are not the leader because somebody says you are. You’re the leader because your team says you are. And so the job is to show the team that you are worthy of being a leader. And whatever that takes in the way of involvement, in the way of commitment, in a way of integrity, all of those things are important to really being a true leader.

Kristen: Next, we’ll hear from Norb Mayrhofer. Mayrhofer is the Vice President of Procter & Gamble Professional. His career at P&G has spanned 29 years and he has held 18 different jobs, spanning almost all of P&G’s divisions.

We asked Norb whether he can look at a group of managers and pick out who will become a good leader. He admits it is a challenge – but that those who become great leaders share one thing in common – They understand how important team dynamics are to the success of any venture.

Mayerhofer: The answer of the first part of the question, do I have a sense for who will be a good leader. The answer frankly, is typically no. Because they show up in so many different places, and so many different ways. You know, leadership is something that you have to kind of earn. And I have seen quiet leaders. I have seen forceful leaders. I have seen tall ones, short ones. You kind of name it. The one characteristic I would say they all typically have that you don’t – you don’t see. You have to experience, is they have great involvement. They are just determined. And it’s usually from a team standpoint. They want that team to succeed in the worst way. And the other thing I would probably say is part of that is they enjoy the team. They enjoy working with others. The collective sharing. And that kind of stuff. The second part of that question about who won’t, it’s folks that use me and I. And you know, I did this, or I – you know, that kind of stuff. More often than not, it doesn’t work out. They are – they may be good at a lot of things. But in terms of a team, in terms of teamwork, which I think, is really the driver of our success as a corporation. That individual – that need for individual exposure, for lack of a better term, more often than not makes it pretty tough for others to follow them.

Kristen: The comments of Jean Hill , Executive Director of Infrastructure for the Retail Division at Morgan Stanley, resonate with Norb’s insights. She points out that strong leaders know how to get the organization operating efficiently by giving a team just the right amount of guidance they need to find a kind of team synergy.

Hill: In terms of making a good leader, it is about figuring out how to get one plus one to equal three. It is not about the leader. It is about the team. And once you can figure out – you’re job is similar to a parent. You have to give them the vision. And giving them too much rope so that they can hang themselves is just as bad as micromanaging them and telling them what to do. So that you have to figure out how to be there and coddle them. And help teach them. And see when they are distressing. And push them to be even better when they are doing a good job. And really you know. Focusing on them as people. And it is the whole person. It is not just the work life.

Kristen: Finally, we’ll close with comments from Scott Belsky. Belsky is a young entrepreneur and the founder of Behance.com, a site focused on helping creative professionals and organizations make ideas happen through a process called “productive creativity”. Previously, Belsky worked at Goldman Sachs as part of the Pine Street Development Initiative Group – a small global team focused on leadership development, organizational improvement, and strengthening key client relationships. Scott feels that the strongest leaders are those who not only value the team – but who also share the credit and the rewards with them.

Belsky: I think you know, a few principles of leadership that I have taken away from you know, my experience. One is the fact that credit is most valuable when it is passed on. And some of the leaders that I have worked with that I most admire you know, really make sure that anytime there is a success, their team feels it. You know, that makes them more committed and more motivated and rewarded. And so really great leaders understand that.Also great leaders are very optimistic. The- you know, even in very difficult times, while they are very focused on making sure the tasks get down well, they are very optimistic about the future. And I think that’s a key aspect. Also creating a sense of ownership. You know, one thing that I have seen a lot of very effective leaders do, and I also try to do now in everything I do is make people feel like they own whatever they are working on with you. I mean if there is a shared sense of ownership, then you know, where it can go. I mean who knows? It’s the kind of thing when you own something, you really are thinking about it all the time. You are – you have a personal connection to the success of whatever it is. And creating that sense of ownership is a real great leadership characteristic.

Kristen: Walt Disney once said, “Many hands and hearts and minds generally contribute to anyone’s notable achievements” – and according to our speakers, the best leaders are the ones who understand that concept and place value in the hearts and hands and minds that they are leading.

Thanks for listening to this segment. If you are interested in hearing more from Richard Loynd, Norb Mayrhofer, Jean Hill or Scott Belsky, or if you are interested in hearing more eClips speakers share thoughts on the topic of leadership, please check out our website at eclips.cornell.edu.

That’s E-C-L-I-P-S. cornell.edu.

And remember, if it is a business topic of interest, eClips will bring you “Sound Advice”…


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