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Thinking Skills and Teaming Skills go Hand-in-Hand

[caption id="attachment_19207" align="alignright" width="300"] Teaming Skills[/caption] The sheer complexity of business today means that no one person can know it all or be in command of it all. With the global marketplace, the importance and reliance on technology, and the imperative for innovation, cross-functional teams are the only way to develop viable business solutions. Learning to be a contributing member of a team is so critical that Carter Cast, former CEO of Walmart.com, deems it one of only two reasons for career derailment - the other being a lack of self-awareness.
There is a misguided assumption that teaming comes naturally. 
Oftentimes organizations provide team building events, such as experiential activities (rope climbing) or retreats (three days off-site) which are designed to enhance interpersonal relationships. But these types of events are not related to the work itself. Teaching individuals how to work together as a team is a different outcome (see Team Capabilities, below) and requires learning team skills in the context of conducting team work. Being a contributing member of a team is as much about the personal contribution of one's role, as the functional role.
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Twelve Weeks to Becoming the Manager of the Most Kick-ass Department in Your Company

As organization development consultants we are often tasked with creating activities or events that "move an organization forward." Clients ask us to solve problems related to communication, teamwork, poor workmanship, lack of commitment or accountability, and many other issues which stymie output and frustrate individuals. Every...

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How to Build a Better Leader

While we often repeat Malcolm Gladwell's premise, in Outliers, that it takes 10,000 hours to be an expert at something, we rarely apply that idea to soft skills - like leadership. And that is quite possibly why we have such a tough time cultivating leaders in our organizations. Joshua Spodek, author of the bestselling Leadership Step by Step: Become the Person Others Follow likens leadership skill to an athlete's or an actor's skill. You must participate, you must start small and perfect different aspects of the craft, you must put yourself in situations beyond your comfort zone to really explore and understand your capabilities. You aren't simply "gifted" the title (or skill) of leader. Tom Brady recently led his team to a 5th Super Bowl win. But he didn't join the Patriots as a leader. In fact, he was a sixth-round draft pick (the 199th player to be picked!) and, when he joined the team, he was one of four quarterbacks (that's two too-many by most NFL team standards). Luckily, Brady was able to hone his skills (both athletic and leadership) while out of the spotlight - the rest is history.
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The Dark Side of Leadership

lighteningBold, innovative leader? Or narcissistic, paranoid personality disorder? You decide. A series of articles and research papers investigate the "dark personality traits" of leaders. While most of us are looking forward, toward ways to develop our future leaders (topics, training, experiences, etc.), some researchers are investigating the personality traits that bring our "rising stars" to us in the first place.
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