Sunday, May 16, 2010

Is your team a flock of seagulls or a flock of geese?

The snow has finally melted, in May, and the lake is cold but blue. As we sat outside at our cottage on Lac La Biche lake, several flocks of seagulls flew overhead. It looked and sounded like organized (or not) chaos in the sky. There was a lot of activity and noise.
The flock of geese on the other hand, was graceful, in formation, and flew in a “V” with a leader at the front. As the leader tired, he slowed down to pass the baton and allow another to take the lead. With the flock of seagulls it was not apparent which one was the leader. It was a noisy busy formation that seemed to lack order, leadership and a direction.
Taking this analogy into the workplace, how would you describe your team? Is your team a flock of seagulls or a flock of geese? There are a few similarities- both have energy and were working very hard. The difference was that the flock of geese expended their energy on a focused destination whereas the seagulls seemed to by flying all over the place without any direction in mind.
Three strategies to move your team from flying like seagulls to flying like geese:
• Ensure that you tap into the informal leaders in the team and build leadership skills within the team through training, coaching, mentoring and practice.
• Have a goal, a destination, and road map or strategic plan.
• Implement resilience building strategies so your team can bounce forward during change, challenge, crisis or new situations.
Helping your team become high flyers is a gift to them, and to the business!

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