Team coordination

Team coordination

Individual commitment to a group effort – that’s what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. 
-Vince Lombardi

If you’ve ever been to an airshow, they can be equally jaw-dropping and unnerving at the same time. The teams of pilots practice endlessly for the shows, and often the distance between a perfect maneuver and disaster is a twitch in the wrist. Team coordination is the key to success in having a safe and successful event. Here are some things that we can model after these teams. 

They have a high level of trust with each other

Blue Angels pilots must trust each other inexplicably. They willingly put their lives in their team’s hands every day. Trust is an important piece in every team no matter if you are the shift leader of a shoe store or flying a multi-million dollar jet. Trust is one of the leading factors on whether the team/company will be good, great, or fail. If people don’t trust their leadership team, trouble is sure to follow. Here are some areas to think about as you build trust. 

  • Clear and consistent communication. 
  • The ability to walk what you talk. 
  • A sense that you authentically understand others. 
  • You have the skill set to perform your role well. 

They have an unwavering commitment to each other

Military life is certainly different. Each branch of the service finds success by having its members lose a sense of self and focus on the needs of the team and mission above their own. To be an elite pilot chosen to fly with the Blue Angels, each individual must choose others above their own wants and needs. They spend more time studying while others socialize, more time training while others call it a day, and more time together than they are required to. 

An uncommitted team member can quickly drag down the efficiency of the team and cause a number of issues. Your team needs to see and feel as if you are committed to the mission, the set standard, and most importantly that you are committed to them on a personal level. You can’t expect your people to be great and perform well if you aren’t committed to being great yourself. 

They communicate often with each other

Pilots are great communicators while on the job. They communicate essential information but don’t clutter up the airwaves with needless talk and useless information. This can be a challenging balancing act because we want our people to know what’s going on. Communicate too much; forward emails that they already received just to add your two cents, or make everything a top priority, and lose the credibility of your message. Fail to communicate enough and your people are sure to fall short in some capacity. 

Check with your team on your communication amount, tenor, timing and frequency. I do this a few times a year and adjust as needed. Just because you are good doesn’t mean you stay that way over time. Listen with an open mind and make adjustments as needed. 

Coordinate well with your team and put on a great show for your customers. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

Showing Care for your Team

Showing Care for your Team

Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.

Caring for your team (or family) is one of the most important things that you can do as a leader. When your people see how much you care for them, they are much more likely to show that same amount of care to others. Morale and effectiveness also increase. A caring leader has many advantages in their leadership. They can pick up on nuanced behavior in their team quicker. They can also rely on them more when the going gets tough, and they often form common bonds that build a deep level of trust.

Caring is more than just a smile

  • Caring for someone is more than just being cordial, smiling and asking how their day is going.
  • Caring leaders listen. (More on this in a couple of weeks)
  • Caring leaders truly know their people. Get to know three things about each person. Interests, hobbies, family are good places to start.
  • Caring leaders are curious. They ask their people their insight and opinion.
  • Caring leaders understand without having to agree or prove a point.
  • Caring leaders share information and are as transparent as possible.

Safeguards


Just as in just about everything else in life, balance is the key. Be mindful of the relationship level and guard yourself against going too far. You aren’t called to be someone’s counselor (unless that’s your job). For the chronic complainers, have them write down their problems and solutions so can discuss them together. This puts the action of solutions in their court. For those that are angry, listen but don’t encourage the conversation. It will burn itself out quickly.  Lastly, you want to handle every relationship and person with a great deal of integrity.

How are you doing as a caring leader? If polled, would your team call you a leader that truly cared for them? For many, this is easier to master once they realize there is an opportunity. Showing care to your team is a must-do in today’s environment.

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH