“You’ve got to know when to fold ‘em…” - Kenny Rogers

Tue, 2012-04-03 12:53 -- tomjonez

Teamwork - Part VI
For several weeks we have discussed the value of a team, surrounding the central idea that, “The best person for the job is a team.”  This week we come to a difficult topic that highlights a difficult task:  Dismissing team members who are not a good match for the team.
Frankly, in all the years, nothing is more gut-wrenching than removing a member of a team.  That said, knowing when to dismiss an individual is an essential skill for leaders who want to develop and maintain effective teams.
As Kenny Rogers lyrically proposed, “You’ve got to…
…Know when to Fold ‘em": There are times when a person’s skills simply don’t match the needs of the team.  The person may have a wonderful personality, and yet if they don’t have the skills needed, a change may be in order.
…Know when to Walk Away": The person has a different view of how the culture should be shaped than the culture to which the organization has committed itself.  In a sense, the team will never prosper if one of the people in the boat is rowing in the opposite direction culturally.  Such a person may be highly talented, very personable, and well-liked.  But if they degrade the culture, leadership simply must consider removing them.
…Know when to Run" A person with an attitude that is insubordinate towards company leadership can eventually completely undermine the company’s culture.  Such an attitude in a person on a team is actually dangerous; their insubordinate spirit will breed a malcontent climate in the team and can spread like a cancer.  Sadly, this person will deter forward momentum and must be removed if their attitude remains unchecked.
Most importantly, leaders also need to…
Know when to Hold 'em: Every person who contributes positively to the team needs to be praised, nurtured, rewarded, and championed.  Leaders must hold on to them!
Teamwork: part art, and part science.  Do not hesitate to let us know what you have learned about this central leadership principle.  We are appreciating your insights and feedback.