Leaders Make Teams Better, Stronger…Weaker? #TChat Preview & Recap

It’s an old television show, but some in our community will recognize “The Six Million Dollar Man” in this week’s World of Work #TChat forum. I’m a complete sucker for pop culture in all forms so I could not resist this eight track flashback (HA) blast from the past. In anything but the smallest of organizations, you simply can’t be a leader without a solid team to back you up. It just doesn’t work, which is why there are so many books, columns, blogs and tweets about leadership.

Yet leadership is an elusive trait for many people. Not everyone is a born leader, and some leaders make their teams weaker, not better, stronger or faster. You can learn leadership skills, you can read books, and you can work with coaches. Some people who aren’t natural-born leaders are fortunate and find the coach, the book, the point of view that helps them make the transition. This can work for people who are open to learning and creating behaviors that nurture this kind of career path and calling. The rest of us struggle and, occasionally, shine. Leadership is a daily walk and no two days are alike.

Of course the team is just as important. Some teams are electric; everything works. Some teams are an effort; everything is work. And some teams never click. Culture and people dynamics are flawed, inspiration is absent, management comes in too close or is absent, or (and?) matrix management fails yet again.

Oh, and we have the technology, yes. These are great tools unevenly implemented and realized, and they might not always help with team building and leadership. Let’s be honest: Most HR technology ostensibly for leaders is optimized for candidate-hunting and sourcing talent, not necessarily team building and employee engagement. That has got to change. We are getting there.

So, in an effort to address the questions we continually field from you, our community, this week’s World of Work #TChat takes on two tough subjects — teams and leadership.

(EDITORIAL NOTE: For highlights from the Twitter chat event, see the Storify slideshow at the end of this post. Thanks!)

Q1: Teams that are great on paper might still fail in reality. How do you hire a successful team?

Q2: How do leaders remain their teams’ leaders even as they work with and in those teams?

Q3: How do leaders know what to inspire in their team members and what to leave alone?

Q4: Tech can help teams, but what are team technologies’ blind spots? How does tech slow teams down?

Q5: What are the team dynamics that repel top talent? How can orgs retain talented teams?

Please join us on Wednesday, May 2, from 7-8 pm ET (6-7 pm CT, 4-5 pm PT, or wherever you are). KC Donovan will be our moderator as Kevin W. Grossman, Brent Skinner and I (@meghanmbiro) work the back channel from Washington, D.C., where this week we’re attending the exciting HRO Today Forum and participating in the event’s iTalent Competition. Also on the back channel will be Sean Charles and Salima Nathoo. Following are Wednesday’s questions. We look forward to your tweets!

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/tchat-insights-leaders-they-can-make-teams-strong.js?template=slideshow”]

RECAP SLIDESHOW…

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