Follow the Leader

Follow the Leader

I’ve often heard that sports teams take on the personality of their coaches. It makes sense that what coaches’ value inevitably gets taught to their players. For example, how coaches approach practice or games is passed on to their teams. Coaches, of course, will recruit or seek players that fit their style of play further creating teams that reflect their personality and values.

Can the same be said of the business world?

I recently came across an article by Tanya Prive for”The Top 10 Qualities That Make A Great Leader . One quality she highlights is honesty. Under this skill Tanya says, “Your business and its employees are a reflection of yourself…” If leaders value honesty, their teams will reflect that value.

This trickle-down effect easily happens when leaders start up new teams or businesses. Those leaders, much like coaches, often hire based on the culture that they want to establish. If they value teamwork, for example, they hire team players willing to collaborate with others. Therefore, the teams of employees naturally reflect what the leaders’ values.

What happens, however, when leaders come into established teams or businesses?

In this case, it may take time for those teams to mirror the values of their leaders. Some employees may resist because their values are different. This causes conflict, or leads to attrition as employees leave to work in business cultures more suited to their styles. Another option is for employees to stay and adjust. This takes time and effort, but can be worth it. Using team-development experiences is an ideal way for leaders to communicate their values and allow employees to discover how those values apply to their work.

In either case, the teams will reflect their leaders. This makes the selection of leaders so important. The ownership of a sports team carefully considers their organization’s values before hiring a coach. So should those in the corporate or non-profit world. Values and core beliefs must be established first before hiring leaders.

Here’s a challenge for leaders: take time to consider and may be even list out your values and beliefs. Do your teams reflect those values? If not, it might be time to for some team development focused on what is important to you and your organization.

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