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Team Performance vs Team Behavior


You get the performance from your team that you deserve. You get the behavior you allow.

Most employees are followers, not leaders. Thus, they follow the actions of others and are savvy enough to know what they can (and cannot) get away with based on the culture and expectations that are set for them. The less you expect, the less you get. People are not dumb… in fact, they are smarter than ever. Most employees are not actively looking for more responsibility, they are trying to match what is expected of them. And the less a company expects out of them, the less they will do. And for those companies that have no clear expectations, well you can imagine the effort they get. In my coaching practice, I routinely hear company leaders say: - “I’d love for my team to be more engaged” - “I don’t feel our people work as hard as they used to” - “So and so has an excuse for everything… but we don’t want to push him too hard because people are so tough to find right now” - “Because of remote work it is really difficult to actually know what people are doing all day” - “We have a major lack of true leaders” These are actual quotes we hear every week… and I could share 20 more with you just like it. I’m sure every word company leaders share with us above is true… but the reason it is happening is because they allow it. So the questions here are simple… as a leader, what behavior do you want from your team? What values do you want them to align with day in & day out? And what are you (and your leaders) going to do to make sure this actually happens? In our experience, the C-suite talks a big game but has nothing in place to actually drive a performance culture… things like exceptional training, KPIs, leadership development, executive coaching, performance based compensation, a “hire slow, fire fast” mentality, empowering managers to have teeth and so much more. Bottom line: You get what you allow… what type of behavior are you going to allow inside your organization?



Dr. Mark Robinson is the Director for the School of Business at Washington University of Science and Technology. Comments to the author can be sent to: mark.robinson@wust.edu. He is an alumnus from Exxon Mobil and Deloitte.


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