Dealing with the Team's Weak Link

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As the Business Wingman, you are tasked with supporting your team and ensuring that there is collaboration and motivation across each of the members of the team. A happy and unified team is a high performing team and you are the enabler of that.

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Dealing with the Team's Weak Link

  1. 1.               Art  of  the  W ingman  for  Business  is  dedicated  to  the  businesswomen  and  businessmen  who  seek  greatness  beyond  their  own   and  find  their  successes  through  helping  others  succeed.  The  Business  Wingman  follows  the  path  of  the  selfless  person.     Dealing  with  the  Team’s  Weak  Link     Key  Points   • Everyone  has  strengths  and  weaknesses,  learn  what  they  are   • Offer  them  the  opportunity  to  succeed,  but  allow  them  to  fail   • Build  a  culture  of  collaboration,  the  weak  link  will  self-­‐identify     In  every  team  in  every  business,  there  is  always  that  one  person  who  either  is  the   low  performer  or  is  perceived  as  the  weak  link  of  the  team.  But,  what  do  we  mean   by  weak  link?  Here  are  some  possible  characteristics  that  may  fit  the  description:   • Is  always  finishing  projects  after  the  agreed  upon  due  date   • Is  never  fully  completing  projects  and  needs  others  to  help  him/her  finish   • Needs  frequent  explanations  of  ideas  and  concepts  that  the  rest  of  the  team  is   familiar  and  well  versed  in   • Needs  hand  holding  on  starting  projects  or  organizing  thoughts   • Needs  constant  motivation  to  perform  at  work   • Needs  to  be  asked  to  join  in  on  team  sessions,  meetings,  and  outings        
  2. 2. As  the  Business  Wingman,  you  are  tasked  with  supporting  your  team  and  ensuring   that  there  is  collaboration  and  motivation  across  each  of  the  members  of  the  team.  A   happy  and  unified  team  is  a  high  performing  team  and  you  are  the  enabler  of  that.       Now,  before  we  go  ahead  and  make  judgment  on  individual  members  of  our  team   and  begin  pointing  fingers,  let’s  first  take  the  optimistic  approach  and  try  to   understand  this  weak  link’s  behavior  and  what  could  be  at  the  root  of  it.  Ultimately,   we  want  to  determine  whether  their  actions  truly  define  a  weakness  in  skill  or   aptitude  (relevant  to  the  job  role)  or  whether  this  is  just  a  recent  behavior  that  is  the   byproduct  of  some  lack  of  motivation  by  management.  Because  management  trusts   the  team  to  consistently  perform  at  a  high  level,  the  last  thing  you  want  to  do  is  to   start  complaining  to  management  about  this  person  and  draw  negative  attention  to   your  team;  thus  opening  a  can  of  worms.     So  let’s  start  to  break  down  some  of  these  behaviors  and  try  to  rationalize  each  and   identify  the  root  cause.  And  by  using  this  strategy,  we  can  then  make  an  educated   and  rationalized  decision  before  we  take  any  actions  and  make  this  public  to   management.     1) Everyone  has  strengths  and  weaknesses,  learn  what  they  are   If  you  carry  the  assumption  that  everyone  excels  in  what  you  do  and  thinks  like  you,   then  you  are  destined  for  failure  and  will  never  get  it.  Everyone  is  different,   everyone  thinks  differently,  and  everyone  is  unique  in  his  or  her  strengths  and   weaknesses.  Don’t  just  accept  that  this  person  is  the  weak  link;  maybe  you  will  learn   that  he/she  is  misplaced  in  the  business  and  that  their  strengths  are  not  being   utilized  by  the  team.     As  the  Business  Wingman,  you  are  essential  to  that  team  as  the  one  with  strengths   like:  activator,  relator,  achiever,  responsibility,  strategic,  includer,  positivity,  or  any   strength  necessary  for  helping  to  drive  the  success  of  the  team.  A  good  way  to  catch   up  on  the  list  of  strengths  is  to  reference  Now,  Discover  your  Strengths  by  Clifton.     Wikipedia  definition:  Now,  Discover  Your  Strengths,  Clifton   The  theory  behind  the  book  is  that  each  adult  individual  possesses  a   certain   number   of   fixed   universal   personal-­‐character   attributes,   defined   by   the   authors   as   "Personal   Themes"   which   in   combination   effect   the   individuals   tendency   to   develop   certain   skills   more   easily   and  excel  in  certain  fields  while  failing  in  others.     The   authors   claim   that   by   identifying   the   individual   strength   of   the   members   of   the   organization,   its   members   can   be   utilized   in   more   suiting  positions,  hence  developing  the  required  skills  easily,  helping   to  reduce  turnover,  improve  employee  morale  and  the  organization's   overall  performance.    
  3. 3. By  identify  and  learning  the  strengths  and  weaknesses  of  your  team  and  the  weak   link,  you  can  better  determine  if  he/she  truly  is  the  weak  link.  You  may  also  discover   that  his/her  strengths  really  don’t  apply  to  your  team  or  that  they  will  never  have   the  opportunity  to  succeed  in  your  team  environment  because  they  naturally  focus   on  areas  of  the  business  that  just  don’t  apply  to  your  team.  Either  way,  this  should   be  a  great  gauge  for  you  and  help  you  with  defining  your  next  actions.     2) Offer  them  the  opportunity  to  succeed,  but  allow  them  to  fail   Every  once  in  a  while,  a  team  member  will  be  at  fault  and  create  an  action  that  really   turns  out  to  be  detrimental  to  the  team’s  revenue  or  key  customer  relationship  or   something  where  they  know  that  they  did  something  wrong.  But  many  times,  a  team   manager  will  be  sure  to  help  to  cover  that  mistake  and  make  sure  that  the  team   member  never  fails.  But  in  this  situation,  where  we  are  looking  to  identify  and  deal   with  a  team’s  weak  link,  and  we  must  be  sure  to  allow  our  members  to  fail  from   their  poorly  thought  out  actions.     As  the  Business  Wingman,  you’re  chartered  with  the  success  of  the  team,  and  you   must  ensure  that  the  team  dynamic  is  not  soiled  with  distrust  in  the  team.  It  seems   like  a  trivial  situation  but  you  must  be  there  to  support  your  team  and  open   opportunities  for  them  to  look  like  rock  stars,  but         3) Build  a  culture  of  collaboration,  the  weak  link  will  self-­‐identify   In  this  situation,  you  are  embracing  the  team  dynamics  and  the  strengths  of  your   team  to  self-­‐identify  any  weaknesses  that  the  individual  may  have.  In  this  scenario   you  are  encouraging  your  team  to  work  together  utilize  each  other’s  strengths  to   accomplish  tasks.  During  these  collaborative  team  functions,  the  weak  link  either   will  step  up  to  the  plate  to  show  his/her  true  strengths  or  they  will  fold  and  admit   defeat.     As  the  Business  Wingman,  you’re  job  is  to  enable  success  and  build  upon  the   strength  of  your  team  members.  Even  one  weak  link  that  shows  a  poor  demeanor,   public  scrutiny  of  the  team/company  or  lack  of  respect  for  the  role  can  turn  a   performing  team  into  troubled  team  quickly.       Visit  our  blog  at  http://www.artofthewingman.com.  

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