Tuesday, 23 March 2021



I had an opportune moment to catch-up with a multi-award winning CEO the other day and we chatted about leadership, teams and change. I won't name them (they may not agree with my article) but I am happy for them to post comments or feedback on my reflections from the conversation.

I long time ago I lost an argument and learned something valuable. I was advocating the importance of good teachers and great teaching. My interlocutor, married to a teacher, disagreed and asked me: "When you had a problem or was unsure of something, who did you ask first?". I then immediately understood the value of peer-groups and the power of culture and belonging.

Teachers and Leaders are important, but in most cases it is your friends, family, colleagues, community and culture that shape your values, beliefs and behaviours rather than the leader. Nonetheless awards and accolades are always for Leadership and courses, programmes, and pithy aphorisms are inevitably about celebrated leadership.

My CEO friend is no shrinking violet. They are bold, with strong conviction, direct style and unequivocal: Exactly the type who so long as their business is successful will win awards. Moreover their vision and drive has no-doubt contributed to the business success. So I was surprised when they modestly said that culture is not about the leadership but about the team.

We touched on covid and lock-down and the impact that this has had on people, motivation and a sense of belonging and community that is ostensibly compromised at best or lost entirely when people are isolated from their working community. There is no serendipity, banter or indeed innovation when every action is deliberate phone, ms-teams or zoom call for a specified purpose.

This is of course off-set by those who do create channels and opportunities to look out for each-other, colleagues, welfare and maintain their engagement with then team, organisation and purpose.  But even this is a deliberate action lacking the informality and spontaneity that the past hallmark of collaborative culture.

My CEO friend made the good and logical point that cohesive teams can perform outstandingly well in very difficult circumstances because of their bonds with each-other rather than any form of allegiance to the leader. This is well observed, and it is a great leader who understands and takes action to create the environment where this can happen.

If you are interested in projects, change, culture or coaching email me tim@adaptconsultingcompany.com I am happy to have a coffee and a conversation to share ideas on what might be helpful to your people, teams, projects and organisation.

Tim Rogers
MBA (Management Consultancy) & Change Practitioner
ICF Trained Coach IoD Business Mentor

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