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Chapter 2. The Barriers to Team Success > Poor Leadership - Pg. 14

The Barriers to Team Success "The manager who comes up with the right solution to the wrong problem is more dangerous than the manager who comes up with the wrong solution to the right problem." --Peter Drucker 14 Flying by the Seat of the Pants Some leaders run their department without real planning. Like the pioneer aviators, they fly by the seat of their pants. They make decisions based on their experience and intuition, and often they are right on the money. But as airplanes became more sophisticated, pilots could no longer depend on their intuition. They had to learn to fly by instruments. This is true of the supervisors and leaders in today's world of business. The technology and com- plexities of running a team, a department, and entire enterprise have made "seat of the pants" management obsolete. Like the old aviators, the supervisor, now a team leader, has to use all available instruments and tools to make planning the work a collaborative effort. Poorly Conceived Organization To make teams work, the traditional hierarchical organizational structure has to be modified. I bet your company has an organizational chart showing where each department fits in the company. It looks like a pyramid, and somewhere near the bottom you'll find your team. The function of the organizational chart is to show employees which activities they are responsible for, to whom they report, and who reports to them. In addition it enables anyone to view the entire corporate structure. Team Builder Flexibility is a key factor when organizing a team. Unless members have highly specialized skills that are unique to them, avoid giving each member a permanent function. Every member should be able and willing to perform every job activity. However, rigid adherence to this structure can impede the work of teams. Teams often cross struc- tural lines. They don't fit neatly into a box. For example, a product development team may engage in functions that fall under Engineering, R & D, Marketing, and Finance. Artificially placing it under just one of those departments would complicate its work. Better ways to organize teams of this sort are discussed in Chapter 25. Poor Leadership Blame it on the boss! And often the boss is to blame. The team leader has the responsibility to make that team succeed. No matter how competent the team members may be, unless they are guided by a knowledgeable, dedicated, inspiring leader, it will be tough for them to achieve their goals.