Build successful teams (with leadership science)

Do you understand the power of leadership science?

In this podcast, Tougher Minds Founder Dr. Jon Finn explains how it can be used to create successful teams in elite sport and business.

He uses the example of the ECB’s new limited-overs cricket tournament, ‘The Hundred’, to explain how leadership science can be applied and leveraged – in a practical context.

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Podcast Transcription

Hi, everyone, this is Dr. Jon Finn. Welcome to another Tougher Minds podcast. Exciting news, we’re starting to get details about the Hundred, the new cricket tournament that’s going to be taking place in July, as we look forward to getting out of these quite challenging lockdown conditions. And what I think is really interesting about the Hundred is that we’re going to get these new teams formed. And we all know that the team is going to be packed full of really talented individual cricketers. But that isn’t enough to actually create teams to guarantee that teams will be successful and they will win. So in this episode, I want to talk about the types of things that we need to think about in order to create really powerful teams. So I just want to think about some of those things. We have our five stage Team Power model that we’ve designed over many years using the best insights we understand from neuroscience and behavioural science and psychology. And we use the Team Power model to help teams to understand what they need to do in order to be successful. And if everyone’s got a good understanding of that, of their roles and responsibilities, some of which are very obvious, like in the Hundred, teams, it will be a lot I need to field and I need to borrow, and possibly ball as well. But some far less obvious roles and responsibilities, like I need to get good at regulating my emotions, I need to up my game, to be a really good leader, I need to get better at bringing my best self to every training session and every game, whatever it is, so that everyone can understand both visible and invisible roles and responsibilities, and give the team the very best chance of being its best. So let me tell you through the five different stages that all these new

If we want to have a powerful team, the absolute foundation is that everyone is doing Me Power conditioning, doesn’t matter how talented you are, you’ve got to keep turning up every day and bringing your very best self to work. And that’s not always easy. And if we have some skills that make it easier for us to do that, that’s just gonna make it easy for the team to be at its best more often. It’s that stage number one, we want to pack our teams full of people that do Me Power conditioning. And I’m not sure if this has been the case in with the Hundred teams but lots of our clients actually before they even recruit anybody or as part of their recruitment process, they are analysing, then the Me Power conditioning, traits of the individuals that before they bring them into the organisation using some of our analysis tools;because we if we don’t have people coming into the organisation that have the Me Power conditioning mindset, then it’s going to be problematic right from the word go. And they’re just going to detract away from your team being successful.

The second stage then is what we call Community Base Camp. So remember the metaphor is we’re climbing the mountain. And we’ve recruited and packed our team full of people who are doing Me Power conditioning all the time. The Community Base Camp is where we organise ourselves. And think about well, what is what the top of the mountain looks like for us? What is the goal that we are working towards other goals and objectives we are working towards? And in order to allow us to achieve those goals and objectives? What is the strategy? What strategy or plan of action we’re going to use to give ourselves the best possible chance of achieving our goals in an efficient and effective manner?

And depending on the strategy, and depending on the big goals, what are the immediate priorities? What do we need to do first of all? And then, depending on that, how does that distil down into everyone’s roles and responsibilities. And the person who leads the Community Base Camp is what I would call a Cultural Architect. This is one part of our Team Power leadership model. And the job of the Cultural Architect is to help to empower everybody to feel like they are completely valued, and their opinion matters in terms of, and then they’ve been a part of devising the big goals and the strategy and the priorities. So that’s a really important part of the Community Base Camp. And of course, like any, like, any skill, we want to get better at becoming a better Cultural Architect, is a skill. And we can learn how to do that. And that’s one of the things we teach in our team power leadership certificate. Stage number three is what we call group climbing support. This is the day in the day out grind of supporting each other, both via what we do when we call that the role model piece. And also by what we say we call that the action communicator piece. So every day, whether it’s coming into training, or much, there’s or for most of us going to work. The group I’m in support, this is how we support each other. So we turn up when we bring our best selves, but we also turn up and when we want to help others to be at their best, and we proactively support, that’s a really important part of the five stage team power model. And of course, that piece for most of us has become much more difficult when we’ve been working remotely, because it’s harder to give that support to colleagues. stage number four, is what we call Campfire Discussions. This is all about one to one, coaching support. It could be manager or coach, the athlete, it could be manager to direct report, it could be peer to peer. We know that one of the great challenges of the volatile, uncertain, complex world is that whatever your whatever you need to do to do your job really well today, or in the next 12 months probably won’t be exactly the same in the following 12 months or the following six months. Because the only constant in the world is change. So in order to keep being at our best and be able to deliver on our roles and responsibilities, we need to keep upskilling ourselves as a matter of how talented we are, or how good we are today. You know what goes here this year is probably not going to cut it next year.

And peer to peer coaching, direct report or manage group direct report coaching or player to player coaching or coach to player coaching is absolutely essential. Having those one to one conversations, helping people to build new habits. And we call this being the habit mechanic. And we teach people to do that via our swap coach model, which is where four elements of the team power leadership model, which are sub mentioned all of those now, one is the Cultural Architect. One is the role model. One is the action communicator and one is the swap coach that puts those four components together to become a really powerful leader. And we need to park our teams full of really powerful leaders, if we want to be successful as a team, and that the team power leadership model and the five stage team Power Team model, they both connect together. But anyway, we’ve had stage number one is me Paul. conditioning. stage number two is Community Base Camp. stage number three is group climbing support. stage number four is Campfire Discussions. Finally, the fifth stage is what we call group climbing reviews. This is where we periodically step back and say, Okay, well, there were when we were saying all this out in the Community Base Camp, there were the big goals. There were the objectives. This was a strategy we decided on these were the priorities. This is what everybody’s roles and responsibilities looked like. But you know, since then, a few things have changed. Are all those things still relevant? If they’re not? What do we need to change? And these group plan reviews are about building space into the calendar.

And doing this periodically. So we can all collectively step back and reflect together. When this isn’t working, you’ve got people being very negative and talking behind each other’s backs. If there is a problem, we need to bring that out into the open, so we can address it. So it doesn’t become a drain on the group. And depending on your team, and what you do, will depend on how often you do the group climbing reviews. In our business, we do it every month. From a sports team perspective, you know that they’re doing it very regularly, because they’re playing often. And tech teams who are working on very tight line tight models, they might do this almost weekly. But we need to have that data structure built in so we can properly evaluate where we’re at in relation to where we said we were going to be out. And if the strategy and the goals and the priorities, and the roles and responsibilities are all still relevant. And it’s just this cycle that we go through. So that’s how we think about creating powerful teams with our five stage team power model. As I said, plugged into that is our team power leadership model. These are the things that we teach our clients, both in sport, also in business and not in other contexts. Teach them how to use these ideas in order to build more powerful teams. We know that more than ever before, we need our teams to be excellent. We needed the people in our teams to be resilient, we needed to have outstanding leaders in our teams. And we need to strive towards creating excellent world class teams. Because that’s the only way we’re going to have the ability to get as good at solving complex problems as we need to be in order to succeed in the VUCA world. Because the only constant is change. That means we just need to get better and better at solving problems, solving problems for ourselves and also for our clients. It’s essentially supposed teams or the most successful Hundred teams will be able to solve problems around how do we get a batsman out? How do we stop that batsman soaring runs? Or the batsman? How do I stop this ball again? Now how do I get runs off the batsman, cricket, like any sport is about solving complex problems, and the teams that are best that will ultimately win. And we see that if you can use a powerful science backed model like the team power, the five stage team power model we’ve created. And also a powerful science sparked a leadership model like the team power leadership model we’ve created, then you’ve got a very, very good chance of fulfilling your potential both individually and collectively.

And I think it’s the Hundred teams that use these types of insights that are ultimately going to win that competition. So hopefully that’s insightful, just a quick reflection on something that’s going on, something exciting that’s going on as we move out of this. So look towards the end of this lockdown period. And we’ve got hopefully a really good positive summer to look forward to. But some performance insights are about what those Hundred teams are going to need to do. If they’re going to be successful. It’s not just about the superstars. That’s where the headlines are right now. It’s actually going to be about creating teams that can win teams that can fulfil their potential. And ultimately we can use leadership signs to help us to do that.

If you want to start doing more Me Power conditioning yourself, then very simple just access our free Me Power resilience planner to give you some really simple and practical tools that you can use and you can use with your team as well to help you all just start doing a little bit better every day. So if you want to do more Me Power conditioning, just get the Me Power resilience planner, absolutely free. Just go to our website. You can access it there. Remember, if you will, we were doing these podcasts all of the time. If you want to get reminded of when they come out, just subscribe. We’re on all the major podcast platforms. So just subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. And as soon as a new one comes out, you’ll get reminded. And hopefully, these podcasts act as a really good trigger to remind you about the kind of simple and practical things that you need to do in order to be healthy, happy and at your best. And we know that that’s more difficult than ever before at the moment. So I hope the podcasts are really helpful. But I will speak to you again in the near future. Bye for now.


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