In the 1980s, there was a popular Muppet character named Kermit the Frog. This colorful hand puppet had a charming personality, a good heart, and was green. He sang a somewhat self-indulgent, self-loathing song that went “It’s not easy being green…” (See video clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRZ-IxZ46ng)
I can hear you saying, “Kluver…what are you smoking? What on earth does this have to do with leadership or management?” I get it. It is, however, a phrase that has jumped into my head more than once this year in my annual strategic planning sessions with a few of my teams.
Most of these annual sessions last for two days, during which we invest a fair amount of time in team building and analyzing where we came from, where we are today, where we want to go, and what it will take to get there. Through this, I have observed that there is often a transition for these team members from managers into leaders. What I mean is that these “teams” have been brought together as a group of department managers who are attempting to manage and create the direction of the organization. Typically, they aren’t yet fully working as a team either. They may not feel comfortable being candid with one another. Though they usually desire success for the organization, they’re only looking at it from their departmental perspective.
Through these experiences, I’ve come to realize that some of the greatest leadership I can offer is to assist these teams in shifting their thinking to one that’s more open, honest, and cohesive. My goal is to help them embrace the notion that we’re striving for one team, one vision, and one voice. When we start utilizing this type of thinking, team members begin evolving into true leaders of their organization first, and secondly, as managers of their respective departments.
This isn’t to suggest that upon starting, any of these individuals don’t have the best intention for their organization. Typically they do, but this is a new way of thinking. As individuals, they start to come together as a team. In other words, they’re green. I believe simply having this awareness is a massive step in the right direction.
I find it thrilling to empower teams and watch as members start to trust one another. When we call each other out, help solve issues as a leadership team, and hold each other accountable, magic happens!
I wish I could say there’s a magic pill to make this happen. There isn’t, but it is possible – I see it every day. Trust and commitment would be the closest thing to a magic pill. However, it also takes time, guidance, and patience.
But it’s so worth it. Kermit couldn’t change his color, but as a leader and leadership team, you can. Acknowledging where you are and knowing where you want to go will help to ensure your success.
Could your team use some guidance in coming together? Feel as if your team is still too “green”? Contact us today to find out how to make these impactful shifts for your organization!