Why the After Action Review is Important to You

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The After Action Review is a dynamic process integral to the Army culture, a key to driving positive change.

  • Unfortunately, many organizations hold an after action review after the end of a failed project, only to use it as a tool to assign blame.
  • Equally ineffective is when companies request after action reports, only to  let these documents end up in a dusty binder on a shelf.

Unless project perfomance feedback is reviewed openly, most of the valuable input is lost.

Here’s the contrast between the two styles:

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How to Improve Your Team Building Skills

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In today’s competitive workplace, you need a strong team to succeed. Strong teams require team players, but there are times when employee conflict undermines your effort. Leaders must develop the team building skills to overcome these challenges and build a strong team anyway.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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3 Tips from a “Gunny” on the Importance of Team Building

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You can witness the importance of team building by observing Clint Eastwood’s character in the movie Heartbreak Ridge. Whether your goal is to improve your team’s experience, achieve better results, or both, team building is a critical skill for any leader.

Everyone wants to be a part of something greater, so it’s important that as the team leader you leverage everyone’s efforts, which starts by uniting others toward a common cause.

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Employee Recognition Starts with How You Treat Your Unsung Heroes

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Employee recognition is the formal or informal acknowledgement of a person or team’s behavior that serves two key purposes:

  1. To show genuine appreciation for the contribution
  2. To communicate that the person or team’s effort is valued

We’re going to walk through why employee recognition is so important, read a practical scenario involving your unsung heroes, and learn why showing your appreciation is essential to any team leader’s success.

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Team Building Activities Can Be Very Simple: Think Food

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Adding team building activities into your normal work routine can be simpler than you think.

They can range from a short exercise at the end of an event to scheduled activities for an entire day. Or, they can be as simple sharing a meal together.

In every case, when team members get to know one another on a deeper level, they connect and perform better when they return to work.  (more…)

Team Building Ideas from the Clouds

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I realized three team building ideas from almost flying in the clouds.

When we practiced a formation flight breakup at the end of one of our helicopter missions, seeing the procedure work proved to be one of our better team building ideas.  It’s one thing to trust your colleagues, quite another to see your procedure work so well.

Seeing was believing, transforming my trust into faith and confidence. This was one of the best team building ideas that I have ever witnessed.

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Odd Team Building Exercise to Develop Your Team

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A good team building exercise will help each participant realize the challenges of leading and get the team to discover how to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles… together.

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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Benefits of Teamwork

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A Part of Something Greater

Team players crave the benefits of teamwork so much that they are willing to make extraordinary sacrifices.

“The most difficult thing for individuals to do when they are part of a team is to sacrifice. Without sacrifice, you’ll never know your team’s potential, or your own.”

Pat Riley

NBA Coach

Teamwork in the Workplace

History is full of examples of stars that missed out on being champions because they weren’t willing to make the necessary sacrifices.

Conversely, great players would rather share the spotlight than walk away with individual honors. Because they help inspire the team’s willingness to make sacrifices, they reap the benefits of teamwork most.

The following story illustrates how a true champion experienced both individual and team success because of his strong desire to make those around him better.

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Importance of Teamwork

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Your success as a leader depends of how well you communicate the importance of teamwork.

In the military, soldiers work together because lives may be at stake. This means learning to rely on each other and taking advantage of every opportunity for the team to learn and grow.

High performing organizations understand this, and they consistently perform better than their competitors, because they understand and value teamwork.

NOTE: As you explore my scenario with the infantry, Army helicopter pilots, and Air Force pilots, consider the stovepipes that might exist within your organization.

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How to Inspire: 5 Employee Engagement Ideas

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Employee engagement ideas remain a hot topic, whether for CIOs, IT managers, or any industry leader.  My personal experience with engagement was one in which everyone knew the culture and understood its core values before joining.  When you live your company values, employees are more engaged.

Specifically, I am referring to my time in an all-volunteer Army.  If a soldier didn’t feel they were in the right place after their initial enlistment, they re-evaluated their decision to join and they moved on; that was a blessing.

Images courtesy tigger11th at freedigitalphotos.net

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How to Achieve Effective Teamwork: Live Your Values

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While effective teamwork isn’t necessarily easy today, imagine the amount of effort it took to accomplish the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II, on June 6, 1944; D-Day.

The most important consideration:

  • What’s the glue that keeps everyone willing to trust one another and working together?

While most teams won’t operate with lives on the line, the fundamentals of teamwork apply to every organization.

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Leadership Development Blog

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Welcome to the Blackhawk Leadership Development Blog, the musings of Blackhawk Consulting Group, LLC, a leadership development firm focused on managers who want to build teams, lead more effectively, and achieve superior results … all with less stress.

The key: aligning your company’s core leadership values in an environment where employees can live their personal values.

NOTE: this post has been updated to include links to articles written or updated after I started this blog

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Team Building Skills

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Leaders must apply keen team building skills in order to build the most capable teams.

The key: great communication skills.

Great teams are no accident; it takes hard work and patience.  Leaders who understand the importance of teamwork push beyond the obstacles and create a culture where members learn to make sacrifices for each other.

This requires a leader who guides their team toward a shared vision or goal, typically by communicating values that become a source of organizational pride, further serving the team by attracting and retaining those who want to do what it takes to be a part of the culture.

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Team Building Exercise

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A team building exercise is an activity that gets people to work together, highlighting strengths and weaknesses, while giving members the opportunity to decide how they’ll respond.

A good team building exercise encourages the group to respond positively. They develop bonds and unite. In the long term, it improves individual motivation and team cooperation.

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Employee Engagement

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70% of businesses suffer from a lack of employee engagement.

  • Can you influence your business team from within?
  • If you change your perspective, what performance improvement is possible?

In The 360-Degree Leader, John C. Maxwell notes that most leadership comes from within an organization, not from the top.

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Effective Teamwork

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Effective Teamwork: a 360-degree Look

Effective teamwork is critical for every successful organization.

In order to reap the benefits of teamwork, leaders must not only lead, they must be able to work well with upper management and their colleagues while setting the example for their team.

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Teamwork in the Workplace

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Teamwork in the workplace means it is everyone’s job to make and improve the team.

There is a false perception that leadership always comes from the top, but you can find leadership anywhere on a team. While ideal if those in management positions always exhibited the greatest leadership traits, the reality is sometimes otherwise.

Leadership is about the ability to influence, therefore, informal leadership occurs when any member persuades others to do great things. Whether formal or informal, leadership from any direction contributes and improves your teamwork in the workplace.

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