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Seek knowledge – 10 Lessons to Build an Efficient Organization #3

Introduction to the 10 Lessons to Build an Efficient Organization series

Sun Tzu is one of the most influential Chinese philosophers. My series of Sun Tzu is focused on the topic of how to develop an efficient organization. You might think that these are trivial things and they should be. However, I see that even these trivial things are not working in many organizations. I had to conclude that the fundamental rules of leadership are non-trivial as ego, pride come in the way.

Manager’s commentary: Those who know where and when the battle will be fought can marshal all of their resources to the right place.

Example: In certain challenging situation if the goal is clear and shared, the team can focus their effort to truly be efficient and overcome the upcoming challenges and reach even tight deadlines. A strong lead could show a good example for the team on how to put in the necessary effort to reach their goals. If the team is integrated they are capable of highly focused work even for a longer period of time. Once a badly managed project reached a critical state, so the team I was part of was asked to develop a great deal of new features for a software with a tight deadline. We worked many over hours during a period of a couple of months. We had some members who inspired the others by keeping their motivation and good mood over these times. Others kept their calm and kept on pushing. We fought every day without knowing if we can make the deadline or not. We managed to deliver everything for the final deadline. Great teams with support from all partners could achieve extraordinary results. Naturally if you push the team for a couple of months, there needs to be a cool down period. Just as if you tighten a string to a point, you need to release it, otherwise, you risk snapping the string. Snapping strings leads to burnout of the team members often leading to serious illnesses. Luckily we had the chance to have this cool down period and afterwards many aspects of the project changed.

Takeaway: Leaders motivate from the front row, they go ahead and show how it’s done. If the team is integrated, they will collaborate and support each other in many ways. High performance starts with the leader and doesn’t end with any of the members as the whole team supports each other. No one is left behind, the leader is the last one to leave the scene, it’s his responsibility to go back and put in the extra mile supporting everyone the same way. If one if the team members failed to deliver, the team lead failed to recognize and act.

What experience do you have with sharing knowledge and focusing efforts? Does it work well in your organization?

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