Love as a Team Strategy

EPISODE 15

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What makes a team effective? How do you build a winning team? We’ve all heard of “High-performing teams”, but what’s the secret-sauce? In this episode, we talk about how we approach building teams, and we also try something different and get into an awkward debate. In the end, of course, we try to uncover the role that LOVE plays in every great team.  

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Feel the love! We aren't experts - we're practitioners. With a passion that's a mix of equal parts strategy and love, we explore the human (and fun) side of work and business every week together.

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Jeff Ma
Director

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MohProfile

Mohammad Anwar
President

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Frank Danna
Director

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Maggie McClurkin
Producer

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Transcript

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Jeff Ma
Hello, and welcome to love as a business strategy, a podcast that brings humanity to the workplace. We're here to talk about business. But we want to tackle topics that most business leaders shy away from. We believe that humanity and love should be at the center of every successful business. I'm your host, Jeff Ma. I'm a director at Softway, an agency based out of Houston, Texas that specializes in digital transformation, culture and branding. Each episode, we dive into one element of business or strategy, and test our theory of love against it. Today, we want to focus on teams. And specifically, we want to talk about high performing teams. It's something that everyone ultimately strives to achieve. It's a very simple concept, a team that is Highly Effective People who work together well producing great results. But in practice, how do you actually form a team like this? To discuss this, I wanted to get a perspective from a right of people that manage teams at various levels in an organization. So starting at the top, I've invited our president and CEO who builds and grows teams of senior leaders here at Softway, Mohammad. Hello, Moh.

Mohammad Anwar
Hi, Jeff.

Jeff Ma
We also have a director who manages teams of leads and middle managers, Frank Danna. Hey, Frank.

Frank Danna
Hey, Jeff.

Jeff Ma
And finally, we have a project manager who works with project teams of cross functional talents. Miss Maggie McClurkin. Hey, Maggie.

Maggie McClurkin
Hey, Jeff.

Jeff Ma
So who is ready for their icebreaker? I know who. Let's start with Maggie. Maggie, when did you get your first cell phone? And what kind was it?

Maggie McClurkin
Oh, this is a great question. Um, I got it for my 13th birthday. And I got a hot pink Motorola razor.

Jeff Ma
Yes, the thin flip metal one.

Maggie McClurkin
Yep. I then bedazzled with rhinestones later.

Jeff Ma
Okay. Frank. What is a TV show that you're currently watching slash liking.

Frank Danna
So the last Kingdom on Netflix is really good. And also based on books like Game of Thrones, and every episode is so dense that they have a recap. Just to catch you up. Because every episode of The Last Kingdom feels like an entire season of Game of Thrones. Oh, that's pretty amazing. Yeah, it's really good. Really good.

Jeff Ma
Moh, if you could choose one age to remain forever? What age would that be and why?

Mohammad Anwar
Probably 20.

Jeff Ma
And why?

Mohammad Anwar
Because I could have a chance to restart my business again at age 20.

Jeff Ma
With all the learnings you already have.

Mohammad Anwar
Yes. With all the learnings that have gained over the years.

Jeff Ma
Fair enough. I'd also stay 20 so I could eat whatever I want. So we're gonna try something a little different, today, we're going to have a little fun. We're going to have a debate, we're going to, I'm going to sign some of you to some teams to actually kind of have a little bit of a, some banter around some some some hypothetical situations. And, Frank, I'd like you to set us up with this prompt that you've prepared here for us to take sides on.

Frank Danna
Okay, Is everybody ready?

Jeff Ma
Mm hmm.

Frank Danna
Great. So what we're going to do is we're going to, to split you up into teams and talk about, we're going to give you two different prompts. We're going to call it Team A and Team B. And the goal here is for us to discuss something very unique about these teams. Which team do you think performs better? Now, these prompts don't just come from anywhere. There was an article written in the New York Times magazine about some work that Google was doing a few years ago, it was called Project Aristotle, you can you can look it up and on your own time, kind of engage with it. But I wanted to talk about this because these actual prompts were written in this article from the New York Times Magazine, and the articles titled 'What Google Learned From Its Quest To Build The Perfect Team'. So what I want to do now is start with Team A, and I just want to read the prompt and then we'll go to Team B. Team A. It's composed of people who are all exceptionally smart and successful. When you watch a video of this group working you see professionals who wait until the topic arises, in which they are expert, and then they speak at length explaining what the group ought to do. When someone makes a side comment the speaker stops, reminds everyone of the agenda and pushes the meeting back on track. This team is efficient. There is no idle chit chat or long debates. The meeting ends as scheduled and disbands, so everyone can get back to their desks. Team B, this was written pre COVID. By the way, Team B. Team B is different. Team B is evenly divided between successful executives and middle managers with few professional accomplishments. Teammates jump in and out of discussions, people interject and complete one another's thoughts. When a team member abruptly changes the topic, the rest of the group follows him off the agenda. At the end of the meeting, the meeting doesn't actually end, everyone sits around to joke, laugh, and even talk about their lives. So I want you to choose the group that you think is the most successful and effective together. You want to split us up?

Jeff Ma
So if if you need to re-listen to that rewind now back 30, about 30 to 50 seconds. To re-hear those two team options. But for our purposes, Maggie, I want you to fight adamantly for the case that Team A is the more effective team. And Mohammad, you're going to claim that Team B is the more effective team. So, opening statements. Maggie, why don't you kick us off.

Maggie McClurkin
Um, okay, this is gonna be fun, A Team. Um, first of all, Team B just sounds like a bunch of time wasters. In my opinion. They just want to sit around chit chat, and not get to the point as a project manager, I really respect the staying on the agenda, the the experts jumping in when needed. I also am a big fan of the efficient meeting in and out in and out, we all have things to do. And we're not going to get anything done just by sitting around. So the efficiency of Team A just really, really makes me think that they're the more high performing.

Jeff Ma
All right, Mohammad?

Mohammad Anwar
Well, I think Team B is more effective. Because nothing in that statement that Frank said that we didn't get the job done. Like you just claimed it, you just said that we've kept going off topic and kept going off agenda. But I think the team is can still be effective. Just because you don't follow the agenda doesn't mean you don't get things done.

Jeff Ma
So there was a lot of there's a lot of impressions to me that Team A was like very professional, right? Like, that's the word that was used. And it just you get the impression that Team A was very, to the point and very, you know, effective at whatever task was at hand. So Mohammad, why what is I guess? Without that professionalism, that was the professionalism wasn't represented in Team B, what what kind of impacts does that play?

Mohammad Anwar
I think at the end of the day, I don't know what impacts professionalism truly plays, because at the end of the day, if the team can get the job done, and get the results achieved, no matter how it is that they choose to, you know, behave professionally or un-unprofessionally I think if the team is able to get the outcome achieved, that the team did the job. So why does it matter if they were professional or not?

Maggie McClurkin
As a president and CEO, Moh, how would you feel about someone coming up to you and saying something really unprofessional?

Mohammad Anwar
Well, I think it depends on its relative, right? Like, if I have a relationship with the person and they come and say something, and they know where they're coming from, I'm not gonna consider that unprofessional in any formal way. And I, to be honest, I think professionalism is relative, it changes from country to country, organization to organization, team to team so maybe my threshold for what is professional and not professional is very different. So I, I don't know how to define that.

Frank Danna
Yeah, I think I think like in Team A, what I noticed was, there's a lot of hierarchy, right? There's this level of like, you wait till the other person's done. You only allow the experts to speak? Is that the most beneficial Maggie, do you think that someone with the expertise should be the one speaking and then people waiting to provide thoughts?

Maggie McClurkin
I think there's something to be said about knowing your lane and staying in your lane. Understanding your expertise and understanding where where your strengths and weaknesses lie, and how you can be the most beneficial on a team.

Jeff Ma
Interesting. I think the thing that Team A combat is chaos, right? Like I think that the number one thing that I would think Team A does better in that context, is that you're not necessarily herding cats or trying to reel it in, you have something that needs to get done. It sounds like that group of people is going to get that done. I'm very laser focused on an objective and outcome.

Maggie McClurkin
Yeah, I was gonna say Team A seems very focused to me.

Mohammad Anwar
But also something else. He said, Maggie about an expert coming in speaking on their topic of expertise, and that's their lane. That's their specific area of expertise. So they should be the one speaking about it. And I personally think experts don't know everything, and you could never know who in that room might have a better idea. And if we restrict it from anybody to come in and have that conversation or give their ideas, you are losing value at the end of the day, you could be missing outcomes and results. So I don't agree with you that people have to stay in their lane and only certain people with a certain title, who represent certain expertise or specialty are the only ones who can give solutions. That's why I think Team B would be better garnered environment for anybody to interject and speak up and challenge and get better ideas across.

Maggie McClurkin
How do you how do you make sure you still get the job done, though? If if there's chaos and uncertainty about who's doing what

Mohammad Anwar
I guess my counter question to you is, how do you know if you keep structure that you will still get the solution done or get to the outcome? You don't know that either. You could go through an agenda for the hell of it and still achieve nothing. Because you know, it's results that matter.

Frank Danna
Wow, y'all are committed. So committed like, I don't even know what to do right now.

Jeff Ma
To answer Mohammad's question, I believe the prompt specifically said they all got what they needed and went back to get their jobs done. By by definition of that specific meeting, that it's that it's highlighting, but right, I see, I see both sides on that. That being said, I'm feeling true animosity amongst all of this fun, but yeah, I'm gonna call I'm gonna call. I'm gonna call it cut a cut on these role playing game. Okay, let's let's talk for real. Let's, let's bring the love back in the room here. Maggie's like, how dare you?

Mohammad Anwar
I don't know if I can continue this episode, Moh.

Frank Danna
Mohammad's like I see your point. Let me provide a counterpoint to that counterpoint.

Jeff Ma
Let me answer your question with a question. So let's let's dive into actually some some real anecdotal kind of conversation here like so taking taking away what's called we'll come back to Team A and Team B, let's talk about the high performing or low performing teams that we actually see or that we actually have worked with clients we've worked with are here in Softway. Frank, you want to kick us off?

Frank Danna
Yeah, I will. And I will say that we will we will hit the actual answer, because there is an answer, there's a right answer to those Team A, and Team B, we'll talk about it later. But I think I really wanted to start around like the perspective of high performing versus low performing teams. I think for me, one of the things that I have seen personally in the different teams that I've been with throughout the years, is that a lower performing team is a team that is extremely risk averse. So when you're afraid of failure, you're afraid to take less risks. And I've been in many teams, especially teams, where I'm working like alongside of different people from other organizations, like I'm actually working on location with other team members. And it's very easy to see when a group of people are afraid of failure because they don't want to let down their stakeholder. And so they feel like they have to take orders, and only deliver those particular orders and I remember a particular project that we're working on. And it was clear that the actual concept that had been delivered to us from the stakeholder was the wrong approach. It was not the right way to go. It was not as as efficient as it should have been. It was not even, it was like the individual that gave it to us didn't know what they were talking about. And because they were in that position, we had to go with it. Right. So we became order takers, and no one spoke up, no one said this is actually the wrong approach. And so in a lower performing team, we allowed uncertainty and confusion to cloud our judgment. And we delivered exactly what the stakeholder asked for. And they were underwhelmed by it, they had forgotten that what we had delivered was that what they wanted, they were expecting us to speak up and to have the courage to speak up and actually take a risk. And that was what they were hoping for. But what they got from us was directly what the stakeholder asked for. So in a lower performing team environment, where you're not actively high performing, you are going to look at opportunities for innovation as opportunities for failure. And the moment that that stakeholder said, I actually don't think this is as good as it could have been, is when we all realized that we were operating from the place of fear. And we were not able to demonstrate courage, and all of the ideas that we had had about things we could do to make that concept better. They came flooding back to our minds, we suddenly realized if we just would have spoken up just once, if someone in this team would have had the courage to even say that this may not be the right approach, it would have taken it would have taken a different turn. Right. So I think, for me, personally, what I felt and experienced is, the higher performing team takes takes risks, to the extent that we look at something and say, You don't actually know what you want, like we're going to deliver what you need versus what you want, and have the courage to do that with a stakeholder.

Maggie McClurkin
And I think Frank, like a really important distinction to make, as you were talking I was thinking about this is sometimes the the difference between a low performing team and a high performing team is very subtle. It doesn't like a low performing team doesn't necessarily mean that you don't complete deliverables, it doesn't mean that you don't deliver outcomes. It's it's that subtle, like you said, it's delivering what's asked not what's needed. In high performing teams, on the flip side of it also aren't perfect either. And they they also have struggles. And so I think just that distinction, in my mind, kind of frees you up a little bit for to be a high performing team doesn't mean you have to be 100% perfect all the time. And also, you don't have to be falling apart in order to be considered a low performing team.

Frank Danna
Yeah, I agree with that. It's, it's there is a distinction. And it's it's very subtle, like, what we've talked about before is that when you're in a team of people that feels like they have the autonomy to take a risk, it feels different. It feels like freedom, right. And in freedom, you also will fail. But a high performing team sees risk as opportunity to learn by failing, right, and a low performing team sees the risk of taking a an opportunity to fail as complete and total destruction. And the negative vantage point that they're going to be seen from a leaders perspective or a stakeholders perspective from they're out there tarnished reputation is done. And I think that's really the idea here is that there is more freedom and more flexibility within a high performing team because there's that level of comfort with taking risk.

Maggie McClurkin
Mhmm, exactly.

Mohammad Anwar
I think, I think to counter that. It's not just about taking risks. It's it's about how comfortable people are bringing ideas to the table with each other. So with each other. So if you're inside of a team, and you're afraid to bring counter ideas, or counter someone's proposition to approaching something a certain way. And people are afraid to speak up, people are afraid to challenge because of people's titles in the room, that also has an impact. Forget stakeholders just within each other amongst each other. If there's fear to give feedback, and they're not able to give feedback to each other, they're putting up with certain things that they know is wrong, or is not the right approach. But they choose to just keep quiet. And they let it happen. Those have been my biggest examples of teams that are low performing or high preferring a team where everybody's, like, able to speak to each other candidly, without circumventing the problem or beating around the bush. And they get to the point and they say, No, Frank, that idea is not good. I think this is the way we should be approaching it. And having those type of direct candid conversations, when I've seen teams practice that and be able to have that type of relationship. And, you know, interject and respectfully give everyone an opportunity to speak but aren't afraid to speak up, weren't afraid to stop someone. Those type of teams I have seen personally perform a lot better in terms of getting better outcomes and better ideas.

Frank Danna
Oh, yes, I love it.

Jeff Ma
Maggie, Maggie will go ahead.

Maggie McClurkin
In that same vein of innovation and ideation, it's quite frank a promise. I wanted to kind of flip it a little bit because a lot of times pride and ego have a lot to do with that as well. And a lot of people, particularly leaders on teams, like to come in and say, Well, I'm the leader, so my idea wins, as opposed to the best idea wins, which is I think something Frank likes to say is the best idea wins. And in a low performing team, it the hierarchy is very, very prevalent. And the highest paid person in the rooms idea wins as opposed to the best idea wins, whoever it could be someone that's not even a part of the team. They just happen to hear your problem and they spout something out and you're like, hey, that's a good idea. A high performing team doesn't have that ego problem of, well, this is my, this is my baby, and I need to be the one that solves this problem, they open it up to some more minds.

Mohammad Anwar
I think it's its highest paid person, but it's also it's my expertise. This is this is what I do. I'm a creative or writer or a programmer, so you must listen to me, I hold that title. And that also that ego comes in the way of allowing people to freely discuss opinions and ideas.

Frank Danna
I was gonna say earlier was, you know, we've run into this a few different times, and it's still run into it. But it's the idea that, that when it gets to the point where critical feedback needs to be shared, a lower performing team will say, Okay, listen, I didn't want to share this feedback you because I with you, because I didn't want to hurt your feelings. But I guess I'll go ahead and hurt your feelings now by sharing this feedback with you. But that makes absolutely no sense. Because what you're saying is, I wasn't I didn't feel like we have enough of a relationship of camaraderie, I don't feel like we have enough trust with each other to tell you the critical feedback. But because we're getting to this breaking point, now I'm going to quote unquote, hurt your feelings like that, that is a bad place for teams to exist. Because you're saying that there's not a level of relationship there to maintain being okay with giving critical feedback in the moment. And you're not actually hurting my feelings. If you're giving me that feedback, you're helping you're protecting me and the rest of the team, you know, potentially, you know, passed from a blind spot, or, you know, there's a boulder in the road, and you want to tell me that there's a boulder. You don't want to wait for me to crash into it and say, I don't want to hurt your feelings. But I should have told you to turn left. Right. So

Mohammad Anwar
Frank, they think that's the professional way, right? They're like, it's professional not to speak up and give the feedback because, you know, it would be unprofessional, for me to call out Frank, so

Frank Danna
In any other part of your life, would you withhold feedback from someone that you care about?

Mohammad Anwar
No.

Frank Danna
Like, in any other part of your life, would you say, I saw that this person was, you know, becoming an alcoholic. And I didn't really want to say anything, because I mean, like, it's weird that we we equate professionalism with withholding information from people, or withholding critical feedback that can actually provide value to someone. And that, to me is, I think, a very interesting distinction, because everywhere else in your life, you would hope that someone provides that for you. But yet, in a professional setting, we're in teams that even consider themselves to be high performing, they're unwilling to share that feedback, because they're afraid of the response.

Mohammad Anwar
Because they think you have to bring the work version to a workplace versus that's your personal version. So keep your personal side, outside of the workplace and at the workplace, you need to be professional. So it's almost like they expect you to be two different personalities show up to work and be a professional. And that's what being a team player means. Versus, you know, bringing your full self to the meeting or the team is not allowed in a professional sense. That's where I think this conflict comes into place.

Frank Danna
I would agree with that.

Jeff Ma
So we did some research on this, right? Like we ourselves, as we went around the world training leaders in leadership behaviors, and culture, and things like that we we did an activity with, you know, thousands of leaders. And we have some metrics from that, that can actually talk to this quite a bit. So right for the audience, just for context, we actually would put leaders into small groups of four or five people and give them tasks, we removed the expertise from the equation, we gave them tasks that anybody could do, but it required communication required collaboration and communication to get done. So there were some obstacles and barriers in their way. But it was some it didn't require, you know, rocket science knowledge or anything like that. It was just tasks. And it was timed, and it was competitive. And we did this across hundreds of different setups of teams, different makeups of teams. And keep in mind that the people we work with are the cream of the crop really in their in their organization. These are the these are the people who've made it to their there's their their position, because of their, their ability to execute their, their efficiency, all these things, they're all stars. And we're putting them together to accomplish these very straightforward communication based tasks. And what we saw was that there's obviously this wide range of results, we would put superstar players together in one team, and they would fail. And yet you would put unassuming, you know, again, they're all leaders, they're all great. But you know, the teams could be randomized and you would have teams come up that would just succeed with flying colors. And we tried to look into the stats of who was succeeding and who wasn't. And we saw that the, the common attributes of the teams that succeeded was as simple as and sometimes it wasn't even tangible like, you know, was literally their their demeanor around each other. First and foremost, there was a comfortability, they would almost joke. And it seemed like they weren't. They weren't necessarily even, you know, they were having fun with it. But everybody would say something, whenever they wanted say, Wait, what did you say they would interrupt each other, just to ask for clarity, they would also speak their mind and have opinions. And there are other teams where, you know, the most senior in that group would be like, okay, here's what we're going to do. Everyone gets your pens and paper, let's get down into this, you do this, you do this, you do this. And it seems, you know, on paper, like they're about to, to knock it out of the park, and the results show otherwise. You put these all-stars together, and they would actually struggle because of those personalities taking over. And you'd have these other groups that would do amazingly, at these tasks. And all the main difference we saw was their ability to speak up and allow each other to speak up and create a space that felt overall comfortable and safe for each other.

Mohammad Anwar
Yeah, I've actually experienced that, in my time here at Softway. Whenever I've assembled a team of my top level managers to come together and work together, I haven't seen the results that I would generally see when I build a team with some of our, you know, top level managers with or with the teams across different levels. And when I have a cross section of that team, I see much better results, much better outcomes. But then when I take all my top performers and put them on the same team, I get hardly any results. And that's been something that's always baffled me, why is it that when I put my top leaders together to work, they can't seem to get the outcomes achieved. But when I take a cross section, throughout the organization and ability might see better results.

Frank Danna
I think part of that could be and you know, one of the things that I've also felt and seen is this idea of self interest and self preservation. So people that are all stars that are performing at the top, are usually kind of the Lone Ranger's like the ones that are out there doing it on their own, they've achieved what they have. And so what I've noticed is that our lower performing teams historically, are competing against each other. They're, they're not speaking up around certain problems, they're competing against each other inside of teams, where on the on the flip side, high performing teams are competing against the external forces, as a team, they're more unified. And so when you bring in a bunch of all stars that are used to working on things separately, they're going to divide and try to conquer. And it's not going to hit as well as it should just like Jeff's example of the the different leaders and executives that we brought through that training. You know, a lot of people went in and did their own individual things. And it didn't actually result in a team coming together and properly collaborating. But when you have an opportunity for better collaboration, and when people are working together more cohesively that's what that's what a real high performing team ends up looking like when you're your common enemy is not the person to the left or to the right. Your common enemy is the external, other other company that is existential against you, not necessarily internal.

Jeff Ma
Yeah. And, and it's, and it's important, as, as, I guess, leaders to be building these types of teams, right, we have to be looking for these types of things. Because the reality of what the world we live in today is that there are no problems that can be solved alone anymore. The complexity of the types of work we do requires collaboration and teamwork. And so Mohammad, what are the factors you would say that are required to build a high performing team?

Mohammad Anwar
So, I think as a leader if you are trying to lead a team and try to get the right type of structure in place for your team to be successful, number one, you have to make sure the team is understanding of the vision that the team is set out to accomplish. whether that's team goals and the organization goals, they have to clearly be able to understand it's your job, as a lead a team lead, is to make sure you can articulate the vision and the goals that this team has set forth to achieve. Second step is that you have to make sure that the working norms are established for the team to work together. And that's not about just putting the best players together in one team. It's about how are you going to work with each other? What are those values, and norms and practices that you should all encompass inside of the team as your team rules, this is how we will behave with each other. This is how we will you know work together these are the systems and processes that we will abide to, and build up the working norms that everybody understands and, and lives up to. The next step is you need to make sure you are building alignment within the team. So you have to make sure that there's constant ceremonies or processes in place to ensure that the team is always aligned. And they're staying honest to the original goals and vision that the team has. But also the project goals and the project tasks. So everybody understands with clarity, what the objectives are. And then lastly, you have to make sure you create an environment where the team can have fun. Ultimately, the team has to come in and have an opportunity to have fun. Because if you're not creating an environment for them to have fun, then you are not inspiring them and motivating them to come work with each other and collaborate and work together. So these are some of the steps that a leader can create for a team to start having the prerequisites to start being successful and high performing.

Jeff Ma
So the question will be how do we approach that? How do we do those things? You gave some good clear steps. But Frank, I'm sorry, I apologize. I forgot. If it's not already clear by now. Yeah, Team A, Team B, what's the right answer?

Frank Danna
Right. So I will say, as we've gone back and forth through this, hopefully, if you kind of remember, Team A was the team that was practicing conversational turn taking the experts were speaking, everything was extremely efficient, buttoned up. Whereas Team B was a little bit more rowdy people were able to kind of interject over each other, they were having fun. To the casual observer, especially people in professional settings. And, again, when we when we worked with audiences, and executives and leaders from all around the world, people were really leaning towards Team A. But in reality, Team B is the team that performs better together. And there's a simple explanation for this. That is that the psychological safety that Team B had with each other, actually raised the group's collective intelligence. And so what we saw, and what we continue to see with higher performing teams in our organization, is that when you are sensitive to one another, when you have this emotional intelligence that's at play. And when you're utilizing, like Mohammad mentioned all of these, we have a leader who's equipping a team to act in certain ways. The the psychological safety of a team actually creates a better, more efficient team. And it sounds weird that I say efficiency with Team B. But essentially, there are certain elements and certain behaviors that create this psychological safety. And you'll notice, as I list these out to you that there are a lot of things we've touched on other episodes of this podcast, right? So the things that we have personally experienced and seen that actually helped build better high performing teams are vulnerability, trust, empathy, inclusion, empowerment, and forgiveness. I just want to sit on those words for a second. Vulnerability, the ability to be vulnerable with one another to share each other's burdens. Trust, knowing that the person to your left or to your right isn't trying to get at you, or get your position. Empathy, understanding the needs of the people around you, making sure that people are included in the discussions and decision making within a team, empowering people to create and to innovate, and then forgiving others. If you imagine the most successful teams, those behaviors and traits are visible in the higher performing teams. And you have a group of people that really cares for each other. And what's weird for me is that I've seen this this type of culture that's created within this team. This can happen with other people from different organizations, we've had experiences where different team members have asked to be part of Softway groups and teams, because they wanted to experience that type of culture, because they felt that this type of culture was the place they want it to be. And even like Mohammad has actually been a part of these types of teams. And people walk in and not even know that he's the CEO. So just know that he's a guy in the room sharing ideas and getting laughed at or jokes are thrown at him. And he's throwing jokes at us. And then someone actually realizes that that's the CEO sitting in the room and going, Oh, my gosh, I didn't even know that that was the CEO. And that's the type of culture that that a high performing team can emulate. And it comes from those behaviors.

Jeff Ma
I like to add that for the skeptics out there for the Team A, Team B exercise, what you have to remember is that the trick to the question is that that gave you a window into one meeting and the question is which team is more effective? So in other words, maybe it's perfectly fair, I would say that maybe that that one Team A meeting might have been more effective as a meeting. But the reality is, if your team is comfortable enough to behave like Team B, in a meeting, your overall long term performance is statistically better. Because you're able to overcome obstacles better. You're not always, you know, the challenges we face today in business, are not something that some often don't have experts for, you don't have an expert to tell you what to do with some unprecedented situations. So you need a team that's ready to tackle those together without an expert, and that's where Team B really, really shines. And that's what it takes to be resilient in nowadays, nowadays, especially right. So that being said, I want to do what the show always does, and tie this back to love our favorite word. And give us our takeaway. Maggie, what are your thoughts on how all of this high performing team business, what is what is loves love in that equation?

Maggie McClurkin
So the only way I can think to kind of explain that is through an example if that's okay. And I, I'm thinking specifically of one team that I was on quite a several months ago, now almost a year ago. And we were tasked with a crazy deadline and a crazy project. As the project manager, I had to create a project plan and on paper, this project was going to take 14 months or something like that. And our deadline was 16 weeks. So it made no sense logically, that we were going to get this all done. But because of the team that I was on, and because of the people on the team, who truly cared for and genuinely loved one another and supported one another, we got that project done on time. And not in a it wasn't a subpar product, it was a great project, it was a great deliverable. And the thing that sticks out in my mind, specifically on how that ties back to love is the night before our major deadline. You know, a project goes through different phases, and certain people work in different phases. And in this closing phase of the project, one person specifically was doing a lot of the work to kind of close things up and make sure they were good to go to be delivered. So in reality that one person could have done it by themselves. But the night before, all of us collectively, as a team decided to order a pizza, sit in a big conference room and support that one person, make sure they had everything they needed, and sit together while we figured out exactly everything that needed to be completed in order to deliver this big project the next day to the client. And, of course nobody wants to spend their evenings in the office. But nobody complained. Nobody made it a big deal about wall if so and so just did their job, this isn't a part of my job. It was just genuine love and care for one another of No, I'm not going to have that person stay late when I could just as easily help and maybe cut their time down by an hour or two. And so I will never forget that. And it just everybody being so willing to step up and say, Yeah, I'd love to stay, I'd love to see how I can help. I don't necessarily know how I can help or what I can offer. But I'm available and I want to be available to you to support you because I love you and you're on my team. So that's that's the best I can come up with as a tie in to love but would love to hear

Jeff Ma
Don't sell yourself short those incredible, incredible story. Thank you. And we're not going to beat that. So let's let's move into the ending. So, you know, we did like I mentioned we do we do talk to leaders and work with leaders on these types of things. So if you're listening, and you'd be interested in having conversation about some of the things we do, we have products called Seneca Leaders and Seneca Teams, amongst other things in the suite of things that we use to assist businesses, teams and leaders. Specifically in, in growing in their ability to lead their culture and business outcomes. We would love to talk to you, you can reach out to us and find us at Softway.com. And we can help you take those steps to building high performing teams. This podcast love as a business strategy. We're posting new episodes every Tuesday. And if there's a business topic you'd like to hear or anything you'd like to add feedback, we'd love it all. Let us know it's Softway.com/LAABS, it's in the show notes. Always please subscribe, like, do all those things to let us feel the love. We appreciate it. And I like to appreciate Maggie, Mohammad, Frank, for joining me in this interesting experiment of debate slash love warm, fuzzy feelings. It was a lot of fun. Appreciate you guys joining me in this conversation today.

Mohammad Anwar
Thank you, Jeff.

Frank Danna
Thanks Jeff.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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