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Are We Rewarding Behavior That's Damaging Teams?

Dr. Foster Mobley // Business, Quotables, Wisdom Leading

In my next book, one of the things I'll be discussing is the idea that our traditional metrics of team success are outdated and even ignorant of the realities of how people function within the structure that we call a team. For example, in the team context we tend to reward extreme behavior: working endless hours, pushing people to meet near-impossible deadlines, and demanding that sales and productivity figures forever scale upward. More often than not, the people who get the bonuses and promotions are those drive teams to meet unsustainable performance goals, exhausting and alienating team members and denying an essential truth: The performance of our organizations, our teams and ourselves naturally rises and falls over time, no matter how hard we work to change that dynamic. If our goal is to create thriving organizations that operate according to principles of wisdom, we must redefine what we mean by sustainability. Is it the endless, punishing push to sell more and beat the other guy? Or is it a holistic process that rewards sustainable behaviors and values humor, rest, play and wisdom as much as drive, endurance and ruthlessness? Which behaviors are being rewarded by your organization?

In my next book, one of the things I'll be discussing is the idea that our traditional metrics of team success are outdated and even ignorant of the realities of how people function within the structure that we call a team.

For example, in the team context we tend to reward extreme behavior: working endless hours, pushing people to meet near-impossible deadlines, and demanding that sales and productivity figures forever scale upward. More often than not, the people who get the bonuses and promotions are those drive teams to meet unsustainable performance goals, exhausting and alienating team members and denying an essential truth:

The performance of our organizations, our teams and ourselves naturally rises
and falls over time, no matter how hard we work to change that dynamic.

If our goal is to create thriving organizations that operate according to principles of wisdom, we must redefine what we mean by sustainability. Is it the endless, punishing push to sell more and beat the other guy? Or is it a holistic process that rewards sustainable behaviors and values humor, rest, play and wisdom as much as drive, endurance and ruthlessness?

Which behaviors are being rewarded by your organization?

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Dr. Foster Mobley

Trusted advisor and coach to admired executives globally for 3 decades, Thought leader on wisdom-based approaches to breakthrough leading, "Lead Coach" for Deloitte's experienced and high potential leader development, Team performance advisor to two NCAA championship teams