Leading a Team on Cotopaxi

A Wharton Leadership Expedition on Cotopaxi

We will all be called on to lead, and we will be judged by our team’s results. I believe that behavior (not tools or processes) is the most important factor in generating consistent, strategic results. Correctly managing our own behaviors and the behaviors of our team members will ultimately define our path to success or failure. The sheer number and volume of  competing behaviors create the white noise that lulls leaders into a catatonic state of poor performance or success despite their efforts.

Many leaders do not  know which behaviors are mission critical and which are inconsequential. Even when better than average leaders identify a few “must have” behaviors, consistently implementing them can prove elusive.  Luckily the inverse is true: it is far easier to know Dangerous, Unproductive, Dysfunctional (D.U.D.) behaviors when we see (or feel) them. Successful leaders confront the threat of D.U.D. behaviors (fear, selfishness, arrogance, tool seduction, lone heroism, cowardice, comfort, and more).

Can you really afford to have an Idiot on your team?

If your team suffers from subtle or dramatic behavioral challenges, I suggest you look at our book High Altitude Leadership. In it, Don Schminke and I examine the 8 Dangers that destroys teams (or keeps them from performing to their potential). Guess what, all the Dangers are behavioral.

The core responsibility of a leader is to encourage mission critical behaviors and have the courage to fight against D.U.D. behaviors so that behaviors that generate consistent, strategic results can flourish. Once you begin to act in accordance with your responsibility, it won’t take very long for your team to deliver incredible results.