The number one differentiator of effective leaders

Great leaders are able to balance task-focus (getting things done) with people-focus (inspiring, developing, and empowering others). Highly task-focused leaders tend to have tunnel vision in their drive for results, rather than applying a broader lens that recognises the need to engage people.

The number one differentiator of effective leaders

In research Global Talent Trend 2019 conducted by Linkedin, they identified that the number one differentiator of effective leaders is strong people skills, and that six out of ten of their biggest strengths related to people skills such as effective listening, developing others, and empowering their team members.

High task-focus and low people-focus

Most leaders had an underlying fear that “If I let go of control and empower others, they’ll mess things up and I’ll look bad.” It was a belief that “If I don’t work this intensely, I won’t be successful.” These limiting mindsets kept these leaders in a “doom loop” of high task-focus and low people-focus, where they doubled-down on what they did best — getting things done.


To support you in this journey, we have the following resources for you:


Written by…

Elaine Zhou

– Founder Teacher Partner of Swiss Leaders Group
– APAC Top 50 Women Leaders Award
– Over ten year’s experience in business strategy, organisation transformation, human capital, talent management and leadership development
– Based in Beijing, China


Contact us for a free 30 minutes strategy call to discuss your leadership situation:


5 benefits of investing in your people

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January 2019, the President of Costa Rica, shared that his country has “managed to protect its environment while also investing in its people”.

When I think about the challenges that we all face, countries and company alike, I am not sure the environmental issues, as important as these are, make it to our top 3 list.
What about people?
What keep you up at night? Let me guess:

Top issues keeping you up at night

  • Your competition
  • Finding the right talents
  • Innovation
  • Motivation of your staff (and myself yourself as well)
  • Politics (office or public – the one that doesn’t add value and hinders collaboration)

What does investing in people help me when my budgets are already tight?

CEO and CEO on investing in people

This reminds me of the story about a CEO and a CFO:

The CFO told the CEO “What if we invest in people and get go?”,
the CEO asked back “What if we don’t invest in people and they stay?”

5 Benefits in investing in people

What are the benefits of investing in people?

1. Increased engagement

Engagement of people is improved. Research have shown that 85% are disengaged and just comply to the minimum they are expecting to do. Stinginess generates stinginess!

2. Attitude of intrapreneurs

People can become intrapreneur. More than 60% would like to create their own company, but often don’t do it because of the risk involved. Your company can give them the opportunity to develop their own entrepreneurship project within the company.

3. More productivity through reduced conflicts

This one sounds obvious but is often overlooked: fewer conflicts reduce the waste of time. I am not talking about healthy discussions generating critical thinking, find the right solution and comparing perspective to bring innovation. I am talking about withholding information, retaliation, personal attacks, mobbing. What is needed is to learn how to collaborate and communicate efficiently.

4. Higher sales closing rates

A better understanding of the client leads to higher closing rates. How does this happen?
By training your sales team if not only the product they are selling but also in interpersonal/soft skills so that they can develop long term relationships with the client, build more loyalty, and close each deals more succesful through a better understanding of the client’s real needs.

5. Attracting talents

Even you invest in people and they leave your company/organisation, this will send a clear message to the market: your company cares for people, train and develop them and it is a good place to work. This will offset the perceived loss of people leaving by attracting people already trained and looking for a place to bring their skills and competence.


In conclusion, when investing in people, your organisation, will be able to experience more productivity by reducing conflict, generating more engagement, creating more imitative and innovation as well as attracting top talents.


Author of this blog

Joël Vuadens-Chan

Founder & CEO of Swiss Leaders Group, certified trainer, speaker and coach, Executive Director and Member of the President’s Advisory Council of The John Maxwell Team

Useful resources

Personal development

Which one of these topics resonate the most with you?
Contact us for a free strategy session.


5 people you need on your team to climb a high mountain

Next to Geneva in Switzerland, there are two mountains, the Salève and the Mont-Blanc.

Easy or impossible mountain?

The Salève is a cosy mountain. You can drive to the top of it by car. This is a usual walk for locals. As it is so close to the city that it almost gives the impression that you can touch it.

However, it might be relatively boring; after a while it is not a challenge anymore.

On the other hand, the Mont-Blanc is further away, scary and pretty much impossible to climb without extensive training and the help of a guide. But just imagine the view up there. There are reasons why it is called “the roof of Europe”, as it is the highest mountain of the “old continent”.

Which mountain are you considering climbing? The easy one, where you know all the turns and the places or the scary, impossible one.

This is an important question for your life, as what you will able to achieve depends on the mountain you are considering climbing, and of course, I don’t mean a mountain literally, I mean the goals of your life.

Go for an impossible goal

Do you have a dream, a goal, a purpose that is too big for you, that is impossible and even scary. Good! Welcome to the club!

What is your goal, your dream, your call, your purpose? Mine is to transform the culture of leadership, not only in one company, not only in companies, but worldwide, and beyond companies, in entire countries. This is definitively a too big purpose, and some think that I have “too big dream”. As a matter of fact, I take it as a compliment, and I would love to also make this compliment to you for your impossible, too big dream.

As I was thinking of this ambitious goal, I was wondering “How I am going to do it?” and realised that it was the wrong question. Who said that you and I should do it on our own. So, the very first step of this journey to impossible dreams is to form a team of like-minded but complimentary people who can take this goal to “high places”

This is how Swiss Leaders Group was created, not using my own name, but a worldwide group, hence the label “group”. I even wanted to find people better than I and I am now extremely proud of the exceptional team of professional on 4 continents who have joined my vision.

5 people you need on your team to climb a high mountain

I think you can follow my thoughts here and you guessed what I am going to say now: if you want to do it on your own, you are not going to it make it to the Mont-Blanc. You need to following people on your team:

  • A mountain guide: a mentor who has been there before and can support you in your journey.
  • Sherpas: people who help you carrying your luggage: carrying a wide vision is a lot to carry on one’s shoulder. You can empower people to carry some part of the vision and do it even better than do.
  • A physical trainer: to prepare for your mountain, you need preparation and to be challenge. Allow one person to stretch you beyond your current limits pushing your comfort zone away. This is a coach, able to question your thinking and challenging you in the direction you would like to go.
  • A driver: somebody who is getting you to the starting point of the climb. I have many precious people who understand and share my vision and open amazing doors of opportunity to “higher places” and without them I would get even to the starting point of some of the amazing projects that I am working on.
  • A junior climber: you climb is more than about yourself. As you climb, and learn to climb better and better, take with you at least one person who has similar goals, but it further down the level of experience that you have. As you learn and grow, pass on what you are learning and be a mentor. Give what you wish to receive, would it be encouragement, support or even somebody to believe in you. There is more joy to give as to receive.

First steps to climb a high mountain

If you still wondering which mountain to climb, here is an answer for you: both! The smaller one, the Salève, is there for training, for you to gain confidence and master the first step. But the real goal is not the Salève, but the Mont-Blanc.

Would like to see your life used to be used for an amazing purpose and exciting journey? Don’t focus on people who tell you that it is impossible, but turn this impossible destination into possibly through taking the first steps of training and building a team that can climb the highest mountains.

See you at the top of the Mont-Blanc. I am looking forward to celebrating you on and the high, impossible and “too big” goals you reached!


Author of this blog

Joël Vuadens-Chan

Founder & CEO of Swiss Leaders Group, certified trainer, speaker and coach, Executive Director and Member of the President’s Advisory Council of The John Maxwell Team

Next steps

  • Evaluate your team interactions through the leadership game
  • Personal coaching to firm up your journey to the high mountain
  • Contact us for a detailled discussion

5 ways to increase the success of your board

I had the privilege to lead business students at Regent’s University in a simulation of discussions at the Boardroom level using the Leadership Game. Here are what they took from this exercise:

Challenges that the students took

“At board meetings, attendants tend to focus on issues that will benefit themselves”.

“The various opinions sometimes lead to clashes or contradictions which have to be discussed in order to take a business forward.”.

Thoughts from the students

The students have already some thoughts about what would help to solve these challenges:

“The various department or teams can have very different problems that necessarily does not relate to each other and therefore several issues has to be handled at once”.

“It is important to be able to step back and be able to see other point of view to improve the company”.

“Importance of discussions, diversity, listening, risk taking, communication and interfacing with others”.

“This game introduced me the concept of pulling certain strings, in order to get what you want. In other words, making actions without actually being a trigger myself.”

“I’ve learned how to make right decision quickly. I’ve got a good experience in debates. Also It is very important to have good key leaders to have a success in company.”

“She [the role I was simulating] should respect the chain of command and take no for an answer. Ideas might sound great to some, but from outside perspective, they might not be viable.”

“I learnt that alliances start ranging along the course at discussion and as times goes on. You can analyse a person’s character and traits through their answers and how they hold themselves in debates”.

“The importance of collaboration and dialogue. Also the point of view is very important for the team. All the colleagues participated to the debate”.

“I learnt how much influence each department has on the business. Different influences and their power. How business can move forward keeping their traditions”.

“Board meetings are important. You might change your view on someone after humbling down. Listing is important”.

5 ways to make your boardroom more successful

In my experience sitting at several boards, here are the advices I have for a starting boardroom member:

  1. Be a board member first – You have named to the board to support the company. Your own department provides you context and leadership over a part of the company. However, your most important role is being a board member.
  2. Alignment, not agreement – Board member cannot agree on everything! They need to listen to each other and enter in an open discussion. However, once a decision is taken, it has to be supported by all members. This is what alignment is about.
  3. Keep the big picture – The goal of the board is to lead the company, not to micromanage projects. These are done in teams first down the organisation chart, empowering teams to lead them and report for the department leader.
  4. Preparation is the key – Have you suffered from lengthy meetings without real results? Give the agenda in advance and ask every member to come prepared and with suggestions of solutions.
  5. A successful board is instrumental to the success of the company – It is important! A healthy board is instrumental to the competitivness and the quality of the company.

Written by…

Joël Vuadens-Chan

Founder & CEO of Swiss Leaders Group, certified trainer, speaker and coach, Executive Director and Member of the President’s Advisory Council of The John Maxwell Team

What can we do for your board?

Contact us for a free 30-minutes strategy call


Everybody communicates, few connect

John C. Maxwell, who is a famous leadership expert, outlines the secret to success in his book, “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect”: What the Most Effective People Do Differently. I have learned and am still learning to apply the principles and practices in this workbook.

One of the main milestones of a baby is learning how to communicate with the people around him or her. However, as we grow, the art of communication waters down to mere talking with little connecting.

The idea is to learn and know how to turn each communication into a fantastic connection.

John C. Maxwell, in his book, shares five fundamental practices and principles that will put you on the right track of developing the crucial connecting skills. Most people who fail to achieve their goals or unlock their maximum potential lack the ability to connect with others effectively.

The Five Key Practices and Principles

These key practices and principles will help you become an effective leader by helping you connect with people in different situations. Once you master the art of communication, you will be able to build a brand by using social media platforms, networking, and business building skills.

Continue reading “Everybody communicates, few connect”

Do you think your employees are lying to you? You may be right!

Sometimes you may have the impression that your employees and team members are not giving their best, that they are hiding facts and even lying to you. You are right! Research shows that 85% of people don’t like their job and 75% are lying and cutting corners. Why?

Here are some of the reasons why they might be lying to you

1. They don’t feel well supported and developed by their manager

2. The ethics of the manager/team leader are opposite to theirs

3. They are not in the right position/job

4. The employees are not allowed to fail and therefore learn from failures

5. Their ideas are not taken into consideration

6. They feel used by the company

7. They don’t feel that they can contribute

8. They don’t trust their manager/team leader

9. They feel the manager/team leader is not really listening to them

10. They are not aligned with the culture of your company  

The consequence is that they “play safe” and do the minimum, avoiding any risks and only sharing information that they consider safe to share, hence lying or withholding important information. The solution is therefore that the leader creates the right environment and supports the team to bring their best. But how do I do that?

Here are some areas you can work on

  • Communication: You need to communicate openly, honestly and with respect. In the day of technology and needs to communicate quickly, this is often a challenge. Team members, especially the younger, are not looking for sophisticated and polished communication but for authentic communication aligned up with your values and ethics
  • Empowerment: When you know what each of your team members is good at, give me not only the task (delegation), but the authority and the resources to take charge of that area. They will bring their ideas and their passion for the task and feel much more motivated.
  • Ethics: “Be the change you want to see in the world,” said Gandhi. The same applies to your team. Your ethics, authenticity, motivation, attitude, and growth have a huge impact on each member of your team.
  • Vision: Do you know why you are doing your job? Not only the what but also the how is extremely important. Your ability to explain it, and to show each team member how they are contributing to the mission of the team and the organisation will make a material difference.
  • Passion: Are you passionate about what you do? Only with passion, we can reach excellence, high quality, and innovation. Only if you are passionate yourself, you can help your team members finding the passion in their own job.

These are the leadership skills that can help a good leader become a great leader.

Whether you want to grow personally and professionally, to improve your speaking, coaching, or sales skills, or to connect with other like-minded leaders, you have come to the right place.

Want to take your leadership to the next level?


Author of this blog

Joël Vuadens-Chan

Founder & CEO of Swiss Leaders Group, certified trainer, speaker and coach, Executive Director and Member of the President’s Advisory Council of The John Maxwell Team

Let us help you. Just contact us for a free 30 minutes strategy call.

How can I find a door in a brick wall?

Sometimes, I feel that there is a wall in front me and we can’t find the door. Have you ever tried again and again to opportunities and none are coming up?

Brick Wall

“Sometimes our walls exist just to see who has the strength to knock
them down.”  Darnell Lamont Walker

How to find a door in a brick wall?

So how can I find a door in a brick wall?

  1. Persistence

    If things would be easy, this would be well known and everybody would be doing it. Your passion for your topic will drive your perseverance and persistence. This is often what people around me notice and say things “Wow, you are really passionate about this” or “I really admire your persistence”. This is definitively building trust and proofing that it is not just a new passion that will fade away in a few months.

  2. Preparation

    The key is the preparation. The thesis is that if and when a door opens if you are not ready, you will not be able to exploit it successfully. Actually, if it takes more time, the better you will be prepared.
    The first step in the preparation is too think, not only what your goal is, but also what you require to reach out. Draw your learning journey. Don’t just think in terms of competences and hard-skills but also the soft-skill (human skills) that you require (such as communication, leadership, public speaking, conflict management, sales).

  3. Constant learning and growing

    The next step for the preparation is the tools that you can acquire to prepare yourself.
    These can take the form of mentoring, courses, coaching.
    I personally really enjoy online learning such as Coursera, edX, Skillshare. You can also take webinars from my organisation, Swiss Leaders Group.

  4. Be flexible

    The goal is important, how this will happen is not always so clear and the journey might be. The way is usually not (probably never) as direct and smooth as we imagine, so there might be steps that bring us closer to your goal, but not always in the straight line.
    When evaluating a step, consider whether it brings you closer to your goals and whether it helps to build trust that others might be towards you.

  5. Be ready to jump

    When eventually a door open up, just jump. After waiting long, you might find weird to suddenly have an opportunity. Leave your emotions aside and go ahead. You have been preparing long enough, you are able to do it!

Your potential

I am very excited about your potential and what you will achieve.


Author of this blog

Joël Vuadens-Chan

Founder & CEO of Swiss Leaders Group, certified trainer, speaker and coach, Executive Director and Member of the President’s Advisory Council of The John Maxwell Team


Just contact to me, if there is anything I can do fo you to support you in the accomplishment of your goals:

6 Ways of Keeping Your Team and Yourself Motivated


There came a time in my life when I felt as though I was not improving and was not able to change that stagnated situation. We usually call this “hitting rock bottom”. There may be other ways of putting it too but we may face this as individuals and it also occurs in teams.

When faced with such a situation, it is easy for individuals to fall into depression, become apathetic and lose hope, when we should be able to pick ourselves up and keep chasing our dreams or the goals of the team. It is so important for each member of the team to have a similar energy and commitment to finish assignments.  On our own, it’s almost impossible but with the help of a group coach and especially a motivational or inspirational talk, hope returns.

“The victory is not when I stand up. The victory is when I realise that I can’t do it on my own.” Nick Vujicic

Nick Vujicic voices this in saying that, “The victory is not when I stand up. The victory is when I realise that I can’t do it on my own.” There is a comfort, therefore, and insight in knowing that someone else was where you are at, and they managed to change and improve their situation.

When I heard internationally renowned, motivational speaker Nick Vujicic for the first time at a recent conference, he revealed exactly how he overcame the above scenario. During that motivational talk, I lost count of how many “tears of laughter” came from my eyes. I also found myself soul searching (weeping at times) as his stories helped me reflect on my own struggles and stagnation, both individually and the team I was working with at the time.

His words left an indelible mark on my life, “I am going to try and try again because the moment I give up is the moment I fail”. Today I press on through a plethora of difficult circumstances, both personally and financially and in the teams I work with, resolute in my thinking, not to give up and not alone. As an active partner of the Swiss Leaders Group, and a member of the John Maxwell Team Mentorship Program – upwards and onwards we march.

3 Advantages of Listening to Motivational Speakers

The John Maxwell Team’s motivational speaking arena is flooded with very prominent and diverse speakers such as Nick Vujicic, John Maxwell, Paul Martinelli and many others, the list is too long to mention all of them here. Some of them prefer public talks and storytelling, while others write books, e-books, and even do podcasts and webinars, among other modes. You do not have to spend thousands of dollars to listen to a motivational talk today. One can start the search for these talks on social media, through platforms such as YouTube or Instagram, or by taking some training through the John Maxwell Team and Swiss Leaders Group. However, I do exhort you to encourage team members or teams who face struggles to do more fun activities as a team or go to a motivational speaking conference together.

The following are some of the advantages of being acquainted with motivational speakers.

  • It helps us understand the importance of failure: Most people fail to realise that humanity is doomed to failure. Thus, whether we like it or not, we will ALL fail in one way or another. The most successful people and teams have had to hit rock bottom for them to motivate themselves back to success. In reality, failure is just a disguised form of success and necessary for our growth and development.
  • It improves our listening skills: Speakers spend most of their time trying to get their points across, without realising that “listening” is an important component of communicating. Good speakers listen, that’s how they determine the need to be met while speaking.
  • It helps us learn how to strategise when faced with a similar situation again: Most motivational speakers like to give examples from their own life’s experiences. Listening to such motivational and inspirational talks helps you learn from other people’s mistakes.

Why Becoming A Motivational Speaker Can Be the Answer to Staying Motivated


I am guessing your first thoughts are, “that’s not me, I can’t speak. This is going to cause even more stress in my life.” Don’t worry – read on and you’ll understand why you can do it.  Motivational speakers are able to deliver passionate talks on any topic that they deliver an interest in. You are unique and have unique interests. However, there are a few of many steps that one has to go through to become a successful speaker whether to large audiences or within your team. Here are 3 basic ways to help you become a better speaker. After speaking to groups or doing a little pep talk to my small landscaping team, I always feel 10x more motivated.  

They include:

  • Choosing your topic and knowing the audience: As applicable to your situation this is a very crucial stage. Your audience or team should be able to relate to the topic you deliver. Relate your passions to the topic. Summarize your topic to make it more accurate to your audience, passions, and the time limit. Develop some expertise on the topic at hand. Read, research, study, and acquire current information about the subject you are presenting.
  • Speaking skills: Have you ever presented before a large crowd before? My largest was in the military with an audience of 2500 high ranking officers, soldiers, like myself and their families. If you have, then you probably know that you are prone to experiencing to some degree, stage fright and nervousness. That’s normal, but it’s advisable to take some speaking classes prior to any presentation you would like to make. You can also record your trial presentations. Watching them will help you know when and how to improve your speech.
  • Promote your skills: We all still need to learn how to promote ourselves. Generally one would locate a relaxed and amazing venue that can fit the audience size you wish to attract or want to speak to. A change is as good as a holiday so take your team or your event away from the office or your work environment. Set a date and market it through flyers, social media, signs, e-newsletters, and even brochures. I am sure that you can allow your audience to give you feedback on the show. This in turns helps you to improve your content and approach to the topic at hand.

Author of this blog

Gareth Lloyd

Founder Teaching Partner of Swiss Leaders Group and Certified Coach, Trainer and Public Speaker of the John Maxwell Team

To discover more about the topics mentioned in this blog:

How to Attract, Keep and Grow Millennials in your Organisation.


Millennials are the foundation of future businesses, as most of the workforce now forms part of this group. A number of things stand out about this group, which makes them the most sought-after group by successful businesses, like Dimension Data.

Here are some of my thoughts from training Millennials in this company.

Millennials offer the following:

  • innovative and fresh ideas
  • unique skills
  • high-quality education
  • adaptability
  • quick learning skills
  • technology savvy
  • good attitude

However, managers and HR who are responsible for hiring personnel are quickly realizing that finding talented millennials is easier than retaining them.

If you’re struggling to retain Millennials in your organisation here are some business tips and approaches that will help you attract, keep, and grow them in your organization.

5 Tips for Retaining Millennials

  1. Create a Millennial culture.  Studies show that creating a millennial culture helps businesses save the money that they would have used to replace millennials. A millennial culture in the business is a culture that aligns with the wants and needs of millennials. That may be hard to swallow for some leaders but they should restructure their companies to create and sustain a good environment that supports the millennial mindset. With the right culture, you will not have to follow through on people’s tasks. They will automatically feel obligated and motivated to take up roles within the business. Thus, try to incorporate automation, globalisation, and new technologies.
  2. Encourage internal motivation.  The beauty of employing millennials is their drive to make an impact in society, and the world in general. Encouraging this drive will directly benefit your business’ influence and growth for the company. Millennials have a growing need to create, develop, contribute, and innovate. This means that they appreciate companies that offer them such opportunities and will definitely set up camp in such situations. Make your business unique by encouraging an atmosphere that provides your employees with a different environment and approach to work life. This will play a huge part in helping your business retain your millennial employees.
  3. Focus on flexibility and freedom.  Let’s face the fact, Millennials are different. They crave so much more than what average employees do. They seek to have spontaneity, flexibility, freedom, and even instant responses in the workplace. Millennials do not appreciate restrictions and they value opportunities and experiences more than they do assets. Thus, change the entire dynamic of the workplace. Create opportunities that allow them to travel. This will feed into their independent, creative or adaptability. This will also help them explore their own potential.
  4. Grow in Leadership, congruence, and integrity.  Most companies tend to oversell their brand to talented millennials during interviews, only for them to secure employment and become disappointed. This is the leading cause of most companies not being able to retain millennials within their business. Make sure that you meet the expectations of each member of the team. It is advisable that as you hire, you visualise and treat millennials like business investors. Managers who fail to meet the standards they set end up losing the respect and trust of the new members because of the disappointment and frustration. Lack of authenticity does not impress millennials, regardless of the position held by the person in the company.
  5. Value networking and community opportunities.  Millennials really value networking because they value purpose more than they do money. They seek to use the connections to be part of a more dynamic community. Being able to retain such people in the organization creates a strong bond since they will value the relationships in the organization. Thus, you should consider offering events that focus on the young professionals in the work community. John Maxwell, in his book, ”The seventeen undisputed laws of teamwork” quotes a Chinese proverb that says, “Individuals play the game. But teams win championships”. This goes to show how important bonding and teamwork can uplift an enterprise. These events will help them think up innovation and ideas, which empowers and helps them grow and contribute more.

“Individuals play the game. But teams win championships” Chinese Proverb


Solve the problems that hinder seamless teamwork. Make everyone work toward the common goals, instead of holding back ideas or trying to work separately from others. When people truly appreciate each other as members of the same team, they share more ideas and support each other. One way to accomplish this is through our teamwork assessment tool called “The Leadership Game“.


Author of this blog

Gareth Lloyd

Founder Teaching Partner of Swiss Leaders Group and Certified Coach, Trainer and Public Speaker of the John Maxwell Team

To discover more about the topics mentioned in this blog:

Successful Concepts of Leading Teams in the Workplace


Businesses, enterprises, and entrepreneurs must accommodate team systems into their structure to grow and successfully fulfil the vision set before them.

John Maxwell has written several books on the subject and as a Maxwell certified trainer we have access to his material and mentorship programs. The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork: Embrace Them and Empower your Team and The Essential Qualities of a Team Player are 2 books that I have studied.

For the past 30 years I have been part of teams in various positions, countries, and places of employment, and in my own business. However, until I read John’s books, I hadn’t quite grasped and understood the value of teamwork and it’s changing an environment. I quickly learned that I lacked skills in certain areas and as a result started studying the principles and practices of teamwork. I evaluated and changed my leadership style. It’s possible because leadership can be learned.

Other books written about the need for building on team leadership skills in preparation for such positions are the likes of Patrick Lencioni’s “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” and Simon Sinek’s book “Leaders Eat Last”.

There are two common team divisions in most companies and I’ve worked in both types of environment.

They are:

  1. Traditional departmental teams – The members of such a team are from the same work area. As a trainer and counselor at the University of the Nations for 10 years, I was mainly working in teams that had the same focus – counseling and psychology.
  2. Cross-functional teams – The members of such a team, work across different areas of expertise. They are a team in the sense that they collaborate and make decisions regarding their areas of expertise, together. I function in a team like this in the Swiss Leaders Group.

Whether you are the boss of your own company, a CEO, a general manager or an employee it is important for employers to recognize the need for their employees to form teams. More importantly, maintaining a teamwork ethic requires 2 things. Firstly, a lot of collaboration and secondly transparency related concepts.

The above 2 concepts include:

  • Setting clearly defined goals for each team to pursue
  • Getting everyone in the organization to buy into the idea that the teamwork concept only works if everyone is onboard. This includes letting go of the traditional work hierarchies to form collaborations with the rest of the employees or people involved
  • Set up norms and practices that guide everyone on how to go about the teamwork concept
  • Replace “brainstorming” with “brain swarming”. This allows the team to air their ideas and follow through with them

The Laws of Teamwork

John Maxwell’s seventeen teamwork laws will definitely improve your approach to team building. These laws aim to help you get more work done with the input of your team members. Briefly, some of these laws that have most impacted my life are:

“Individuals play the game. But teams win championships” Chinese Proverb

  • The law of significance: This law outlines the significance of taking on tasks as a team. He quotes a Chinese proverb that says, “Individuals play the game. But teams win championships”.
  • The law of the big picture: Each member of the team should be willing to take up various roles to help the common good. Importantly it emphasizes the importance of achieving goals instead of focusing on the roles played. This requires some adaptability in team members.
  • The law of the niche: Team members should stick to roles that help them add the most value to the team. This is with respect to their skill set.
  • The law of Mount Everest: This law outlines that the greater the challenge, the greater the need for an effective team. Build the strength of the team in order to develop the ability to take on greater challenges in the future.
  • The law of chain: Just as the chain depends on the bonds that the links have so does the team. A weak link negatively influences the quality of the team, and leaders should be able to raise the bar high enough to either train the weak links to be stronger or to put it bluntly – replace the weak links. Leadership in teams involves tough decision making on the part of leadership.
  • The law of the catalyst: A catalyst is people within the team who are not afraid to go after what they want. Such people need to stay motivated as they can act as a source of motivation for the rest of the team. They help the team stay on its toes.

What I love most about The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork is that it comes with a workbook. As a landscaper, I work with a small team of employees and as a trainer in the John Maxwell Team, and Swiss Leaders Group with other trainers and coaches. I love also that these principles and practices have to be read and observed in your own life and team. After that, one can evaluate, discuss and implement activities for the best possible chance of succeeding as a team.

Create a difference in your employees’ effectiveness that’s apparent to everyone in the company. When you get people focused on their strengths, results improve immediately. And by making them aware of what they should individually improve—without taking away from their motivation—results keep improving for years.

You may also get a taste of success in teamwork by taking a few hours to enjoy our Teamwork assessment tool called “The Leadership Game”.


Author of this blog

Gareth Lloyd

Founder Teaching Partner of Swiss Leaders Group and Certified Coach, Trainer and Public Speaker of the John Maxwell Team

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