The most unsuccessful team of which I have seen was formed to help improve the effectiveness of a sales organization in Europe. The team was organized from a group of headquarter specialists and representatives from each country. Although the team existed for 5 years and had strong headquarter support, it only implemented limited improvements despite spending millions in consultant fees and expenses because the country representatives never became fully commited to the team and resisted the overall process.
Primary among factors which caused this lack of commitment was the fact that the team leader never demonstrated his trust and commitment in their abilities. It was clear to members that his motivation was to use his experience of leading the team as a way to get promoted to a higher position. To ensure top quality results he hired expensive consultants who developed many excellent solutions while ignoring the expertise of the market representatives. They grew to resent the leader and sabotaged the project by reporting negatively about the proposed solutions to their business leaders. The team never formed as a true team because the country support was never galvanized. After spending millions of dollars and showing little gains, the team was dissolved.
To solve the problem the team needed to more effectively utilize and integrate the market representatives. They needed to be made a part of the solution and not be seen only as a way to catapult the career of the team leader. The rewards and recognition of the project needed to be shared among all the team members in order for them to feel more committed to the team and appreciated for their efforts.
James Gehrke is the President of Magnify Leadership and Development.
After various promotions in Sales, Sales Operations, Training & Development, and Sales Management and Training, he headed Pfizer’s Learning & Development for all of Europe, Canada, Africa, & the Middle East where he was instrumental in the development of a global management curriculum and other training initiatives to enhance organizational effectiveness for over 30,000 employees. He has worked on many high levels, cross functional teams addressing issues such as Field Force Effectiveness, Change Leadership, Leader Behavior Development, Executive Coaching and many others.
Since starting his own training company, James has developed and trained both public and private leadership, coaching, targeting and territory management sessions for hundreds of participants in various industries. James is bilingual and can teach in both English and Spanish.