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What Drives Your Team?

Have you ever noticed that different people do the same things but for different reasons? For example, you might observe two people reading a book, but they may have wildly different reasons why. For one, they may love to learn and seek to expand their knowledge in all areas. For the other, there may be a specific purpose, like to pass a test, research how to solve a particular problem, get a raise, or make an important life decision, that is driving that behavior.

It’s difficult to judge the reasons why people do things because they are internal. We can observe what people are doing and even how they are doing it, but understanding a person’s WHY is much more elusive, yet powerful. Once you have an understanding of why people do the things they do, especially people who you lead and are responsible for, aligning them around the objectives of your team will lead to a significant increase in engagement and dramatically improve overall effectiveness!

In our upcoming series...

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How Do I Avoid Hiring the Wrong Person?

As a successful leader, you know how frustrating it is when you begin to realize that one of your team members isn’t a good fit. You notice an issue and it begins to gnaw at you and then eventually it keeps you up at night. You hope the problem will go away, but it actually grows worse over time.

The time and financial cost of finding, hiring and training a team member who must ultimately be replaced by someone else who you have to find, hire and train is enormous. The opportunity cost is even greater. But how can you avoid it?

How Do I Avoid Hiring the Wrong Person?

We guide our clients through a patented process called Job Benchmarking in order to avoid making a bad hire. It works like this:

  1. Identify a job on the team
  2. Identify a small group of people who clearly understand the job
  3. Gather these Subject Matter Experts to complete a job assessment
  4. Combine the assessment results from the group into a single profile or,...
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How often should I be meeting with my team?

We hear it over and over again, team meetings can be the worst! On the one hand, they can be a huge time suck and a major drain on creativity and productivity. On the other hand, without them, the members of our team often feel like they are falling out of the loop and overall connectivity declines, which has a negative impact on performance.

How often should I be meeting with my team?

The trick here is to start simple, then make modifications based on the particular needs of your team and the individuals on it. Not all teams are the same, but if you're just getting started or you're implementing a new meeting cadence, this structure is a good place to start. This model comes from the book, Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni, which you should definitely check out if you haven't read it.

Daily Check-in

Share daily schedules and activities

Weekly Tactical

Review weekly activities and metrics, and resolve tactical obstacles and issues

Monthly Strategic (or ad-hoc strategic)


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Healthy teams enjoy WINNING together

Recently, I was talking to a friend of mine who shared this story about leading a healthy team, but not the kind of team we typically think of, or who hires Kutsko Consulting. His team is his son's little league team. Check it out:


My son is playing in an 'instructional' little league and I am the head coach. Instructional means the idea is to focus more on learning than winning. After losing badly in our first two games, however, I've realized that you can't take  winning out of the equation with kids. They know the score...and they want to win. When we won for the first time last night, they raised their arms in celebration, ran to high five one another, and then gathered around me for a post-game talk (and some candy). They were glowing, and my first 'instructional' instinct was to focus on their behaviors, like how hard they played and how they encouraged each other, rather than the...

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How can I better understand the people I lead?

Have you ever felt like your team could be healthier? I've led a number of small, medium and large teams of extremely talented and passionate people and I have often felt like things were okay, but that they could be great. I would often wonder, "why aren't things great?" We know this is a topic near and dear to your heart...

How can I better understand the people I lead?

In the book, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't by Simon Sinek, we learn that one of the biological reasons why tribal leaders eat last is because towards the top of their list of responsibilities is to provide a safe and secure environment for the members of their tribe to thrive, even at their own sacrifice. You can watch his TED talk on this topic here.

It's subtle, but one of the things you are doing when you spend your time as a leader seeking to understand the people you lead is that you are communicating their value to them and creating a safe environment. Instead of having the...

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Why is it important to understand my style as a leader?

As it relates to growing a healthy team, one question we've been hearing a lot lately at Kutsko Consulting has been...

Why is it important to understand my style as a leader?

As a leader, you have a big job and people depend on you. Leadership is a skill that you can develop and, like any skill, it will dull if you aren't intentional about sharpening it. We define leadership as organizing and influencing people to believe in a vision while creating a sense of purpose and direction.

How developed is your leadership competency? If you've taken our TriMetrix DNA assessment you can find out by looking on the Development Indicator page of your report which should be around page 40-41.

The first step to developing your leadership competency is to clearly understand yourself and the unique leadership style you offer, so that you can lead from your strengths and adapt your weaknesses to the various people you lead and environments where you work.

If you want to see how your skills have...

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