Team of Leaders

Paul Gustavson and Stewart Liff wrote about How to build a great team in their book, a team of leaders. The idea is about empowering every member to take ownership, demonstrate initiative, and deliver results. They started with a question, how do you create an environment that successfully addresses the many challenges that supervisors and employees deal with while producing outstanding performance ? The answer is simple: You have to create an environment where everyone is a leader. That is , an environment where everyone works together, takes the initiative,assumes ownership, is willing to deal with difficult issues and accepts accountability for the team’s result. It’s basically an environment that is in contrast with one in which the supervisor tries to get everyone to produce [1].


There are 5 stages, the stage one, the team leader interacts with each team member one on one, and the stage five is that the team essentially manages itself, everyone becomes a leader. in This scenario, many of leader will spend most of the time working on higher , cross – functional, and outside issues freeing yourself to work at a broader level. The relationship with the team will be really different. Instead of being a traditional supervisor who manages on a one on one basis, your would teach the team members how to handle these issues and be available to assist the team as needed.

They illustrated with a case study about the general electric plant in Durham, North Carolina. The plan has more than 300 employees, and only one boss the plant manager. All of these employees report to the boss, meaning that for all intents and purposes, they have no supervisor. The teams do not maintain a typical assembly line. Instead , they worked on an engine from start to finish. Moreover, everyone’s work varies on a daily basis, keeping the work interesting, and resulting in a high degree of variety. This work area has no time clock, so team members bring their personal business, meanwhile, the plan manager, the only supervisor in the entire plant sits in an open cubicle in the middle of the factory floor.

The most important are, not everyone can fit into this environment especially “people who expect to take orders.”That is because the plant was designed to be operated by teams of leaders. All of the team are bosses. The people in this workplace are clearly engaged, have high energy, possess multiple skills, and are very motivated. In Addition, they take tremendous pride in their team and the work they perform. The result is the performance of the environment excel and being a leader in the industry. They concluded that the information shared are very important. If it’s limited, the performance will be low, or errors. Meanwhile, the supervisor will have to frequently work to the point of exhaustion since he or she will be trying to control the work of a group of not committed employees, which results on mediocrity.

Then, the key to building leaders, you must determine the knowledge they people you supervise, decide, how to acquire it, then manage its distribution. This is why this book is so important, all of us want to be involved, challenged, and empowered. We want to be part of something that is bigger than us, and all of us want to make a difference. We want to continue to grow and develop. We don’t want to work for a boss who tells us to keep our mouths shut and do as we are told. We don’t want to do work that is boring and inconsequential. A team of leader will both produce the outstanding results and make the work experience much more exciting and enjoyable for everybody and let’s start it now.

[1] Paul Gustavson, and Stewart Liff, Team of Leaders.
Ps: this article is written for a weekly article at studio RAW Architecture – Realrich Architecture Workshop as the commitment from me for development my family in the studio.

Ambiance of optimism and a team of leaderes will both produce the outstanding results and make the work experience much more exciting and enjoyable for everybody like in Holiday.

Oleh Realrich Sjarief

Founder of RAW Architecture

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