solve the people problems first

Jay Clouse leadership, product management, stories

For several weeks, I was stuck.

After an organizational change that drastically altered the makeup of my team, I had to start over in building team chemistry that I had spent nearly 6 months in creating.

I completely underestimated the level of intentionality and effort necessary to rebuild a team culture and chemistry. It was fine before, it will be fine now!

The problem was, I didn’t yet have trust. And especially in a time of confusion and doubt, trust in a leader is paramount to the team gelling and moving forward effectively.

Regardless of who you are or what you do, you are going to find problems in need of overcoming.

For organizations or teams, there are usually two types of problems:

  1. The problemĀ the organization or team is trying to overcome
  2. Problems between members of the team

Especially on a deadline or a high-pressure environment, it is easy to spend your time, effort, and energy devoted to solving the problem facing the team.

In my case, it wasn’t until I called a meeting and immediately threw out the agenda that we began to become a stronger team.

“We have several things to talk about and sync up on, but I actually want to ignore all that for a minute. How can we can we make this working relationship better?”

That question spawned nearly four hours of dialogue. I sat and I listened and we came to a better understanding of one another. Since that time, our team has been operating at a high level of efficiency and a much higher morale.

Now, our team feels more comfortable speaking honestly to one another. We understand the direction the team is going and can make smart decisions without needing to run it up the flagpole.

We are a stronger team.

Solving out the people problems first doesn’t guarantee success in overcoming the issues facing your team, butĀ it gives you the best shot.


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