July 30, 2013, 11:32 AM — You see it in meetings, unfortunately, all the time: A conference room full of good, strong leaders who all think they know what's best yet can't agree on a thing.
If one excellent leader is good - meets goals, motivates his team, produces results - shouldn't a team of outstanding performers be even better?
If you saw the first 75% of The Avengers movie, you know the answer to that.
Author and leadership expert Peter Bregman says strong leaders don't always work well together because many are laser-focused on their department's goals and performance. Period.
However, he notes strong leaders can become an effective team by cultivating three traits:
Gifted: Leaders need to learn how to share and adapt their strengths in a team setting.
"They need to be gifted communicators and gifted learners, mastering conflict without being offensive, and adapting to their own changing roles as the organization grows," Bregman writes.
Game: The key to being game and taking risks is confidence, he notes: "To be vulnerable and open to challenge and criticism, they need to be willing to consider anything. This requires a tremendous amount of confidence."
To work well in a team setting, leaders also need to be open to being questioned and challenged without feeling threatened or becoming defensive.
Generous: When working in a group, confident leaders need to know when to step back and follow, putting what's best for the team above what's best for their ego or stake in a project. "They must be good-hearted, mutually respectful, and gracious, resisting the urge to dominate, take the upper hand, or shine at the expense of others," Bregman says.