Saturday, March 5, 2011

Give Way to Get Ahead

Yield – (verb), to give forth or produce by a natural process or in return for cultivation.
- Random House Dictionary

In the summer of 1986, two ships collided in the Black Sea off the coast of Russia. Hundreds of passengers died as they were hurled into the icy waters below. News of the disaster was further darkened when an investigation revealed the cause of the accident.

It was not a technology problem like radar malfunctions, or even a thick fog. The cause was human stubbornness. Each captain was aware of the other ship’s presence nearby. Both could have steered clear, but according to news reports, neither captain wanted to give way to the other. Each was too proud to yield first. By the time they came to their senses, it was too late.

One of the challenges of organizational leadership is dealing with multiple personalities that often clash. Each talented member of your team brings unique gifts and talents to help advance the cause of your organization. Yet, when those talented egos clash, it can diminish what otherwise could be great advances if not kept in check.

As team members learn the art of collaboration and what it means to yield, you can position your team for advances you otherwise would be delayed in achieving. By working together and creating a yielding culture, be prepared for a new degree of success. Here are three simple but effective concepts of yielding that will help your team. Understand these principles and you can unleash the talent of your team in fresh new ways.

Yield to the better ideas. In the arena of ideas within your organization it can be a strong temptation to insist that your idea wins out. But what if it is not the best idea, then what? John Maxwell says, “If you desire the best idea to win, then become a champion of creative people and their contributions to your organization. When you discover peers who are creative, promote them, encourage them, and protect them.” Maxwell concludes that leaders “need to resist the temptation to fight for your idea when it’s not the best idea.”

Look at the culture in your organization. Do ideas flow freely? How receptive are team members to ideas not their own? When individuals on the team learn to yield to the best idea then the whole team wins. When egos are checked at the door, collective talent wins the day. Yield to the better idea and everyone succeeds.

Yield for better results. Yielding within your organizational structure is characterized by individual productivity integrated into the goals of your company. A better way to explain this concept is in understanding the power of teamwork. Individual players make up a team. While each player contributes, it is the team that wins.

Babe Ruth said, “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” And this is why yielding for better results is so important. A good team player with a great ego can cause more harm to your organization than a team player with lesser talent but is a team player. When you learn to yield for better results great things do happen.

Yield for better synergy. The functionality of your organization gives your company the competitive edge that team members crave. When your cooperative action is a combined effort you will see results only imagined on an individual basis. Yielding within an organization takes time to learn and adapt to, but once in place yields incredible results.

Charles Brower said, “You cannot sink someone else’s end of the boat and still keep your own afloat.” What great insight. Now, grade the level of functionality within your organization. Is it fragmented because of separate agendas driven by a lack of trust and cooperation? Does your organization promote individual achievement and how it complements the team?

Yielding within your organization is about embracing the best ideas, for the best results, for better synergy. Are you ready to cooperate?

© 2011 Doug Dickerson

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