Integrity Matters Broadcasts

January 1, 2005

Team Integrity

Dear Friends:

Here we are, once again, at that time of year for thinking of new beginnings. Have you made any New Year's Resolutions? Perhaps you would include your commitment to become a "team-integrity" role model - one step at a time, each day and every day. All around us, there are opportunities to speak up and live up to a higher standard. However, and as you would expect from the Bracher Center's monthly Broadcast, there is some work to be done, by each of us:


  1. On how many teams do you participate (a to z)?
    1. athlete or sports participant?
    2. boss?
    3. celebrity or public figure?
    4. child?
    5. concert goer?
    6. co-worker?
    7. diner?
    8. driver of vehicle(s)?
    9. elected or appointed official?
    10. employee?
    11. friend?
    12. grandparent or great-grandparent?
    13. parent?
    14. pet owner?
    15. salesperson?
    16. shopper?
    17. sibling?
    18. spiritual organization?
    19. spouse?
    20. student?
    21. teacher?
    22. theater attendee?
    23. traveler?
    24. volunteer?
    25. voter?
    26. other activities and involvements that engage you?
  2. What are your responsibilities in each setting?
  3. How well are you fulfilling your responsibilities in each relationship?
  4. What will you be doing differently in 2005 to make your impact for and with each of
    your respective teams/relationships more constructive?
  5. How will you monitor your own improvement?

On the subject of teamwork, negative and destructive examples continue to emerge. Professional basketball players slap around frustrated fans at a Detroit Pistons-Indiana Pacers game and are suspended, one for the remainder of the season, possibly wrecking prospects for the success of his team, the Indiana Pacers. My thoughts on this mess:

Baseball and track superstars acknowledge "cheating with performance-enhancing drugs" and still claim they carry no accountability for their actions. Marion Jones professes her innocence, proclaiming: "I've never tested positive!" Barry Bonds states that he did not know the composition of compounds he was taking. All the while his body changed dramatically. The public is amazed. My recent Integrity Matters newspaper column addressed Major League Baseball and the Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi situation:

Recent studies suggest that executives who violate marriage vows could be posing a higher integrity risk for the organizations they serve. Suddenly, society seems to have awakened to the correlation between personal values and public behavior (business and organizational). If individuals "cheat" in one area, are they more likely to exhibit these same behaviors elsewhere? Evidence is pretty convincing that the answer is yes. Maybe that is why the Nickel Philosophy© continues to provide a valuable application between who we are at work and at home, personally and professionally:

For 25 years, our leadership consultation has improved team effectiveness in business environments. Some of the questions we routinely ask of executives can be modified and cause thoughtful individuals to "reclaim" legitimate relationships, in many aspects of their lives. For example, when we are hired to improve team effectiveness, we start with questions about team integrity. We know that individual members of a team exhibit unique operating styles, which can create misunderstandings and reduce productivity. So, we provide guidance that enables team members to benefit from insights that improve communication.

Our Team Integrity process asks "self-improving individuals" to address these eight questions:

  1. How do team members leverage their understanding of each other?
  2. How do these same individuals appreciate complementary strengths?
  3. How are individual differences accommodated?
  4. How are conflicts constructively resolved?
  5. How are organizational values made real?
  6. How do successes drive collaboration?
  7. How do team members derive increased productivity from failures?
  8. How do team members hold one another accountable?
Clearly, these questions apply to individuals and corporate leaders, asking how they might better operate every day. Please strengthen your interpersonal transactions and celebrate 2005 with stronger team relationships - both personally and professionally. Happy New Year!


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