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Developing Team Members and Team Leaders

Catherine Mercer Bing’s new book, Many Cultures One Team: Build Your Cultural Repertoire, contains many real-world examples of teams she has worked with and helped to understand and avoid situations that detract from team effectiveness.

Following is an example of an organization that overlooks opportunities to develop new talent, assigning a seasoned team leader to lead multiple teams.

Depending on Experienced Leaders

A high tech company with many important projects taps an experienced leader to run a new product design project, even though the past project she ran has not quite been completed. Since she has successfully led four major projects in the past three years—more than any other team leader— the senior leaders believe that her selection ensures speed of project deliverables.

Impact on the Team

This team leader has not yet recovered from the last four projects and is burning out. This new assignment feels like a burden and has left her wondering if she is doing herself any favors by working so hard. In her current state of exhaustion, her ability to be an effective leader right now will be reduced.

When someone experienced is always chosen to lead interesting projects, young and as-yet-inexperienced “talent to watch” can become demotivated, feel less loyal to the company, and may begin looking for better opportunities. One key to look for is whether turnover is higher than expected for “talent to watch” since they see no opportunities to learn how to be a project lead.

Possible Solutions?

What common mistakes should be avoided when selecting team leaders?
What best practices should guide an organization when selecting team leaders?


Stay tuned for more excerpts from Many Cultures One Team: Build Your Cultural Repertoire, a new book on teams by Catherine Mercer Bing.  Future blogs will provide examples of team issues and ask readers to comment on what is happening and to discuss possible mitigations.  We hope you join the group of readers/responders.

Click here to order your copy. Enter promo code OneTeam to receive 20% off from Technics Publications website,

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