Dr. Rick Sessoms
Leading Teams with Care
Team Dimensions (Part_2)
[00:00:02] Well, let's talk about the advance or role then, because. Robin, what you're describing, it seems that and Vance or can fulfill some of those needs for the creator. For this reason like creators. Advancers love new ideas. They actually love new ideas. But what they tend to do is they tend to take those ideas. And advance them. Thus the word advance or within the team and within the larger framework for which this purpose, the people that are affected by what this team is doing. So to put it in another way, and this is very important to get. While creators tend to enjoy coming up with the ideas, advancers like to take the ideas and apply them. Apply them now. What do I mean by apply two things? One is a great advancers are able to take creative ideas and translate them into language and images that other people understand. And so they are interpreters of the creative idea. They are wonderful at taking and using the language of the people, if you will, to communicate a great idea. That makes sense. There are some creators that that that just well, many creators think in frameworks that that the rest of us can't grasp. We can't get our arms around it. And oftentimes in churches, we find that there are wonderful creators. But the rank and file of the folks have no idea what they're talking about. And that's the reason why advancers are so critical. So one is interpretation. Putting into the language of the people. And secondly is championing that that that idea. Cheerleading it. Promoting it, publicizing it. So that people understand it and tend to embrace it. That's the advancing role and it's a very important role. How many of us are advancers here at the top? Fantastic.
[00:02:34] We have an advance among us. Advancers are relatively rare. It's a relatively rare dimension, and I'm so glad that we have one. I have worked with many, many groups. There's not an advanced room in the room. And that is something that is a great challenge for a lot of work groups. You may work on an workgroup that has no advanced advance. It's very possible that that's the case. We're going to go back and address what do you do if that's the case. We'll talk about that in just a few moments. So what are the what are the strengths of an advance or. Can you think of any? They motivate people. They have a personal approach. They often are people with some sort of social capital, if you will. So that they have the kind of relationships that they can interpret for people and begin to promote those ideas so that they're positively received within the team or within the collective nature and ideas and revolutions. Yes, that's right. That's exactly right. That's a good statement. Advances Turn Ideas into revolutions. They can facilitate communication and they can help other members of the team understand their roles and how it fits into the larger picture. Very good. Advancers tend to recognize good ideas in the early stages. They can recognize and say no, now that that that hits paydirt, that's good. And they can sort of be that that type of person on the team that affirms the creators because, you know, the creative creators can be off with the off with the fairies sometimes. And I'm a creator, so I'm talking about myself. We can have all these ideas. It just none of them are landing, you know, But the, the, the advance or helps that helps that plane land so that it now that's something that's going to get some traction.
[00:05:04] Okay. So they tend also to be enthusiastic people. They tend to be positive and supportive of the ideas of others. They don't have to be the originator of ideas. Sometimes that becomes an ego issue, you know, for some folks. But advance the advance or dimension is somebody that can get excited about somebody else's ideas and champion those ideas to others. Now again, let's avoid the stereotypes of a advancers. They are not necessarily salespeople. They don't necessarily have to be PR types as. But, you know, sometimes we think of the used car salesman as an advance or but it doesn't necessarily have to be that an advance or can be a quiet person can can again doesn't necessarily have to be the OUTFRONT rah rah rah person even then. That's kind of what that picture shows. But inventor does have the ability to interpret and champion an idea the right people. Well, let's talk about a couple of the negatives, the weaknesses sometimes in advance or can move ahead impatiently. Before ideas have been thought through completely. And that's the need for the rest of the group creators and creator investors. You know, the creator and the events can form a team and they can be off to the races with an idea that's about half-baked is the truth of the matter. And so we have to be careful again to understand the powerful importance of all these dimensions as we do what we do as a team. That makes sense. Questions. Thoughts? Then let's talk about this refiner. How many refiners do we have in the room? To refiners. Okay. I like refiners. I are one. Refiners often have the role of devil's advocate. Uh, to say it that way.
[00:07:44] They help the team face the real implications of new ideas. Implications that can get overlooked in all of our enthusiasm to get something off the ground. They often can identify those problems in the early stages. They tend to think about ideas thoroughly. They tend to challenge concepts. They tend to point out weak spots in a new idea that others may not see. They tend to create order in a team process. We may we all may have some refining tendencies. How many of you are second in the area? Refining. Okay. There's two that are second in the area refining. But the real the pure refiners, the refiners, those that are highest in the refinery area, they are they often have the role of kindly and diplomatically saying, hold on. Before we go any further, let's look at this thing a bit more closely. Let's even maybe consider some other options that that may work. Now, what is the value of a refiner on a team? Checks and balances. Checks and balances. Okay. Keep them focused. Analysis. Analysis. They're good at quality control. The guru asking, Is this a good decision? They're detail oriented. They are they have a attention to carefully plan strategies there. And they're analytical. They tend to suggest alternative concepts. Slightly, slightly altered. They can be a practical sounding board. They can actually be talking to a creator and pretty see pretty immediately this will work or this won't work kind of thing. And they're very, very helpful. What are the weaknesses of a refiner? If a refiner is working alone or else it's something else? Paralysis of analysis. I used to work on a college campus with faculty members. And the vast majority of faculty members tend to be refiner types.
[00:10:30] I mean, they are detail oriented researchers, you know, data. Got to get it right. They may have taught a course 15 times, but it's going to get right to 16th through. In fact, I was just with some colleagues on a college campus last week and I met a guy that has gray hair and has been teaching there for 25 years. And I said, So what are you doing this summer? He says, I'm refining my courses and that's a good thing. But there can be that refining, refining, refining, refining. It's kind of like, ready, aim, aim, aim, aim, aim, aim, aim. Of course, the creators among us are ready. Fire, aim. So there. We need that balance, don't we? What are some of the other weaknesses of a refiner? Okay. They can be negative. Nancy's, can't they? And that's. That's good coming out of a creator's mouth, because I certainly understand that. What happens if a if a refiner dominates a team? Okay. The whole process can get sabotaged, Can it? Have you been on a team like that ever? It's not fun. So we're saying that each one of these dimensions is powerfully important, but if left alone can become actually a liability and cause the destruction, the team. They can also refine issues to death. As we know they can. They can polish the apple until it has no skin left. It's just the reality are refiners. And then finally, there's this executor type person. Some of you use the term executor, and that's fine, but please don't use it on me. I I'd prefer to live through this, if that's all right. But executors are incredibly valuable team members because they are they're the ones that that take the ideas that have been advanced, that have been refined, and they turn them into reality.
[00:12:45] They're the ones that take the blueprints. They take the innovative ideas that have been advanced and refined it. But if we didn't have the implementers, the executors, we simply wouldn't see things actually take place. And so they are extremely important for us. Executives tend to focus on the detail of implementation. In other words, as I think of executors, they love to carry out the team plan. They love to finish the job. I love to think of contractors is a type of executor. Once they have the blueprint that has been clearly interpreted and applied and refined and gone through that whole process over and over, you hand the blueprint to the contractor and they build the building. Sometimes we think of executors as glorified secretaries, and that isn't the case at all. A good executor. Once you hand them the blueprint, get out of their way. Because it's a dangerous thing to give a contractor a blueprint and then two months into it, pull it back and say, I didn't want to do that. Let's start over. See what we got. So. So executors can be very strong leaders in themselves. So what we're trying to do is we're trying to trying to sort of do away with some of these some of these stereotypes of these executors or types that enjoy rolling up their sleeves and getting it done. So let's avoid the stereotype of the glorified secretary or the obedient, quiet, weak willed type person. Sometimes that is what we think of as the executors among us. What are the strengths of an executor? Let's talk about that. How many executors do we have here? Two. Okay. Anybody in their second area is an executor. Gay one. We have an interesting balance here.
[00:14:50] That's good. As a as a relatively small group, we have all four of those represented. And that's a very good thing. What's good? What does an executor bring to the team? What are the strengths, particular strengths of an executive on a team? Executor on a team to make it happen. Okay. They make it happen. All right. Good. Others focused. Yeah. They can keep people focused. Once. Once we got this thing out of the blocks here, let's stay on task. Let's get it done. Good. I think they often remove roadblocks before other people even see them. Okay, good. They they're assertive. They can be very assertive in the way that they go about their work, particularly once they have the plan in hand, they can be independent once they have been given the task to do. They like to get it done and they don't want it to get messed with somebody to keep messing with it and micromanaging it. They can be people that hold up to a very tough standard, very high standards. So we tend to think of them differently at times. But let me talk about a weakness of executors. If executors don't have a specific team plan. If they don't have a carefully laid out plan. They can lose sight and they can pursue irrelevant details. They can just be spinning over here in orbit by themselves, become almost passive aggressive in a team context, and just kind of sit there with their hands folded and not very engaged at all and doodle on something that may or may not have much to do with the team task. Does that make sense? So executors are strong. They can be assertive.
[00:16:50] They can be leaders themselves. But they left alone. They can spin off into areas that don't have much to do with the task at hand. Questions. I'm married to an executor and sometimes she can spin off on her own, even with being pulled back and just continuing to go and go and work on tangential stuff. Right. Right. And James, for details. There's a fifth, there's a fifth profile, and that's what we call the flexor. The flexor utilizes all four dimensions. Is there anybody here that that is a flexor? Flexor is also a rare dimension. I don't find that popping up very often, and it's true in this group as well. A flexor is a person who builds team consensus because they understand and have a personal investment, if you will, in all four of the dimensions. They sort of score evenly across the dimensions. A flexor is a bill as a person who moderates conflicts, who ensures that the process, the team process, which we'll talk about in a bit, carries forward. They're good at adapting to other people. They're good at looking at the big picture and seeing what needs to happen there. They have the ability to negotiate to make sure everything's happening. They have a tolerance and understanding of different team members and their dimensions. When those when those dimensions can get stressed one toward the other, they're willing to offer suggestions to improve the team process. Any group that has a flexor, I strongly encourage them to pay attention to the flexors among us because those flexors can really bring a great deal of oil to the machine if you want to use that language. We but it they bring a lot of a lot of ways for the for the team to function smoothly and without so much friction.
[00:19:23] Questions about that. Is there a downside to the lecture or is it pretty much a positive? Well, that's a good question, and I've thought about that. And I'm sure that when you get to individuals that are flexors, there's things to watch out for. But flexors the only thing that flexors, I suppose. Sometimes they can feel underappreciated. And so they can get a bit down in the mouth and a bit morbid and rather melancholic on a team because they don't have a specific dimension that they feel out there contributing. That would be the only thing that that comes to my mind. But they tend to be extremely valuable and need to be highly prized on any team. And. And let me just throw this in and we'll come back to this. If you don't have a flexor on your team. Then the leadership needs to provide the function of the flexor. Because at the end of the day, we're going to emphasize this more later. The end of day, it's not important, so important that the leader understands his or her. Dimension, remember. But it's critical that we understand one another's dimensions. And more importantly, it's important that we understand that it requires all of these dimensions for an excellent team process to emerge. And so the role of the leader is not to capitalize and to emphasize one's own team dimension. But it's to pull out all the team dimensions that are necessary and the process as the team carries forth its work. That's critical and we'll come back to that. And I'm glad that you've had the opportunity to look at your own team to mention. But now, as we as we as we transition into the question of leadership, really it's about having the big picture and understanding how these work together and ensure that these work together in order to get the best out of the team going forward.
[00:21:53] So it's about understanding our own roles or our own dimensions and understanding all the dimensions, the dimensions of all the other members of our team. And then there's a leadership in leadership to ensure that these team dimensions are used effectively. And we'll talk about how we do that in just a few moments.