Aim High

A college professor prepared a test for his soon to be graduating seniors.  The test questions were divided into three categories and the students were instructed to choose questions from only one of the categories.  The first category of questions was the hardest and worth fifty points.  The second, which was easier, was worth forty points.  The third, the simplest, was worth thirty points.

Upon completion of the test, students who had chosen the hardest fifty-point questions were given As.  The students who had chosen the forty-point questions received Bs.  Those who settled for the easiest thirty-pointers were given Cs.

The students were frustrated with the grading of their papers and asked the professor what he was looking for.  The professor leaned over the podium, smiled, and explained, “I wasn’t testing your book knowledge.  I was testing your aim.”

An anonymous writer once commented, “Make no small plans for they have no power to stir your soul.”  Robert Kriegel put it this way, “The key is to have a dream that inspires us to go beyond our limits.”  Not only are people short on dreams but even those with dreams often set their sights low enough to protect themselves from failure.

To stay on your course for continuous self-improvement and the benefits that will be attracted to you and your business—AIM HIGH!

Proven Use of Team Roles

Dr. Meredith Belbin defined a team role as “a tendency to behave, contribute an interrelate with others in aparticular way.”

He named nine such team roles that underlie team success. It is important to emphasize that these are not set instone behavioral patterns of individuals, rather these are preferences and attitudes team members will assume in agiven team situation.

Therefore a certain individual might perform a certain role within one team and accomplish a different role within another team. Often however individuals do have a tendency to fill a certain rolewithin all the teams that they are a part of or at least strive to fill this preferred role.

Remember: Belbin asserts that when a team is performing at its best, one finds that each team member has clear responsibilities. Also noticeable is that every Belbin role needed to achieve the team’s goalis being performed fully and well. However it is likely that a team will fall short of its full potential not because skillsare lacking but because the Belbin roles aren’t harmonized across the team.

Balanced Teams

Teams become unbalanced when all team members carry out the same behavioral team role. When team members have similar strengths and weaknesses this can create problems. If the strengths arethe same they may compete instead of collaborate.

With this information in mind, the team leader together with the team can implement the model and investigatethe team members preferred roles as well as explore the roles which are missing.

By understanding your role within a particular team, you can develop your strengths and manage yourweaknesses as a team member, and so improve your contribution to the team.

Belbin’s Team Roles Model

Belbin identified nine team roles and he categorized those roles into three groups:

  • Action Oriented
  • People Oriented
  • Thought Oriented

The nine team roles divided into the three groups are:

Action Oriented Roles:

Shaper (SH)

Shapers are people who challenge the team to improve. The Shaper is the one who shakes thingsup to make sure that all possibilities are considered and that the team does not become complacent.

Implementer (IMP)

Implementers are the people who get things done. They turn the team’s ideas and concepts into practical actions and plans.

Completer-Finisher (CF)

Completer-Finishers are the people who see that projects are completed thoroughly.

People Oriented Roles:

Coordinator (CO)

Coordinators are the ones who take on the traditional team-leader role and have also been referred to asthe delegate.

Team Worker (TW)

Team Workers are the people who provide support and make sure that people within the team are working togethereffectively.

Resource Investigator (RI)

Resource Investigators are innovative and curious. They explore available options; develop contacts, and negotiate for resources on behalf of the team.

Thought Oriented Roles:

Plant (PL)

The Plant is the creative innovator who comes up with new ideas and approaches. They thriveon praise but criticism is especially hard for them to deal with.

Monitor-Evaluator (ME)

Monitor-Evaluators are best at analyzing and evaluating ideas that other people (oftenPlants) come up with. These people are shrewd and objective and they carefully weigh the pros and cons of all theoptions before coming to a decision.

Specialist (SP)

Specialists are people who have specialized knowledge that is needed to get the job done. Theypride themselves on their skills and abilities, and they work to maintain their professional status.
In finding roles for actual or potential team members keep the above in mind. When a person has guidance on what role or roles (you can play more than one at a time) he or she can play for a team they will have clarity. With clarity they can take steps and provide thinking to fulfill their role, thus helping the team. They now have purpose.

And with purpose, it is much easier for a team member to contribute to achieving the team’s goals. Also, I have found this process to be liberating. You have a specific role or roles and you understand, instead of worrying, how you can make a positive contribution to achieving what the team is tasked to accomplish.

Process Determines Outcome | Self improvement Tips

It says that work decides the Destiny. If you want to achieve the goal there should be intention for completing that work. You have to finish your work totally whether circumstances are not according to your.

In my early twenties I became involved in a business to import balsa wood from the jungles of Ecuador and Peru to the United States. At the time, my Spanish speaking skills were quite good and the company I was working for asked me and another fellow, who spoke Spanish very well, to go to Ecuador and Peru and to get agreements from mill owners in those countries to supply balsa wood and ship it to Houston, Texas.

The process for doing this involved a great deal of preparation. There was no internet in 1975. Letters went back and forth for six months and ultimately we set up two meetings in Guayaquil, Ecuador and one in Lima, Peru. Our first meeting in Guayaquil was very scary and went badly.

German expatriates, former Nazis, who fled Germany after World War II, controlled most of the balsa wood business. My business associate and I met them in their offices on the docks of Guayaquil.

After a short and nice introduction, the tone changed. They told us that there was no way they would let us export balsa wood from Ecuador to the United States because that threatened their semi-monopoly at the time and their U. S. office in Miami. At this point, a door at the back of the office opened and two large men came out and proceeded to hit us, kick us while the owner told us that if we valued our lives we would not stay in the balsa wood business.
They literally kicked us out the door and let us go. Scared does not even begin to describe the multitude of emotions. Yes, we were scared. We were angry. Worst of all we understood that they could have killed us without any repercussions.

Obviously, this was not a good process and the result for us, was a very bad outcome. If we had understood the true nature of the process, we would have avoided the outcome. The tricky part in business and life is that at times we may think, as my business associate and I did, that we are in a good process. Sadly, it masks, when you are dealing with people who think “I win” “You lose” in terms of outcome.

Too often in business and life we look at outcome and wonder why something failed or, on the other hand, we marvel at how something succeeded. To find the answer always look at process. Process determines outcome.