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Karin’s Leadership Articles

Frontline Festival: July- Teams And Teamwork Edition

by | Jul 19, 2013 | By Karin Hurt, Frontline Festival |

Welcome to the July, Teams and Teamwork Edition of the Frontline Festival. I am pleased to bring you another International line-up of thought leaders sharing their best posts on teams and teamwork.

Skip Prichard, of Skip Pritchard,  shares a fantastic list, 10 Lessons in Teamwork, Top 3: Make the team the rock star; Remove all excuses for failure; Find and focus on the winning scenario.

Susan Mazza shares her post, 3 Ways Anyone Can Boost Team Performance, on her blog Random Acts of Leadership. “Some mistakenly believe that culture can only be affected (for better or for worse) by the CEO. However, regardless of your level in an organization you have the power to impact culture and boost your team’s performance.” Right on!

Alli Polin of Break the Frame shares her post, Want Something? Pull Together. I loved her inspiring story of simple collaborative effort. I just wish she had included a pic of her 80’s big hair.

Lolly Daskal of Lead From Within shares her post, The Honest Truth About Teams. Great insights. The most important point, “There will never be a perfect team, because teams are, after all, made up of imperfect people,” She shares important characteristics to get strive for within that imperfection.

Dan Rockwell, Leadership Freak, shares his vital post, How to Destroy Teams and Become Losers. He addresses the important issue of internal competition. My favorite line,Your best brings out my best. Never let their best bring out your worst.”

Tanveer Naseer of Tanveer Naseer discusses the Role Leaders Play in Developing Great Teams. Among his great thoughts:
“Making the effort to talk less and listen more is a powerful way to not only demonstrate how much you respect your employees’ insights, but of how much you trust their abilities to understand and evaluate the best options for your organization to achieve its shared goals.”

Frank Sonnenberg,Frank Sonnenberg Online, shares Leadership: Promoting Beliefs and Values. He offers important questions to guide team behavior. Worth reading.

Jon Mertz offers The Greatest Satisfaction for a Leader from his blog Thin Difference. Encouraging leaders and team members delivers the greatest leadership satisfaction. This post encourages us all to test our encouraging leadership style. As always, a fantastic contribution.

Jesse Lynn Stoner, Seapoint Center, What Team Members Can (and should) Do to Help Their Team Become High Performing  I loved this post because she talks about what team MEMBERS can do. She begins with 2 common mistakes:
Mistake #1: Thinking it’s the team leader’s responsibility to pull the team together and waiting passively for that to happen.
Mistake #2: Accepting mediocrity because they assume there is nothing they can do.

Robyn McLeod, The Thoughtful Leaders Blog presents One Important Question For Getting Your Team on the Same Page. She offers tips for understanding team dynamics within your organization and promoting greater alignment among teams to discover what is really going on. Excellent.

Jennifer Miller, of the People Equation shares insights on developing your team in 7 signs you’re hoarding your team’s talent. I’ve met such talent hoarders, she’s got a strong list.

You might be a talent hoarder if you: (top 3)

  • Don’t publish organizational charts because you don’t want the competition to “steal” your employees
  • Can’t remember the last time an employee initiated a conversation about career growth with you
  • Don’t have a succession plan for each of your team members

Jonathan Green of Monster Leaders, shares, Teamwork It’s What For Dinner. Even if you aren’t a San Francisco Giant’s fan you’ll enjoy this post about winning teams.

New to the Festival, Michele Cushatt of Michelle Cushatt shares 4 vital characteristics of collaborative teams in her compelling post, The Four Requirements of Collaboration. She offers what to do if “the group you thought was “just what I was looking for!” ends up a soul-sucking, eyeball-scratching, mud-wrestling match for attention. Instead of collaboration, it turns into a struggle for leverage, connection, or an opportunity that might be “The Opportunity.”

Julie Winkle Giulioni of Julie Winkle Giulioni shares Group, Team or Train Wreck . I love her comparison matrix on characteristics of effective teams.
“Because of this deep appreciation for the contributions of each member to the joint mission, teams operate from a natural sense of respect. While they might have ground rules that include respectful behaviors to demonstrate, most team members volunteer respect organically and authentically.”

Matt McWilliams of Matt McWilliams addresses the important topic of team communication in his post How to Teach Communication to Your Team. He reinforces the need to “teach communication and the drill it in.” He shares 5 steps to do so. Another great read.

Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership bring us, Creating Teams that Create Great Results. The best teams are usually not all-star teams. Here are some things to consider when you put a project team together. As always, salient and practical advice.

Chery Gegelman of Simply Understanding shares her useful post A Virally Infectious Team, and Why You Want One  “We have all watched teams win the Super Bowl one year, and fail miserably the next year. Teams that seek to be the best don’t rest after one practice, after one win, or after one season.”

Mike Henry Sr. of Lead Change Group, shares his excellent post Sacrifice and Teams.
We must address our economy and our quality of life as a team. If one groups’ quality of life continues to grow while many others deteriorate, our culture will eventually fragment and die. Our teamwork needs to be focused on the goal of improving the quality of EVERY life in our communities. There is little teamwork in hoarding or consumption. There is great teamwork, reward and accomplishment in sacrifice and contribution. Our championships need to happen at the community level if we’re going to make a positive difference.

Kate Nasser of Kate Nasser shares a great post that helps new leaders avoid a huge mistake that takes much time to undo, Breed Accountability, Not Blame, for Employee Engagement. “Accountability is the profitable practice of initiative, ownership, and follow-through. It is not blame.”

Terri Klass of Terri Klass Consulting writes, “Every leader needs to encourage people to voice their ideas and opinions. Without input from team members, the best outcome might never get achieved.” Let is be so. Loved her post, Do You Encourage People to Find Their Voice?

New to the Festival, Irene Becker, Just Coach It, shares The Thriving Organization: Ten Power Steps Out of Jurassic Park  She addresses the important topic of team communcation in this fresh post.
“Develop vertical and horizontal communication. Success is not achieved alone. Your people, your relationships (social, person to person) are your most important asset. Develop a ME to WE culture where shared objectives, values, communication, learning/relearning and collaboration are entrenched in every communication and initiative. Systems theory tells us that one small, consistent change will in turn change the whole system. The positive, purposeful small and consistent changes you make will reset the individual and organization GPS to fast forward”

Beyond Blogs

teams and teamworkJoy and Tom Guthrie of Vixwerx offer their creative teamwork pic, Team Under Construction. I’m always inpsired by their strategic art.

New to the Frontline Festival, Ali Anani, shares creative and useful presentations on teams. The first, Metaphors for Wrong Management explores the importance of team collaboration and learning. The second Building Engaged Teams, shares insights on team motivation.

Upcoming Frontline Festivals

You are welcome to submit your links for the upcoming Frontline Festivals.

August: Energy and Engagement, due August 9th

Sept: Leadership Development (and self-development), due September 13th

October: Vision and Values, due October 11th

November: Gratitude, due November 8th

December: Gifts (take any spin you would like), due December 13th

Want more human-centered leaders in the workplace? Share this today!

Want more human-centered leaders in the workplace? Share this today?


  1. Ali Anani (@alianani15)

    Karin- this is a super post not only because you included two of my presentations about teams, but more importantly your selection of excellent references that are worthy of quality time reading. I have already read some of your summary comments on the selected articles and these comments “opened” my appetite to read more.
    Referring to one of your comments in which you wrote ““There will never be a perfect team, because teams are, after all, made up of imperfect people,”. This great point by you and the author Lolly Daskal is great and valid. You remind me of a presentation I wrote almost three years ago in which I questioned that leaders who are created from clay would exhibit clayey managerial behaviors. The answer is yes. Clay has its imperfections and so are leaders made of clay originally.
    Simply, a great post for all serious leaders.

    • letsgrowleaders

      Ali, thanks as always for you generous comments. I agree, the fun of this is reading everyone’s perspectives on a common subject.

  2. Jesse Lyn Stoner

    The Frontline Festival is such a valuable series – supporting the people who are the face of the organization. Thanks for all the work you do in putting it together. You have curated some excellent posts and I am honored to be included.

    • letsgrowleaders

      Jesse, Thanks so much. It’s so much fun to do. I appreciate your consistent contribution of fantastic content.

  3. Dave Bratcher

    Thank you so much Karin. I now have an amazing reading list for the weekend! Awesome line up!

  4. letsgrowleaders

    Dave, Thanks so much. I would love to include your posts in upcoming festivals. I love your writing.

  5. Frank Sonnenberg

    Karin — This is such a wonderful series – It’ll provide me with great weekend reading. Thanks for all the work you do in putting it together. I am honored to be included. Have an awesome day! Best, Frank

    • letsgrowleaders

      Frank, So glad to have met you and have you as part of the Festival.

  6. Julie Winkle Giulioni

    Thanks, Karin, for putting this terrific series together. Frontline leaders have such a critical role and don’t always get the support or skills they need to be successful. Your work is bridging that gap… and I’m honored to be included!

    • letsgrowleaders

      Julie, Thank you so much. I love your work and am delighted that you are part of the Festival.

  7. Jim Ryan

    Thanks Karin, I clipped this to evernote to help me tweak my training on developing teams.

  8. Jon Mertz

    What a wonderful highlight of solid resources to develop teams! Appreciate the effort you put into this, Karin. Thank you! Jon

    • letsgrowleaders

      Jon, Thanks so much for your consistent contributions to the Festival. I admire your work and insights.

  9. Lolly Daskal

    Dear Karin

    Thanks for curating this wonderful Frontline Festival.

    Great reading, awesome information and some very important insights.

    Thanks for all that you do. You are greatly appreciated.


    • letsgrowleaders

      Lolly, Thank you so much. I am so happy to have you as part of the Festival. I find your writing so inspiring.

  10. David Dye


    I just love what you’re doing with the Frontline Festival. Thanks for the feature – but more so for all the wonderful wisdom you’ve aggregated from so many leadership experts.

    Great work!



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Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders find clarity in uncertainty, drive innovation, and achieve breakthrough results.  She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Powerful Phrases for Dealing with Workplace Conflict, and hosts the popular Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.

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