Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric Co., said, “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.” Considered brilliant business executive, Welch is also quoted as saying “If you’ve got 16 employees, at least two are turkeys.” This thinking led to the practice of cutting the bottom performing 10% of the G.E. workforce annually. Even the best leaders have bad ideas.
Many management consultants believe that this type of “turkey hunt” encourages short term thinking, fear based performances, and shifts the focus from innovation for the company or product, to petty competition between colleagues. Sadly, you end up killing what you need to most to succeed, creative collaboration.
Effective team building is influenced by several things: organizational structure, leadership style, delegation skills, an ability to communication the vision and your ability to motivate and inspire the team. These must all work in overdrive, especially when faced with obstacles that threaten to derail a project.
Skillful leadership trickles down to create a “project culture.” When it’s fear based, the team may make a deadline, but the creativity of the work will suffer. Of course, even the best leaders and the best teams end up with a turkey once in awhile. If that person doesn’t bring something wildly unique to the project, it might be time to hunt.