How to Bridge the Gap Between Talk and Action

Lousy teams drain energy, creativity, and resolve.

Mediocre teams kill things slowly. Better to work alone than die a lingering death on a gasping team.

covered bridge

Successful leaders move through talk to action.

Leading teams:

Few groups are more pathetic than disconnected teams who over-see and under-do.

Disconnected teams:

  1. Work behind closed doors, sitting at big tables.
  2. Talk themselves out of taking action.
  3. Drum up imagined problems.
  4. Create confusing processes.
  5. Deliver fantasy results that hinder real progress.

Bonus: Don’t trust each other and aren’t trusted by others.

Lousy teams double the time and triple the effort of getting things done.

Number one:

Ask your team, “What are we doing?” When their response is, “Talking about xyz,”, you’re dying.

Successful leaders move teams through the illusion that talking is doing.

Successful teams make decisions that impact behaviors and produce visible results.

Real work begins when meetings end.

Successful teams produce tangible results that express organizational mission.

Successful teams:

  1. Have clear goals.
  2. Make choices that impact behaviors and deliver visible results. “What are we doing,” connects to doing – not just talking – on successful teams.
  3. End ineffective behaviors.
  4. Evaluate progress and set new milestones.
  5. Honor and leverage each other’s strengths.
  6. Hold each other accountable.
  7. Deal with problems with candor, transparency, and kindness.

Bonus: Successful teams work on the way they work together.

Dead teams:

Your team needs life support if the only time you talk about your work is in team meetings.

Teams that actually do things communicate regularly about their projects outside team meetings.

Don’t tell me what you’re talking about or hoping to do in the future. Tell me what you’re doing now.

What are the keys to bridging the gap between talking and doing?

Read suggestions on developing high performance teams from Facebook fans. Add your insights there as well.