Teamwork Sucks Because Most Managers Suck

Why teams? Do we accomplish more and reduce costs, or is it just wishful thinking? Working in teams makes for a great sound bite, but in the real world, your world, do they produce the results you want, or do they create more problems than they’re worth? Every semester – in at least one of my college business classes, I would have a team assignment worth a significant portion of the student’s final grade; I picked the teams – they chose their team leader. If you asked them about their challenges and experiences working on a team, most would tell you that teamwork sucks.

Worth Remembering – “It is not the individual but the team that is the instrument of sustained and enduring success in management.” – Anthony Jay.

Teamwork sucks because some team members are slackers and don’t fully participate and pull their weight. These “Social Loafers” count on blending into the background where their lack of effort isn’t easily spotted. And if spotted, they know that most team members are reluctant to do anything about it. Teamwork sucks because not everyone on the team shows up to meetings on time, if at all, and seldom replies to emails or text messages. Teamwork sucks because the quality of some team members’ work often falls short of expectations, so the team leader has to redo their portion of the project. Teamwork sucks because most managers suck.

Worth Remembering – “Coming together is a beginning – keeping together is progress – working together is a success.” – Henry Ford

Having team members work together is a challenging undertaking at the best of times. You can’t expect to throw a bunch of people together, call them a team, and expect them to perform like one without carefully setting team goals and priorities and how team members are selected and trained. Everyone on the team needs to work harmoniously and coordinate their efforts with the other team members to accomplish the overall team objective.

Teamwork sucks, and what managers can do about it.

  • Managers must monitor individual performances so social loafers can’t go undetected. You must hold everyone accountable.
  • Managers can improve team performance by selecting individuals based on their soft skills and not just their technical abilities. Choose people who like being around people and working with others.
  • Managers must be tuned in to the “Unofficial Grapevine” to know what is happening. No news is not good news.
  • Managers must keep their lines of communication open – so everyone on the team is in the loop. Everyone on the team must be able to express their opinions and concerns.
  • Managers must be fair and consistent with everyone on the team when imposing group standards, policies and procedures. Even their superstars need to be held accountable.

What training are you providing to help yourself and your team members to communicate and interact more effectively, resolve conflict or motivate others to perform at their best? It is not the individual but the team that will determine the outcome. Everyone achieves more together, but only if all team members row in the same direction.

Copyright (c) 2023. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. Training doesn’t have to be expensive to be good – it just has to be the right kind of training. All of Brian’s programs can be delivered virtually or in person. To learn more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization, visit or email Brian – at

How To Work With Your Boss And Live To Talk About It

Working with and being managed or supervised by someone with a different way of communicating and interacting with others can be challenging. You need to keep one thing in mind – you aren’t going to change them. The key is to work with them the way they like. How do they want to communicate and receive information? How do they prefer to interact with others? How do they like to be managed? I believe we develop our way of communicating and interacting with others at a very young age which heavily influences how we manage ourselves and others.

Worth Remembering – “When you change the way you look at things. The things you look at change.”

Understanding yourself and the behaviour of others, especially your boss, will give you valuable insights into adapting your behaviour to be more in tune with theirs. I use a behavioural assessment tool developed by Dr. William Marston called DISC. It identifies the four distinct styles of behaviour, how each type prefers to communicate and interact with others, and how they manage others and like to be managed.

Here are a few tips to help you work with your boss and live to talk about it.

D – Dominate personalities are direct, results-orientated and uncompromising.

  • They prefer bullet points. Don’t ramble on – keep it short and get to the point.
  • Be prepared and organized. Don’t waste their time.
  • They aren’t big on small talk., so don’t try to build a personal relationship.

I – Interactive personalities are collaborative, enthusiastic and talkative.

  • Help them get organized and put details in writing.
  • Provide ideas for implementing their action plans.
  • Allow time in their schedule for relaxing and socializing – relationships are important to them.

S – Steadiness personalities value teamwork and a quiet, calm environment.

  • Don’t interrupt them when they are speaking.
  • Show sincere interest in them.
  • Ask specific questions to draw out their goals and objections.

C – Conscientious personalities are detail-orientated and meticulous.

  • Approach them in a straightforward, direct way.
  • Don’t force a quick decision. Be clear about deadlines and expectations.
  • Provide information backed by data, facts and reliable sources.

Remember – you will not change your boss, but you can learn to work with them and live to talk about it.

Copyright (c) 2023. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. If you want to learn about DISC and how it can help you communicate and interact more effectively with others, please contact me – at – Visit my website and download a Free DISC Ebook – “Understanding Behaviour and How It Impacts Performance.” – my gift to you in celebration of #internationlwomensday2023 –

How To Get Along With People Even If You Don’t Like Them

Rarely can you accomplish all that you set out to do without help from someone else. You don’t have to like the people you work with, but you must learn how to get along with them. Daniel Goleman believes that soft skills – often called emotional intelligence – are a common core of personal and social abilities that have proven critical to people’s success.

Worth Remembering – “One of the most important things about being a good manager is to rule with a heart. You have to know the business, but you also have to know what is at the heart of the business, and that’s people.” – Oprah.

A better understanding of yourself and understanding others’ behaviours allows you to improve your performance in relationships at home and work. Your technical abilities alone no longer guarantee success in working with others. Results of a study conducted by the HayGroup, a leading authority on emotional intelligence, show that EQ (emotional intelligence) is twice as important for most jobs involving working with people than IQ. You don’t have to be the most intelligent person in the room to be the most effective. Sixty-seven percent of the competencies needed to work with others are emotionally based. You can learn to be more empathetic, open-minded, and flexible and communicate and interact more effectively with others.

Worth Remembering – “In organizations where people trust and believe in each other, they don’t get into regulating and coercing behaviours. They don’t need a policy for every mistake. People in trusting environments respond with enormous commitment and creativity.’ – Walter Wriston.

Establishing a relationship based on mutual respect and trust is a learned behaviour. It is a process that all humans go through when meeting someone for the very first time. We take direction and like to hang out with people we like. Trust and respect don’t come automatically. You must earn it one person at a time. You must learn to get along with people even if you don’t like them. Working with others is a team sport. Just like it takes a village to raise a child – it takes a team to manage and lead an organization.

Take the 3-R Challenge and learn how to get along with people even if you don’t like them.

Think of someone you are having difficulty working with. For whatever reason, you two are not getting along. It can be someone at work or in your social circles. Please take on this Challenge and turn that situation around. I want you to apply a 3-step process known as the 3-Rs. (Rapport, Relationship, Respect) I promise you will be amazed at how effective it is to establish those all-important relationships.

Step One: Establish Rapport. Find out something about them other than the work they do. Do they have hobbies? Are they married? Do they have children? What do they like to do in their spare time? The easiest way to establish rapport is to get them talking about themselves. Ask questions, and show interest in them. If you show interest in them – they will be interested in you.

Step Two: Develop a Relationship. You cannot develop a relationship with anyone unless you have established rapport first. The more you converse with them on subjects they are interested in – the more likely you are to develop a relationship with them. You are beginning to break down the barriers between you and them. You are starting to like each other or at least tolerate each other.

Step Three: Mutual Respect. You will not respect anyone until you first develop a relationship with them. Respect is reciprocal, but you have to give it before you get it back. The more you treat someone how you want to be treated, the more likely they will respond in kind. You get back what you send out.

Build Trust; You will never build trust with anyone you don’t respect first. If you establish mutual respect in your relationships with the other person, they will trust you. They may not always agree with you, and you may not always agree with them, but they will respect that you have a right to express your opinion.

Take the 3-R Challenge.

Take the 3-R Challenge and establish those all-important relationships. Contact me at – and let me know how you made out. I am here to help you succeed. Remember – You don’t have to like them, but you do need to learn how to get along with them.

Copyright (c) 2023. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. Are you looking for a corporate training provider, a keynote speaker for your next conference or planning an in-person or virtual workshop? Contact Brian – he will customize a program for you and your organization. To learn more about Brian and what he can do for you, visit – All four of Brian’s published books are available on Amazon –

Forget X or Y Management Styles – Switch to Z 1

Are you ready for the most significant workforce shift in over 100 years? For the first time in our lifetime, we have the potential to work with four different generations at the same time. Each generation – Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z communicates, interacts with others, is motivated by different wants and needs and prefers to be managed differently. Forget X or Y management styles – switch to Z.

Worth Remembering – “People don’t leave jobs … they leave because of bad bosses and poor management who don’t appreciate their value.” – Tom Peters

Forget X or Y Management Styles

Theory X style of management, developed by Dr. Douglas McGregor, assumes that the average employee is inherently lazy, dislikes coming to work and avoids taking responsibility at all costs. They require constant, close supervision, and any system of rewards and punishment needs to be vigorously enforced to keep everyone in line.

On the other hand, the Theory Y management style is more of a decentralized participative style of management. It is built on the premise that workers enjoy coming to work and are self-motivated to accomplish tasks. They will accept responsibility and do not need supervisors or managers constantly looking over their shoulders to ensure the jobs get done. Workers are made to feel they are part of the solution – not the problem.

Worth Remembering – “Start with good people, lay out the rules, communicate with your employees, motivate and reward them and stay out of their way and let them do the job. If you do all those things effectively, you can’t miss.” – Lee Iacocca.

Switch to a Z Management Style

Gen Z will make up 27 percent of the workforce by 2025. Research is still ongoing, but we already know they are like no other generation that has come before them. Zeds are interested in working for an organization that allows for fun, friendships and life-enriching activities. To attract and retain Zeds, you must provide collaboration opportunities, lateral job movement, and multi-level participation in decision-making. You need to develop a management style more aligned with Edward Deming’s 14 points and remove barriers that rob employees of pride in workmanship. Managing and leading others must be more than just supervision and setting targets. It should include guiding and mentoring employees, so forget X or Y management styles – switch to Z.

Copyright (c) 2023. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To learn more about Brian and what he can do for you or your organization, visit – All four of Brian’s published books are available on Amazon –