• drschwank

Lead by example

Easy, lead with ease? Trust your internal motivation, be passionate in your work, and you’ll inspire others. Provide an environment of mutual trust, a place were failures are welcome and an opportunity to grow, learn, develop, and become more skilled.

An environment where we dare to try new things and get guidance from a mentor is crucial to remain creative and intellectually satisfied.

Give your team wings to fly, by providing them space and guidance, through trust, rather than micromanagement due to mistrust.

Use your own creativity in finding new ways to motivate and raise team spirit, especially during the current times, where teams have grown apart, lack a joint sense of purpose, and might strive for different goals. The corporate world looks very different now, then two years ago, yet the core principle of a successful group remains the same. We all go through developmental stages, as individuals, but also as groups. Reorganizing and restructuring group always results in a regression of the group’s developmental stage and productivity.

From group research we know, that the more mature a group, the higher their work effectivity and productivity will be. Reorganizing groups and adding and removing group members decreases productivity.

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For curiosity purpose, here the stages of group development by Wheelan (1994a):

Stage I Dependency and Inclusion

The first stage of group development is characterized by significant member dependency on the designated leader, concerns about safety, and inclusion issues. In this stage, members rely on the leader and powerful group members to provide direction. Team members may engage in what has been called “pseudo-work,” such as exchanging stories about outside activities or other topics that are not relevant to group goals.

Stage II Counterdependency and Fight

In the second stage of group development members disagree among themselves about group goals and procedures. Conflict is an inevitable part of this process. The group's task at Stage 2 is to develop a unified set of goals, values, and operational procedures, and this task inevitably generates some conflict. Conflict also is necessary for the establishment of trust and a climate in which members feel free to disagree with each other.

Stage III Trust / Structure

If the group manages to work through the inevitable conflicts of Stage 2, member trust, commitment to the group, and willingness to cooperate increase. Communication becomes more open and task-oriented. This third stage of group development, referred to as the trust and structure stage, is characterized by more mature negotiations about roles, organization, and procedures. It is also a time in which members work to solidify positive working relationships with each other

Stage IV Work / Productivity

As its name implies, the fourth stage of group development is a time of intense team productivity and effectiveness. Having resolved many of the issues of the previous stages, the group can focus most of its energy on goal achievement and task accomplishment


Groups that have a distinct ending point experience a fifth stage. Impending termination may cause disruption and conflict in some groups. In other groups, separation issues are addressed, and members' appreciation of each other and the group experience may be expressed.

Reference: Wheelan, S. A. (1994a). Group processes: A developmental perspective. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.