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Leaders, who on your team are rakers, and who are baggers? In other words…

How well do you know the strengths and preferences of your individual team members?

This past weekend was yard work.

At 7500 feet, that means pine needles. Lots and lots of pine needles on our nearly 1-acre lot.

At the end of Saturday, hands blistered and face masks black with dust, about half of the yard done, my husband and I sat to assess progress.

Him: “My arm is killing me. Nerve pain.” He had cervical surgery in January.

Me: “I’m feeling ok. I can do the raking. I don’t mind raking. Can you do the bagging?”

Him: “Yeah, I prefer bagging.”

Me: “Perfect, because I hate bagging.

Him: “Really? You do?”

Me: “Yeah. Don’t you notice that when I trim plants I leave the stuff on the ground in a pile? That’s because I hate bagging and hope someone will come along and pick it up. But I find raking meditative.”

Him: “There you go. You rake, and I’ll bag.”

On Sunday, that’s what we did. We also outsourced, hiring my 13-year-old nephew to help with the bagging.

We were still filthy and sore at the end of the day but in better shape than the day before.

That’s because we took the time to sit down, assess our strengths and preferences, and make a go-forward plan accordingly.


This is how it works in high-performing teams.

  • In these teams, the leader and team members know each other’s strengths and preferences.
  • They openly discuss where they can add extra value and where they may be inclined to “phone it in.”
  • They use that knowledge to plan how best to accomplish challenging, sometimes seemingly insurmountable, goals.

To get there, it requires a foundation of trust and relationships.

And THAT requires intentional effort and time.

So if you feel that your team could be moving faster, achieving more, stop for a moment. Take a hard look at your team.

  • Are their relationships authentic and based on trust or just surface?
  • Do they reach out to each other to leverage strengths and fill gaps?
  • Are they aligned on how to work together, team norms, and expectations?

If the answer to any of those isn’t a resounding yes, it’s time to take some time and invest in your team.

This is my expertise, and I’d love to talk with you about what we can do for your team.

The outcomes? Faster goal accomplishment. Higher engagement. And maybe even fun.

PS: So far we have 37 bags and about 15 to go, and then another pass of the yard.

Hey there, I’m Cynthia. I’m a leadership team whispererexecutive coach, and speaker. I guide leadership teams in high-growth companies to achieve rapid growth in a healthy, sustainable way. I coach senior leaders to discover the path to lead with ease.

Like this post? Want to see more? Connect with me on LinkedIn.

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