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EP: 58 – Team Perspectives Through The Lens Of Leadership Development with Pedro Angula

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Introduction: Pedro Angulo is the Head of Leadership Development at AIB where he leads the design & implementation of enterprise wide Leadership Development initiatives. He is also a Program Director of the Diploma in Strategic HRM for the Irish Management Institute, Board Member of Green Sod Ireland and Past President and Chairman of the EMCC in Ireland. A graduate from Minnesota State University (USA) and holder of an MBS in Management and Organisational Studies from University College Dublin. He is a prolific writer and much sought-after motivational speaker. 

Show Notes

Podcast Episode Summary: How to put attention on the Team as an important if not the most important unit of currency in Organisational Life. This episode speaks to the organisational lag in recognising the need to put attention on team life and teaming skills. Too often organisations assume you can put a bunch of talented people together and they will become a team, the reality is often very different. Listen to the many tips Pedro litters throughout this episode, emphasising attention, energy, clarity and measurement. 

Points made throughout the Episode: 

  • Pedro opens the conversation by sharing his “Why” He is passionate about people and genuinely interested in helping people be at their best 
  • He immediately illuminates the gaps that exist with respect to teams and teaming in organisations of which he is apart 
  • Little real attention given to team effectiveness. Much is spent of team development and confusion exists about what it takes to make teams great. 
  • Organisations tend to invest at the Individual level and on the enterprise level but pay scant attention to teams. 
  • They often assume that by putting bright people together they will work it out. Invariably that is not the case and the result is a group
  • Team effectiveness is working out why the team exists, what is its purpose, how to collaborate, solve for conflict and make decisions as well as working on its dynamic to get at flow. 
  • People are often promoted because of their individual contribution and not for their teaming skills 
  • To address the gap we have to put attention on teams. Help Leaders create the conditions that allow teams thrive. Call it and or get external help if the capacity for teaming is weak or poor. 
  • Develop a standard framework or model of team effectiveness that can be scaled and measured. Great at illuminating landscape data from which development can be a resource. 
  • Organisations have individual sophistication when it comes to psychometrics and coaching but less so when it comes to Team Development 
  • Pedro has experienced Irish teams as very collegial but often that collegiality can stand in the way of constructive dialogue. As well there is too much focus on the now and not enough on Horizon level 3 thinking 
  • Too much “vanilla” exists on Irish teams not enough or sufficient diversity especially in terms of diversity of thought risking a maintenance of the Status Quo.
  • Pedro would love to see more inclusivity, much greater challenge on teams, innovation and psychological safety. 
  • To help a team think team a Leader needs to believe he needs a team and ask for a  team. Too often a Leader is focused on his stalk of work or on individual concerns to promote a team culture. 
  • We continue to promote people on individual performance and to wit we often tie that performance to individual goals. 
  • Leadership Pathways are often constructed in a way that misses the opportunity to provide real transitional leadership development 
  • Enterprise Leadership thinking and skills are bereft. 
  • “Values are like posters” we could do better to nurture what is important to an Individual and speak those to the teams of which they are apart to appreciate what could be supportive and what could detract from the team’s performance 
  • Covid-19 imposed a strict regime of virtual working and by and large the Bank fared well. More is required to really support Leaders in this domain. The Bank has provided guidebooks, toolkits to support leaders get at continued engagement, motivation and clarity in a virtual way. Pedro is not convinced they are doing enough. 
  • In a context such as the Pandemic Clarity, Check-ins and Energy is what is required. Energy means showing you care & are interested in helping others manage their energy. 
  • Funny that people are suffering from Zoom fatigue. Maybe they are but maybe the right level of energy and psychological safety is missing 
  • Leaders often assume they create high levels of psychological safety but do they? 
  • It is sad that we have to hire external consultants to point out what we are seeing already every day. 
  • Leaders need to take ownership for their part in the creation of the culture where people are afraid to speak up. 
  • Pedro shared examples of where a Leader could disrupt high levels of agreement when really disagreement could be valued. 
  • Organisations keep rewarding A when they are asking for B
  • We keep rewarding individual performance when we are looking for team collaboration 
  • We need to stop promoting people for their technical competence and solo runs
  • We need to change the definition of what it means to be promoted in organisations.
  • We have to focus on the team as an entity and work on incremental team norms of performance 
  • Everybody contributes to the team dynamic important to discuss what it is
  • Role of Leader to up the teams performance norm. 
  • Net Promoter Score is a valuable measurement often used with  Customers. It could easily be used in teams as well 
  • Important for a team to think about its own context and to share a purpose that is relevant to the team. Pedro asks teams to think about their legacy and what they want to be known for and how they would like to be seen. How are you going to be different? 
  • Pedro’s closing remarks were really a call to action. 
  • Be ruthless with measurement
  • Go to where the team is at 
  • Teams work in context of an organisation alignment is key
  • Teams evolve and are often fluid
  • Don’t forget the complexity inherent on teams 
  • Too easy to think about changing the structure – look at the practices get close to teams      

Resources shared 

  • Simon Sinek: Together is better

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