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NCAA Division III - Breakout
Effective Leadership in the 21st Century
(Monday, June 16, 10:15 - 11:45 a.m.)

Art Eason:

Good morning. My name is Art Eason and I'm from William Paterson College in Wayne, New Jersey. I'm also the secretary of NACDA and it's my pleasure today to moderate the Division III Breakout Session. Before I start, there are a couple of announcements I'd like to make. After the luncheon today, in this same room, the Division III Athletics Directors Association will have a program called "Division III Athletics Director of the Future." On the panel will be Robert Demming from Ithaca College; Jeff Cohen from Brandeis University and Boston Action for Today; and Hal Payne from Buffalo State.

Tomorrow at 3:15 p.m. after the luncheon, we'll have the "Evaluation of Athletics Administrators and Coaches." Mike Clary from Rhodes and Chuck Gordon from Emory will be panelists for that program with the moderator being the Division III Athletics Directors President John Schael from Washington University.

As Barbara stated in this morning's session, our topic for this Convention is "Leadership." Division III will look at leadership during the 21st century, what's going to happen in the future, types of leadership that we might be affected by. Our speaker for today is Ronald J. Stratten, the group executive director for education services of the NCAA. Ron brings with him a very impressive title. As group executive director, he oversees the education outreach, professional development, research, sports science and youth programs of the NCAA. This organizational group provides educational services to the membership through programs that encourage the development of and opportunities for student-athletes, youth and staff by offering resources, scholarships and research support for policy development on issues of diversity, gender equity, health and safety, success and community outreach.

Prior to this, Ron served as the president of the Stratten Consulting Group. The SCG is a firm that assisted business, educational and governmental clients in achieving a more effective work place. His clients included AT&T, Household International, California Youth Authority, Signature Flight Support, U.S. Generating Company and the Young Presidents Organization, among others.

Since 1993, Ron has served as senior training associate with Blanchard Training and Development where he specialized in leadership, team building, consulting and training. Before leaving SCG, Ron served as president of Pay Sports, a career counseling organization for amateur professional athletes, as well as supervisor of sports marketing and Anheuser Busch, Inc. Finally, between 1975 and 1983, Ron served the NCAA as an enforcement representative for two years and assistant director of enforcement for five years. In 1968, Ron was named assistant football coach at the University of Oregon, where he served as defensive line coach, strength coach, academic advisor and liaison for the faculty senate. Without further ado, I give you Ron Stratten.

Ron Stratten:

Thank you. I appreciate that introduction. I had an opportunity to do a number of things that I thought would be helpful. I had a number of conversations with my staff. They run the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and work with a number of you and a number of various committees. I came back to the NCAA in June 1996. For the last 13 years before that, I went to Anheuser Busch as supervisor of sports marketing. I was there for a number of years and left there to take a position as president of Pay Center for Career Development in San Diego. We started working with our professional athletes and our elite amateur athletes, Olympians, in terms of trying to help them in their transition from sports to life after sports.

Along the way, I got involved with Ken Blanchard and began a software company that worked with learning skills and how to handle transformation in re-engineering of staffs. Something that started to be obvious to me was that I thought I knew a lot about teams and leadership because I had those positions and roles, but I was perplexed and had a lot of problems in trying to make my staff work. Even though I was an assistant coach and a head coach, it was still a challenge for me. When I left the staff at the NCAA and went out into the business world, I saw a lot of the same problems. I saw them, like athletic teams, pulling people together. Merlin and Zig both talked about it today in terms of the gathering of a common purpose.

I talked to Bob Vecchione from NACDA and we decided to pull this session together. It's going to be a little unusual session. I had to pull myself off the roof after Merlin and Zig got me fired up. There is another step and how do we get to the realities of leadership and how do we get to the pieces of understanding of how our staffs are coming together. This year, I saw that athletics administrators still have a significant problem of pulling their staffs together and making a unified team of people coming from various sports areas. A lot of people, particularly in our highly visible sports, may have egos that won't allow them to work with other people. So, it is a challenge for each one of us to pull a group of diverse staff members together for a common purpose. I read an article that talked about successful teams. They profiled a group of people such as the offensive line for the Dallas Cowboys, Navy Elite Corp. and a highly successful string quartet. They talked with these various groups. If it's so easy to have teams, why is it so difficult to keep going? What came out was the oneness of purpose was a critical issue. In fact, they were able to say that what made those teams unique is that they were all dedicated.

I have a handout that has practically everything that I'm going to say. I hope you have something to write with. I want you to focus on your staff or on a team that you're working with or a group of people and we'll talk about the leadership of that group. I need you to write the name of the group on the top of your notebook. Capture the things I talk about that relate to the issues you're currently dealing with or have dealt with recently.

I'm going to focus on three different issues. Look at the number of people forming committees and cabinets and it relates to what I want to talk to you about today. I'd like you to look at the characteristics of high performing teams and why these are important for all of us to have. We're going to look at critical elements that I'd like you to think about as you're working with your staffs and pulling them together. Then, I'd like to talk about the stages that staffs go through. You can actually use this to see how your coaches are coaching players. But, today, I'd like you to pay attention to the fact that, as we go forward, you're going to have two or more people with a common purpose meeting on a regular basis. If you are working with another person and you have a common goal and you're meeting on a regular basis, we're going to call that your group's staff team. I'll use that loosely as a definition of what I'm going to talk about.

That's going to be the work of the future, relationships, working with others, getting things done through and with others. We're going to talk about one of the characteristics that you're trying to build as well as the stages for your group to get there. We are mixing it up and it makes me nervous to do all of this and not pay attention to some of these pieces. This may even be helpful to you in a lot of your committee work.

When we look at teams, there are characteristics that we've seen research driven that have come in and out year after year as being critical elements for high performing teams. The first one is purpose. We've heard a lot about that today. That, by far, is the most critical element in your staffs working together. You have identified a common purpose for everybody to be there. Purpose is critical because members of a high performing team share a sense of purpose, they are clear about what the team's work is and why it is important. You heard Zig talk about this play and win. We just came to play and you came to win is a mixed purpose. There was not a clear definition as to why we are here. As you go forth with each one of your staffs, I urge you to get very clear why you're here. What are we trying to accomplish as leaders of this organization? What are we trying to get done as a department? Are we trying to reduce our expenses? Are we trying to increase the revenue? Are we trying to increase attendance? Are we trying to raise the quality of experience for our student-athletes? What is the common purpose that brings you all together?

Whether it's the golf team, soccer team or football team, all of those teams are bringing together the same issue. They have developed a mutually agreed upon and challenging goals that clearly relate to the team's vision. I can't tell you how many times I go in to analyze an organization and they are in total disarray. We do a survey asking everybody what they're all doing. They cannot all say what they are doing there time and time again. We like to get together, go immediately to the task and get the work done. But, we have not worked through the other issues that have to do with, how are we going to get that work done? What is your goal versus mine?

The next one is empowerment. Members of high performing teams are confident about the team's ability to overcome obstacles and realize their vision. A sense of mutual respect enables members to share responsibility, help each other out and take the initiative to meet challenges. In high performing teams, empowerment is a critical element. On your staffs, people have to have ownership of the outcome. Policies, rules and team processes enable members to do their jobs easily. Are your policies, practices, systems in place to support your purpose or your vision? Many times a vision comes in after you took somebody's place and you did not look at whether the system supported what you wanted to accomplish.

I visited a Division II institution and worked with their student-athlete advisory committee for a day. I asked them what their biggest challenge was. For them, it was being able to appreciate each other. That's one of the things they wanted to do. But they couldn't do it because they had student-athletes, like every student, pay a fee to go to each one of the games. They couldn't afford to go watch their fellow teammates play. As a result, they didn't support each other. That's interesting. The athletics director I talked to wanted to see support for each other, but there's that barrier called the fee. We asked him to come in and talked to him about supporting student-athletes by waiving that fee for student-athletes and give them another card that would allow them to go into any other sports events. He answered, "yes." So, we tried to remove the barriers that are inhibiting empowerment and ownership. You may be having those same types of things going on.

Relationship and communication is what we're at this session for. Highly performing teams have good relationships. They do communicate with one another. Open communication is where we can state our opinions. But, there are people who call meetings but don't want to hear from you. If you've got something to say, keep it to yourself. We don't have a lot of people who are willing to open up and express themselves. This is something you need to have in a high performance team. They can express themselves, state their opinions, without fear. Are you running an athletics department that in some ways sets up an intimidation factor around good news, bad news? Listening is considered as important as speaking. The fine art of listening. We can give everybody our opinion, but are we willing to listen to another point of view? There's an atmosphere of trust and acceptance and a sense of community. As we move forward and start looking at how our team is working together, there will also be critical elements.

Here is another one, flexibility. High performing teams are flexible and perform different tasks and maintenance functions as needed. Task functions have to do with what we do. Maintenance functions have to do with how we do it. We'll talk about that later. They share responsibility for the development of the team and leadership. As we go into the stages of group development, one of the things you're going to see is, if in fact we share leadership, we have a chance to evolve. If in fact, the team is dependent upon the leader for direction, the team will be stymied and will never be a highly effective team. Until leadership is shared, effectiveness is inhibited. Strengths of each member are identified and used. Have you done that? Do you know the strengths and weaknesses of each one of your staff? Does each person on the staff know the strengths and weaknesses of their co-workers? Have you had that discussion yet?

High performing teams get a lot done. One of them is productivity and the other one is morale. They like to get a lot done and they enjoy each other's company. They meet deadlines, they get the job done, they achieve goals. They have a very effective way of deciding. Whatever we come up with as a solution, or how are you going to arrive at an agreement? Is it going to be a consensus? That takes a lot longer. Is it going to be majority? How are you going to decide?

Effective teams understand. They know what the rules are about how we're going to make a decision. High performing teams recognize and appreciate each other. This is the number one reason why people in management leave companies. The number one reason over the last 30 years for people leaving organizations in America is because they have not been recognized and appreciated. You have the same issue in college athletics. What are we going to do to recognize and appreciate the contributions of each other? On high performing teams, we recognize and appreciate each other. We figure out ways to give high fives. We started a high five program in our department where we recognize what people have done. Every month we publish a small document that just identifies things people have done over and above that we appreciate. We give them a high five. All we say is that we couldn't have done it without you. I put that in a document and let everyone know that I appreciate this.

High performing teams have high morale. They enjoy each other's company. They like the challenge, they're enthusiastic about the work they do, they're proud to be a member of your team. They're willing to tell everybody that's what we're doing. We're getting a lot done. I really enjoy the people I work with. They may not be just like you and you may not always agree, but your interaction and how you feel about each other makes you very effective.

It forms what we call this acronym "perform." Take a look at the model and rate yourself from one to five. Five means that you're getting it done. You're doing high marks. It's exemplary and it's above and beyond quality work that you've done in identifying your purpose. Anybody in your organization can tell everybody else what the purpose is. They all know it. Give yourself a score for empowerment. Do you feel that your people are empowered? Do they have a shared ownership in vision with you? Are they willing to step up and share leadership? Do they feel comfortable with what we are trying to accomplish? Give yourself a five. If not, one, two, three or four. Do you talk to one another? Do you share information with one another? Are you in a situation where it's the other way around? We don't share information. We keep it in this room and that's all.

So, we went all the way down this and gave ourselves a number. I would ask you to try and do that with your staffs because it would be very helpful for you. We took the ones with the low scores and knew we had to concentrate on those areas. How can we start to build, whether it's our morale? If you don't have a clear purpose, where's your morale? What if we lack empowerment? You control it, not me. Where's my morale? Down. I have poor relationships and communications with my staff members, my morale is down. You go right down the list and ask yourself what is affecting you most? Are you going to get a lot done? Probably not. Are you going to feel very good about it? Probably not.

So, one of the things we want to look at in characteristics of a high performing team is, what are you doing right now on your staff to promote high performing teams? What are you doing to promote the kind of things you want to happen on your team? This helps you to at least focus on what those characteristics might be. Look at yourselves as athletics directors and athletics administrators is that manager.

The primary function of that manager is to focus on helping the team as a unit. This is probably the most difficult concept to get. As a unit, move through the stages of group development. My biggest charge is to get the team to be a high performing team. The team is made up of individuals. My focus is on how the team is working together. Every time I have a problem with an individual, the only time that really becomes a critical issue to me is, when, when it affects the productivity and morale of the team. Up to that point, the team is supposed to figure out how to do it. It's the team responsibility to solve its problems.

I've had many presidents who take people off line. They meet them in their own offices and talk to them about how they were a jerk in the last meeting and how selfish they may be. That doesn't get handled in a meeting. So, people come back in and this person has been reformed. He now knows the right way. He won't be a problem and doesn't speak up anymore. In fact, they shut their mouth totally. Everyone on the team asks what happened. The team, that way, doesn't get a chance to understand that it is part of the growth and success of this team if the leader still solves a lot of those problems. We're trying to talk to you today about how you, as a leader, can start to understand and work with the growth of your team.

All groups are unique, dynamic, complex, ever-changing living systems that are different from the sum of the individual members. That's a critical phrase. In other words, as this thing mutates and moves and as personalities change, I, as the leader, have to be aware of how those changes are affecting how we do our work. At the same time, all groups go through similar stages. We'll talk about that in a minute. In other words, all groups tend to go through the same stages of group development, but your team may be going through it in a different way because your ingredients are different. If you have no one who has been through any kind of leadership work or training or management work, you may have a more difficult task trying to get these principles across. If you've got some people who have worked with teams, understand very critically how they operate, then you can make some transitions and analogies to what you're trying to accomplish in your management team that works with it. I'm always shocked at that. I'm always shocked when I go out and visit with coaches and athletics administrators and find these people are all working on teams themselves, building teams of young people, but when they get on one as a member, not the leader, they don't know how to operate as a team member now that they've become a coach. So, your team is filled with people who are leaders on their own team. That's a significant challenge, I think.

Understanding the dynamics and patterns that present in groups is absolutely essential if a team leader or member wants to be able to diagnose and describe what is going on, to predict what might be forthcoming. What can I anticipate coming out of this thing and to behave in ways that will facilitate the groups productivity and development. That's a critical thing for me as I've worked through. One of the reasons I came back to the NCAA is I felt the one thing I wanted to do was to provide more help and an understanding and an awareness of how these things fit and then try to help in any way I can.

One of the things we want to look at for you are two processes that are always going on for you as a leader. One way to improve your observation skills is to look at content and that is, what's going on. So you, as a leader, as you call any meeting, or you, as a leader, as your managing the dynamics of your staff, are looking at what the group is talking about or tasking to do. That's the what? All the time, there's a what going on. Focus on this so you'll know what it is. You're in it at the same time you're observing this. I understand the difficulty of being a participant, but also, an observer. But, effective leaders have to be participants and observers.

The other piece that I want you to take a look at as a participant observer is process, how the group is handling its communication and inner-personal activities. If you have no problems, this is wonderful and this should all be working. Our challenge is that it doesn't always work, so in leadership, we have to look at managing that dynamic. In many groups, contents and task usually receive most of the attention. That's what happens on most of our committees. Anything you're working with on an NCAA committee, there's a lot of tasks to be accomplished. We don't spend as much time looking at how the work is being done, how we're communicating with one another.

You heard this already today. Different context, but basically, effective group leadership is diagnosing the needs of the group and behaving in ways that help meet those needs. In other words, what you're trying to do in leadership, particularly as we go forward into the 21st century, is to diagnose what the group needs and give it what it needs. We tend to give it what we want to give. I operate out of my own personality. I'm a take-charge, driving, directive leader, so therefore, I do that most of the time. Many times the group doesn't need driving and directing at that point, it needs support, it needs for you to listen, it needs to be able to get some skills so that it can develop itself. So, what we want to do here is focus our attention in the future toward the needs of your group. If it's an individual you're working with, am I focusing on the needs of that individual. There are two different kinds of leaderships that you'll be engaged in. One of them has to do with your individual leadership and the other one has to do with whether, in fact, we are getting done what we need to get done on a group level.

The third component, and this takes a little bit of time, so I wanted to give us a little bit of it right now. Look at stages of group development. The group is a living organism, it's growing. It's a system, it's pulsating as you're working with it, it's operating while you're here. Business manager, coaches, everyone is getting their job done. It's moving and it's pulsating as we speak. It goes through four to five stages. The first stage, we call orientation. The second stage is dissatisfaction. The next is what we call resolution. Stage four, we call production.

There is a stage five and we call that termination. Stage five usually takes place when the team breaks up, when the project is over. If you deal with a lot of project teams that work very well together, then when it breaks up and the project is accomplished, there is a drop. There is a drop in emotion. It's a normal, natural way the team will feel about the work it did and the fact that there is no tomorrow. We had a championship season, now we're breaking up and saying goodbye. We had the banquet and there's a sadness. What you do in that situation is think of how to find another one. Many times, people go from project team to project team trying to find the same feeling they had when they were on that best one. Think about the time when you were on the best team you were ever on. I guarantee you that performance model was operating in the fives and fours in that situation.

Let's talk about development for a minute. There are two things to focus on. The first one is what we call production. I call it the amount of work that's getting done. The other one is the social or morale issue. How do we feel about the work we're getting done? So, when we're looking at an effective team, that's the outcome. The outcome you're looking for is high productivity, getting things done efficiently, but feeling good about the people you're working with. In the future, as we become much more diverse, this is going to be more and more of a challenge. This is why it's very helpful if you can get a grasp on it right now.

At the beginning, where's productivity? Low? Remember the first time you ever pulled the staff together? The first time you were on a team freshman year and you didn't know anyone? You knew who you were, but you were the only person you knew in the room. That's an orientation stage, stage one. See, your production is low, morale is pretty high. You have a lot of anticipation, but there is a dip in how you feel about it. You then start to come back as a team because works tends to grow. Productivity seems to increase.

I'm going to take you through the stages and then take you through what to do about it. What can you, as a leader, do to really make a difference and make sure you manage that properly? People are excited when you bring the team together for the first time. I'm the primary liaison for the strategic planning cabinet for Division I. We've never had a meeting. Many of the people who are going to be on that cabinet have not served in the NCAA in any capacity up to this point. They've been on smaller committees at their institutions or conferences, but they're coming to this thing eager to get involved. Generally, positive expectations about what's going to take place. There is some anxiety and concerns about why they're there, what they will get, what will they do, what will their leader be like, etc.

When we're starting out, there is a lot of concern and a lot of questions that need to be answered so, if you're ever starting out a new team, think about that. Think about, am I putting in place a structure that allows a new person to get up to speed as quickly as possible? That's what they need. The work that is characterized by low productivity, moderate task accomplishment, focus energy on defining the work, the task and how to approach it, and what skills are necessary. In orientation, it's really critical for you, as a leader, to be able to focus on what's going on within the team.

So, what do we do with the strategic planning cabinet? We're going to start to do a lot of work very early on in getting to know one another, what their background is, how they got here, what their commitment is, what are the kinds of things that you are asked to do by your conference, what are their marching orders, what skills do they bring to the group in terms of their commitment, are all things we're looking for.

As we move through that, the next stage is probably the most ticklish and that has to do with dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction is that dip you saw on the screen where morale tends to drop naturally. It's where people tend to experience some discrepancy between what they initially hoped, and then, what is actually going on. So, there's a big difference between what's going on and what I hoped would go on. Becoming dissatisfied with dependance on authority is an issue. There is a lot of negative reaction to the formal leader right now. Maybe, there's negative reaction to members of the team.

One of the challenges for you, as a leader when you're forming the team and getting through the stages, is that this is a natural place that people would start to, what I call, quack. You'll notice this by people going to lunch together and starting to talk to each other. All of that quacking tends to be in a stage two. When you start to see that or heads dropping, people start coming late, people pulling out newspapers, people bringing other work to do, all of those are stages of a power struggle between you, the leader, and the team. You really want to focus, then, on how can I give the team what it needs. It may be disruptive by negative feelings, outbursts, people checking out, people not necessarily wanting to get engaged in what everybody else wants to be engaged in.

In your artful and skillful way, you've now moved them through stage two to stage three. As I said before, these are all natural, so somewhere along the way, you will have stage two. If you continually help them with their productivity in feedback, you will get through it. How do we accelerate the amount of time spent in that situation? After two, we have three, which means people feel a little bit dissatisfied. They are now lessening their dissatisfaction. They're saying this is the team I'm working with and unless I make some radical changes, I'm going to be working with these people for a long time. What can I do to make the best of this now? There is a resolution to the fact that this is where I am and now I'm going to make some changes. I resolved the difference between the initial expectations and the realities. I start looking at decreasing animosity by saying, it isn't Ron, it may be me. I deepen my mutual harmony, trust and respect.

One of the things that can really help in this situation is that there is a "me" focus in situation two. In two, there is a lot of focus around an individual. In stage three, people are starting to realize that if they're going to get this done, they have to do it themselves. So, there is a collective "we." There are better, positive feelings about the people you're working with. Instead of me saying, "Boy, I can't believe that. If I just let go, that's a pretty good idea." People start to think that way in stage three. That's what you're looking for. You're looking for the signs of a "we" mentality versus a "me" mentality. If you can work through that, then we have this production stage where everything is working very nicely. This is a stage where you might be comfortable. Positive feelings about working together, a lot of autonomy, not dependent, but independent, enjoy working in small groups to get things done very efficiently, communicate openly and freely without fear of rejection or conflict, happen now. Conflict is good. Disagreement is good. Your idea may be as good as his. Let's talk that out. In stage three, that's pretty good. In stage two, I may take that personally and say it's you and me and I have to win. In three and four, we start to say that all of this is good for the group. We've got to get ideas and we need those ideas back to us, so there's a sharing of input and leadership with regard to three and four. Focus on accomplishments rather than on resistance. Relate to each other and to groups in terms of the complimentary functions we have.

I'd like to stop and ask you some questions. Have you experienced that so far? Is there anything I put up that you haven't seen? Do you have any questions now?

From the Floor:

Given the beginning and the differences in personalities and behaviors we may have, how do you go forward without knowing that?

Ron Stratten:

The answer is, do what you can to get that information. I would say that one of the things you want to do early on after you introduce yourselves is talk a little bit about your commitment. What are key values that you have? Let's go around the room and share a critical value you have, ways in which I can start to learn who you are as a person. Now, the other pieces, particularly in stage two, where that starts to operate in terms of my disillusionment or my dissatisfaction, then I can start to focus on how styles work.

One of the things to look at is your culture. Watch out for focusing immediately on behavior and start looking at are you developing the kind of staff culture that people can fit into. I would acknowledge that you may be a type A which means there are some things that may get you in trouble. Those things I would look at in terms of your behaviors. You tend to be more urgent as a result of that. I can deal with your urgency rather than you being type A. I only know that every time you want to get something done, you want to get it done and close. That interferes with his desire to understand critically what's going on. I sense there's a nice conflict here that's good for the team, but I, as a leader, need to be watching that in terms of content versus process. If I go with you, we'll get it done, but we may not be able to look at it as well as we need to. If I go over here with him, we may not close it on time.

There is a balance I have to manage as a leader in terms of meeting both of your needs. The best way I can do that is to acknowledge that you are different from him, therefore, my role is to figure out how the team can get what it needs. The issue is, how do we get two people to work together. The more we get that information out, the better it is, the fact that we are different, let's get it done. There are a lot of dynamics going on regarding culture. You hire these people and you need to think about their culture. When you're pulling a team together, you need to pull other issues and how they're going to fit into your culture and how are they going to adapt. Flexibility is a critical issue for the team to be effective. You might be able to deliver a purpose and they might even agree, but are they willing to understand the other person's point of view? If you have that as a criterion, a value, to work on this team and be effective with student-athletes, it may be a critical element for you.

From the Floor:

Questions were inaudible.

Ron Stratten:

Managers who emphasize on either task, accomplishment or morale at seeming expense for long periods of time do not do well. If I focus on either task or focus on process or maintenance, either one of them, if I focus on how we're doing or how we're feeling and I don't get anything done, I'm not an effective leader. If I focus only on getting things done and I don't look at the relationships and how we're communicating, I'm an ineffective leader. Either one of those extremes will give you the same grief, folks. It comes up in spades and it's tough. Pretty soon you say, "Well, we're going to have to get rid of somebody." What do you do? People start turning away. They stop coming and stop engaging because you, as the leader, aren't solving it.

A quick overview of the tasks. As I said before, this task is what we do paying attention to what we do. Usually, when we use task behaviors, we're looking at a more directive leadership. When we're looking at maintenance behaviors, we're looking at how and that's going to be a more supportive leadership. Early on in the development of the team, the team probably needs a high amount of direction.

There are two things I want you to focus on as a leader and your leadership behavior. Two behaviors I want you to think about. One of them is directing. Directing is the behavior that related to the task functions, is the extent to which you engage in one-way communication, spell out people's roles and tell them who, what, where, when and how to do the task. One way, you spell out everyone's role, individual's role, team's role, when to do it, how to do it, what to do and then watch them closely to see whether they're getting it done. That's highly directive behavior.

Supportive is what we use with maintenance issues when we're looking at how we're working together. Then, we can look and say that's two-way communication. Now, I'm going to elicit you in listening. Remember, high performance teams have a listening priority over a speaking priority. That's because they are focusing on two-way communication. Communicates listens, provides support and encouragement and facilities interaction, etc.

In leadership, we try to combine the two. In a stage one, remember, we have orientation. This is what the leader needs to do in a stage one. If you're bringing together a team for the first time, you need to provide an orientation, create structure. That structure is how we're going to work together, what are the expectations and what is the goal we're trying to accomplish. Define goals, direction and the roles of the participants. Define tasks and requisite skills.

When I'm in a direction stage and in orientation, I want to look at how to include people and try to develop trust. These are strangers. How do I build trust? If you have a new person come on the staff, everyone else knows each other, I then have to orient the new person. Should I take the whole team to do that? Probably not. Let's take you and you and you folks go out to lunch. We start to give that individual an orientation on how we do things and give them the who, where, what, how. We don't have to do this all at one time. We can take one or two individuals and help them get these pieces.

If we're successful in giving them that, we're going to run headlong into dissatisfaction. Of course, you need to smile because when they start quacking, where are they? In one or two? They are in stage two. That means, you're not in one. This is good. You want to have this stage because you want to let them know that we're there. All that quacking that's going on now is great. We're developing.

Now, we have to develop skills. How are we going to work together. I may bring in somebody to talk a little bit about our styles. How do we communicate with one another? We have to redefine goals. One of the things that usually happens in this dissatisfaction stage is that people get into themselves. Remember the me versus we. What happens at that time is that I begin to focus on what I think we ought to do. It may not be what Rob thinks we ought to do, or what Mary thinks we ought to do. At that stage, it is critical for me to go back and say, "Hey folks, this is what we signed on for. This is what we're trying to achieve." Learn how to work together. We have to continually pull ourselves in a place where we say that our goal is to work more effectively together.

Remove emotional road blocks. Remove the type A and type B persons. The analytical people who are slow to pull the trigger drive the type As crazy. Let's make a decision. Can't you make a decision? The answer is no. I don't have enough information to make a decision and I don't think it's going to be a good one. You're going to have to hear both of those and remove the emotional pieces and get to what's going on between these two individuals. How is that hurting the team and address that. Big time power issues are beginning to be a battle back and forth between the leader and the team. Control conflict. It's a very painful stage, but it is one that, if you're aware of it and if you see it, you can accelerate moving through it more quickly.

What do we do in resolution? We have to get them back on track. You, as a leader, are trying to refocus them back on what their intentions are. Give them feedback on how they're doing. Therefore, in stage three, we're deepening our skills and understanding of one another. We're increasing productivity because we're starting to work more easily together as a team. We know each other more. We know our strengths and weaknesses, therefore, I know what buttons to push. I share opinions and skills. I'm willing to do that without fear. I trust the group now more than I did before. I evaluate critically and constructively.

One of the things that is a tough issue here is that we have this group think deal that shows up. I try to all of a sudden be a team player that I stop being a critical thinker. I don't feel good about where we're going right now. I hate to be the one to hold up my hand, but I want us to go back and look at this again. If we're in stage three, I can do that. In stage two, I'd be quacking on my own behalf and people would either take that credibly or not. In stage three, the big issue is now that I realize that I'm out of the "me" thing and I'm in the "we" thing, I may have a tendency to go further and roll over every time somebody says something because I want to be a team member. But, what you, as a leader, are looking for is constructive thinking, critical thinking, good sharp critical thinking going on, movement from content to facilitator focus. We are less focused on the what because we are getting better at that. The leader is trying to give the control of the success of the group to the team. Continually confront and do not be afraid to confront each other's ideas. That's where we get our creativity.

The fourth stage is production. Focus on achievements. Give people recognition and appreciation. Make sure you're giving them a lot of feedback around how well they're doing. One of the critical pieces along the way is task accomplishment and how well we're doing. Deal immediately and directly with interpersonal group issues. When you see a high performing team, they'll tell each other what they think. They'll tell you that you're off base here. I love you and I care about you, it's just that you're off base here and we may not get to this one. I'm able to do that immediately. I know when it's right. Continue to inquire, explore and deepen our knowledge.

We have a highly effective team. The team runs itself. You, as a leader, bring doughnuts. You figure out when you need to be there, but your role is to facilitate them getting the job done. As long as the group is asking you when they're going to meet, tells you they need help on this. That means you're in stage two. Why? Because you're in control. When the leader is in control, you can only have a one or a two. The minute the leader starts to give up control, you can move into a three. When the group starts to own itself, be more empowered, able to respond to one another, then you are in that three and four.

The combination of these two fit this way. Orientation needs more direction. The difference between orientation and dissatisfaction is the support that's needed. We would then go into a coaching mode which is highly directive, but also, highly supportive. You're trying to give the team what it can't give itself right now, which is someone to listen to, someone to understand that there are feelings involved. You're trying to open up two-way communication so that the disconcerns can get out. Be highly supportive. Give it less direction because it's now starting to share leadership. You don't have to lead as much now. The team can lead itself. You're pushing them toward that outcome.

You're working with the team and asking for the projects it needs. When we have to get our budget done for this year, we have a number of things that we need to get done. How do you want to organize that? I no longer say, "You do this. You do that." I simply say this is what we need to get this done, how do we get it done. They just do it. They move quickly. They understand what needs to get done and they understand the level of expectation. Their clear about what their mission is. When you've got that, you have some significant issues going on. That's success.

One last item and it is a reality for most of us is what we call regression. No matter where we are on this chart, there is an opportunity for us to slide backward. That's usually when people either come on the team or go off the team. If we've got a person who is dissatisfied, things on the team or outside the team are causing dissatisfaction among one or more members of the group, as a result of that, we regress. As a functioning body, we now have to either fix that or surgically remove it. Both of them take time.

In a regression, what we usually do, if we pay attention to it easily or quickly, we can regress only one stage. That means if we are in a four, we would slide back to a three with a new member coming on the team. Why? Because we're going to have to slow down a little bit to bring that other person up to where we already are. That's going to take a group collective energy to do that. We have to focus on what we need to do to deliver the kinds of messages to that individual that allows them to make this transition.

This is just an obvious piece that I want to tell you about because we tend to ignore this. Let's just get onto the next task and not pay attention to the fact that something is going on. What happens then is that you slide backward from a four to a three. We're starting to quack a little bit more. We're starting to go into our individual things. We're thinking more about "we." An individual may be causing this and if we don't address it, where are we going to be? We're just going to continually slide backward. Pretty soon, we're in a dissatisfaction with the entire team. Where is production at that time? Significantly lower. Your ability to get done what you need to get done in a cost effective fashion is gone. You're going to have to spend all of your energies trying to get them back to where they were before because you did not pay attention to the changes that the group was going through. That's why you're stepping back a little and being a participant observer and looking at the way the team is operating is critical.

Effective leaders adjust their style to provide the group what the group can't give itself. You, as a leader in the 21st century, are going to have to be adjustable. You are going to have to be flexible. There is going to be more diversity. There's going to be women, people of color, age group differences. All of those things are going to impact you as a leader whether it's on your working staff or in your student-athlete population that is changing. It's all changing. You have a choice in the 21st century to be a leader or to be eaten up by it.

I would suggest, that in the 21st century, you can be ahead of this. You can be leading instead of following. You can be setting an example for how your teams work. My effective leadership has a lot to do with how I nurture, develop and support your participation in this process.

I have the handouts for everything I presented today. Thank you very much for your time. I enjoyed being with you.

Art Eason:

Thank you again, Ron, for your presentation. I know we've gained some things that will help to make us better leaders as we go into the next century. Thank you.