“Smart or healthy, which do you want for your dream team?”

When leaders focus more on getting smarter instead of healthier it may indicate they are avoiding the realities of human behavior required for getting healthier. Realities such as brutal honesty, personal responsibility and mental toughness are all critical in facing emotional immaturity, the number one challenge in every organization.

Attracting, developing and retaining mature qualified people is the number one priority of all healthy organizations and great leaders. Turing them into a passionate winning team is their number two priority.

First, the core essence of attracting good people and building great teams is trust. It’s time-consuming to build and can be lost in one conversation.

Second, politics (humanness) is the greatest hindrance to building an effective leadership team. Petty politics is the result of unresolved personal issues at all levels of organizational life.

Third, attempting to cure political issues without addressing the source, senior leadership, is pointless. Most problems start in the front office, not on the front lines.

Four ways to recognize a healthy dream team:

1. They are passionate about getting the details right and being productive every day. They are never idle, exhausted, or bored.
2. Their meetings are compelling forums for asking well-thought-out questions, always tackling the tough ones first.
3. They have no problem challenging any idea, but passionately support the final decision regardless of who brings it forward.
4. They hold each other accountable for behaviors that are not conducive for great team performance. Personal preference is sacrificed for the good of the team.

How do you build a healthy dream team?

The most important activity is building relational equity in an atmosphere of trust as a way of life, not an occasional team event. This involves being honest with yourself and everyone else, stop spinning reality.

In terms of effectiveness my experience indicates that a team’s relational effectiveness has greater impact on their chance for success than its collective experience, knowledge or talent.

Cohesiveness and cooperation at the senior leadership level is the number one indicator of future success for any organization. Only emotionally mature and healthy leaders who know how to mold a group of independent individuals into team can achieve that challenge.

Smart organizations die every day because of sick leaders who refuse to address their personal leadership health issues. Refusing to look in the mirror doesn’t mean you don’t need to comb your hair. Most of the time the problems leaders complain about with their team is a reflection of their own health report.

When was the last time you had an honest leadership health checkup?