CHAPTER 5Specify a Compelling Team Purpose

Here are two ways a leader can get it wrong in setting a team’s purpose. Wrong Way #1: “Something is going on in that region that doesn’t seem quite right, and I’d like you all to take a look at it. Let me know what you come up with.” Wrong Way #2: “I’d like you to monitor, around the clock, all the traffic that comes across your desk about ship activities in those ports. Every morning, give me a listing of all the previous day’s movements.”

What is wrong with these two pictures? The first one is something of a projective test, an inkblot. Members have to make assumptions about what the leader is most interested in, and what they infer may or may not be aligned with what he actually had in mind. Indeed, ...

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