29 December 2018

Building High Performance Teams According to the Bible Ephesians 4:14-16

This blog has been sharing the wisdom of Ancient Chinese and Western Modern Management. But there is another great source of wisdom which is the Bible. This post will share about building a high-performance team according to the Paul from the Bible Ephesians 4:14-16. The key ideas are diversified members with specialized abilities, development of members from infants to maturity, mission, leadership, modelling of maturity, communications and connection to link up all the members with love seeking after the truth.
The Text of Ephesians 4:14-16 NIV

We break the sentences into sub-sentences to show the main concepts(in italics) better:
    • 14 Then we will no longer be
      • infants,
        • tossed back and forth by the waves,(unstable, changing all the time)
        • and blown here and there by every wind of teaching (easily influenced by others)
        • and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.(victims of evil people & wrong teachings)
    • 15 Instead,
      • speaking the truth in love,(Know the Truth through Love)
      • we will grow (from infant to maturity)
      • to become in every respect the mature body of him (Jesus/Leader as the Model)
      • who is the head, that is, Christ. (Jesus as the Leader)

    • 16 From him the whole body, (The Team as One body)
      • joined and held together by every supporting ligament, (connection & communication)
      • grows and builds itself up in love, (Growth for the members & the team)
      • as each part does its work. (Diversities & Specialization of Members)
What can we learn about Team Building?
  • Members:
    • They are in Different Stages of Growth:
      • Infants
        • uncertain, not stable
        • changes often by others
        • can be deceived
      • Maturity
        • stable - not easily influenced
        • helping others to grow-up
        • know his position and abilities and contribute accordinglyjoined up with others, especially the infants-members
        • know the mission of the team
        • Follow and attain the standards of Jesus as the Model/Example
The Glues

  • Mission - By Jesus - The Leadership
    Some questions, seeking the truth, we should ask are:
    • What is the mission of the Team? & Why?
  • Truth
  • Truth, facing the reality, is the key ingredient for teaming and performance
    But the truth could hurt especially for the infant-members, and hence must be done through Love. 
    Infants must be coached with love else they get discouraged and give up or become rebellious and destructive

    • what is the true state of the members - infants?
    • what is the true performance of the whole team?
    • Do the members understand and embrace the mission?
    • Is the team mission being accomplished or each one fighting for his own?
    • What are the reasons for lack of performance?

  • Model Of Maturity JesusThe leader should set the standards for maturity. He himself being the model. Then the standards become the yardstick of measurements for good performance.
    • Are members behaving like Jesus?

  • Connection & Communication
    The team must be bonded together to act as one and differentiated from others. They must maintain a close relationship. This is done through frequent connection and truthful communications.
  • Do they meet often? Do they communicate truthfully with love?
  • Specialized & Diversified
  • Every member uses his abilities to work best in his particular function.
    • Does everyone know its position/function?
    • Are the assignment according to their special abilities?
  • The Growth - Team & Its Members
  • grows and builds itself up in love, Love does not mean without discipline. Any good father will discipline his sons for their good.

    • Do the members grow?
    • Does the team grow?
  • Self-organized & Directed
    • Are the mature members self-directed and self-organized? 
    • Do they need to be supervised constantly?
By providing answers to question raised above, we can learn how to make improvements to our team. May you spend the time to discover the true state and the problems that you are facing with your team and get the improvements that you so desire.

Here is a mind-map:

By: Lim Liat (c) 29 Dec 2019

18 July 2018

Discovering Inner Desires - Gui Gu Zi's Wisdom#10 C8 摩篇 Probe

The last post is about appreciation of the situation and discovery of intentions. This post a follow-up into the discoveries of the inner desires of the people involved. It is based on the principle that what is inside will be revealed in the response to when probed. How that can be done is presented here.
The Principle of Reaction:

The inner intentions will be revealed in the external reaction when probed appropriately.

The Keys to Probing Rightly:
  1.  Probing without Detection:
     If detected, they will hide, distort or even mislead you.
  2.  Probing without leaving any trace.
     If any trace is left, they will be discovered and they can take corrective and preventive actions.
  3. Go by being like them - Familiarity engages.
    GuiGuZi said that dry wood will catch fire first. Damp ground will soak up the water first.
    Be like them, earn the trust, and the rights to be listened to and to ask.
    Go by their types and by their desires. 
Discovering 10 Types of Desires:
  1. Stability - No Change. Keep the status-quo
  2. Righteousness - Make sure it is right and fair to everyone.
  3. Happiness /Hedonism
  4. Anger - Give me revenge. I want to get even.
  5. Fame and Glory.
  6. Success - Make sure it succeeds.
  7. Clean and fugal- No-Corruption. 
  8. Trustworthiness - Fulfill expectation
  9. Benefits - Gains.
  10. Insecurity - Give me assurances and praises. Let me be in control.
The Ideals:
  1. For planning, it must be both complete and detailed.
  2. For persuasion, it must be complete listening 
  3. For execution, it must be completed successfully.
The Best Leadership - Quiet Execution:

The best kind of leadership is to do things as quietly as possible, over a long period of time, and let the result do the talking. It is the accumulation of good works and the winning effortless (win without engaging in any war and consume no resources). Planning must be done in secret and executed stealthily so that the result will surprise the people and yet the people know not how. Drawing attention will just invite interferences and distortions to the execution of the plan. Such a leadership matches well with Lao Zi's teaching on Levels of Leadership - Can We Measure Leadership?


1. Probe: must know their personalities and desires and probe accordingly and lightly without detection and leaving no trace. Start with observation.
2. Ideals: Strategize(complete, detailed), Persuade(listening), Execution (completion & success)
3. Be like them to get trust and disclosures.
4. Appeal to their desires and get listening, agreement and support
5. Must be done at the right time, not distracted by initial success, and persistence to completion.