Welcome to Episode 54 of The Executive Edge, the podcast for skills in life and business.

This week’s guest is Team and Culture specialist Andrew Bull (www.interstellarway.life). With a background in the film industry, his experiences taught him a lot about teamwork, and especially what made a team work well.

Being in the film industry gave Andrew a unique insight but since then he’s worked in business, and with many clients. His aim is to help them get some essential ingredients right. Namely good communication, determining their purpose and a vision, as well as forming a strong bond and culture within the team.

It’s easy to get these things wrong he feels. Listening skills are really important too and something we don’t value enough. That is, because it isn’t taught in school yet it’s a skill that so obviously helps all of us in every sector and at every age.

What makes a great leader?

The important issue is often about the qualities and skills of the leader. Although each person who leads a team can be at any level of the business, essentially the top leader sets the culture. If the culture is one of blame, negativity, or worse anger, then it breeds defensive behaviour. A leader who shows maturity even when things are tough will run a business with better teams. Equally, one who takes accountability for what the business wants and how it tries to get it (whether successful at it, or not), is a mature person and one many teams respect.

Feeling respect for each other and your leader engenders commitment and loyalty. In turn, people talk about their experiences and use social media to create a kind of social validation for the business. This makes it attractive to people searching and so the likelihood of attracting the right talent can be a beneficial cycle.

What else does he promote?

One of the strongest reasons for getting teams to perform well is to combat three of the most topical issues we’re all experiencing right now. There has been such rapid change given the Covid situation that many businesses are reeling from the hybrid working model that is still in place. People may benefit from the well-being this can encourage but facilitating this process still has its difficulties for many companies. There is a deficit of good talent and on the other hand, a rise in demand for higher wages for those who are remaining. We’re also seeing a rise in burn out given many managers and leaders are struggling to run disparate teams who may, or may not, feel comfortable coming back to work yet.

There is a lot to think about and Andrew has some great tips including a podcast called the Interstellar Business Show. You can find him on all the major platforms and if you’d like to hear more of this episode, you can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google play and iHeart.

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