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Team behaviors in turbulent times tend to “stress test” team culture, and starkly show the strengths and weaknesses of companies. Robert Glazer, CEO of Acceleration Partners, bestselling author of Elevate, joined Meghan Lynch, CEO of Six-Point, and Ruth Lund, President of the Legacy Center, to discuss what he has seen in his own team culture.

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Robert Glazer

Meghan Lynch

Ruth Lund

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Often many companies have employees who are “on the edge” in terms of their performance and cultural fit. When you apply pressure to the organization, these people “either fling to the outside or stick to the middle,” explains Glazer. They either become great and you just want that person in your bunker or it becomes clear that this person is not a fit at all, and you see that you need to move on from this person quickly.

When things are going great, it’s easier for people to behave in the right ways and align with the culture. When pressure is applied to teams in turbulent times, you tend to see the true colors of both leadership teams and team behaviors.

Glazer referenced his own experience with his team early in the COVID-19 pandemic. When everything was beginning to shut down, he froze everything at Acceleration Partners until it became more clear what the next few months would hold. Glazer explained that during that time period, “ you have some people coming to us and saying, ‘Hey, look, if we end up doing layoffs or anything, please lay me off first or furlough me first. Someone else on my team has a family, but I can withstand this.’ And then you have other people coming and saying, ‘Hey, when are we doing promotions?” 

The extremes in team behaviors was clarifying to him, as it should be to all leaders in times of stress. The takeaway? Make sure you have strong people in your bunker who have your back and will dig even deeper into your core values when times are tough.