One of the best books I’ve ever read is Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. Nearly 22,000 Amazon reviewers have rated this book 4.8 out of 5 stars – remarkable.
What I love about this book is how 9 depression-era kids from different backgrounds came together with unity of purpose while shattering every barrier of distrust and fear of one another.
That’s hard. There’s no class to teach you the owner, the CEO to get other men and women to work together. It takes time, hard work, coaching, mentoring, teaching, and saying over and over again, “We can do this.”
The opposite of rowing together is obviously rowing in different directions. How does that happen? Is it the leadership? Is it lack of clarity? Is it a poor team? All of the above?
While there are no quick fixes, I’d start by reading The Five Dysfunctions of Team by Patrick Lencioni. I’d follow that book with The Ideal Team Player by the same author.
In the early years of the business, you can get away with only a part of the team rowing together because you and one or two others are doing most of the heavy rowing while offsetting the defiencies of the others.
As the business grows, this pace is not sustainable. You need tools, time, and techniques to get everyone on the same page where everyone trusts and respects one another while being united in purpose. Is this true of your organization?
This CFO’s doctrine so far includes leadership which is about direction followed by your team’s acceptable behavior. That segued into rowing together. Are you thinking about your company’s doctrine? Does it include the same chapters?