This was the week of the Pitch Presentations, the finale of a period of intense planning and preparation.
My main takeaway from this activity was the nature of collaboration under pressure. Our team was five people, all of whom knew each other. Moreover, we like each other and get on well. It’s interesting to see how these relationships are put under strain by the demands of the project.
People, naturally, attempted to bring their areas of experience and expertise to the fore and contribute as fully as possible. Generally, this went well. There were one or two situations where one team member was trying to move a discussion in line with their expertise at a speed that others were not comfortable with.
There are two responses here. The “leader” can slow down to the pace of the “followers” or the “followers” can try to up their game. Which response is adopted is a matter of some sensitivity. External pressures are a factor too. The “leader” may want everyone else to speed up to meet a deadline. This may be interpreted as leadership, or it may be interpreted as megalomania. I use quotation marks around “leader” because there was no nominated leader, people just stepped up in certain situations.
Personally, I prefer the flat structure, Teal Organisation in current management speak. It’s certainly a test of character to voluntarily allow another group member to assume a leadership role, but a test to which we should all be subjected.
(Featured image is a cheesy stock photo from Pexels )