February 21, 2011

The Power of Pods

The Navy SEAL's employ a great leadership tactic called "pods." Instead of training as a large team, they break people into small groups. These groups do everything together and create tight bonds. Observe human nature and watch how people naturally cluster in small groups. 

Paul Azinger, captain of the US Ryder Cup team in 2008 and professional golfer, used this strategy to perfection. Instead of pairing his team based on talent, he grouped them according to personality, background and values. In pods, under pressure communication increases when behavioral style is compatible. 

Pods can be implemented in any organization. Take for instance your company. Normally groups are formed based around skill set or position, but that doesn't always work. What if psychological assessment were used such as the StrengthsFinder, DISC or Myers Briggs, then people were grouped based on personality fit? The result would be increased performance based on shared values, personality and background.

This sounds simple, but we are relational beings at our core. Here are some takeaways from Azinger's book "Cracking the Code:"

  • Implement a strategy that creates the best environment to succeed
  • Focusing on relationships produces positive results
  • Team unity comes from understanding the unique behavioral style & contribution of each person
  • Giving responsibility and authority fosters trust and confidence
  • Message people according to their needs (not ours) encourages peak performance

The leader's job is to create an environment where others have the best chance to succeed. This happens with intense preparation and taking the needs of your people into consideration. Don't micromanage, instead set the structure, communicate the message, then trust your people by releasing control and letting them do the job. 

The next time you're forming teams, try using the pods strategy. You'll be amazed at the power of the pods! 


1 comment:

  1. Once companies use the DiSC profile assessment to get to learn more about their employees, they could get to determine which of them could work more effectively as a team.


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