A Four-Star General's Approach to Team Building
General Ann E. Dunwoody, the first woman in the U.S. military to have achieved the rank of four-star general, knows all about the importance of team building and holding people accountable. Her latest book is titled "A Higher Standard: Leadership Strategies from America's First Female Four-Star General." In it, she illustrates her firm belief that every person on a team has something valuable to contribute. "If you can bring the best out in each of your team members then you're going to have a great team," she states. While people want to make a difference and be part of a high-performing organization, they also want to be appreciated, so it’s important to reward good behavior, she adds.

One area leaders often have difficulty in is giving out constructive criticism. Dunwoody insists it doesn't always have to be confrontational or negative. "Sometimes it's just education," she remarks. "We all have blind spots and so someone may not know that they're not carrying their load." Before her 2012 retirement from military service, Dunwoody managed the U.S. Army's global supply chain in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, she serves as president of First to Four, a leadership mentoring firm. Throughout her career both in the armed forces and the private sector, the main thing she has discovered is that all good leaders hold themselves to a higher standard and encourage their subordinates to do the same. She concluded, "If you have a team full of A students that are always trying to exceed the standard and do the best for the organization, you're going to have a high-performing organization.”
Forbes (02/12/18) Kruse, Kevin
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