Power to the Team


FountainBlue’s December 11 When She Speaks, Women in Leadership Series event was on the topic of Power to the Team.


We were fortunate to have panelists representing different backgrounds, upbringings and perspectives around leadership, innovation, teamwork, diversity and team-building. Collectively, our panelists shared the following pearls of wisdom for team leaders: 

  • Insist that people treat each other with respect, trust each other to deliver, assume and deliver on responsibilities and assume accountability for their individual tasks and the project overall. 
    • Have zero tolerance for any individual(s) who would undermine the success of other people within the team, or the team overall.
    • Manage the brilliant mavericks and keep them engaged as this is critical to the success of any team. 
  • Bring out the best in all members of the team, knowing what everyone’s role is, knowing everyone’s value-add, and stretching everyone to contribute in specific ways, for the good of the project and the team. 
  • Communicate clearly and transparently in writing, to all stakeholders, what the expectations are and how the project is going.
    • The measure is any team leader is how well people feel heard, how good they feel about the project and about themselves. It’s almost as important as the bottom-line results delivered.
    • Building bridges between people and teams and empowering them with information and resources through constant, transparent, and clear communications is critical to the success of any project.
  • Select a team which is willing to be both process-oriented and agile. Having a plan of where you’re going and making changes on the fly helps teams succeed when the challenges are difficult, when the timing is tight, and when the stakes are high.
  • Be other-centric, focusing on the needs of the customer, the market, the team. Then develop a plan which takes into the account the motivations, expectations and expertise of all involved, managing toward win-for-all results.
  • Build on past successes by recruiting individual team members from prior successful projects, even if they are not quite in their sweet spot of individual team members, even if it’s not with the same company or industry.
  • Ensure that yourself and everyone on the team adds value in specific and necessary ways, wherever anyone sits in the org chart, working as a team to deliver measurable results in collaboration, moving beyond silos and a me-first mentality.
  • Expect to deliver with the team you have, rather than make excuses for any short-comings there might be. Of course you’re going to want to empower the team you have to deliver results, and to recruit more A players to your team, but rare is the leader who will deliver results even when B and C players are the majority, and rarer still is the leader who can convert these B and C players to also become A players. 
  • Know enough to be able to oversee and manage a project, but let your team be the experts in specific areas.

The team is only as strong as the individual players, but when led well, the gestalt of the team far outweighs the value of individual members, and it is these teams which are building and growing people, products, companies and industries.


Please join us in thanking our gracious hosts at Samsung, and our panelists for FountainBlue’s December 11 When She Speaks, Women in Leadership Series event, on the topic of Power to the Team:

  • Facilitator Deb Kaufmann, Deb Kaufmann & Associates, Inc
  • Panelist Charlotte Falla, VP of Legal and General Counsel, Samsung Research America 
  • Panelist Andrea Kolstad, Sr Director Digital Platforms, Polycom
  • Panelist Leila Pourhashemi, Head of Product Operations, eBay Marketplaces
  • Panelist Renee Six, Sr Mgr, End User Computing, Dell Inc
  • Panelist Reema Vijay, Head Business Operations & Strategic Planning, Vertical Solutions BU, Software Platform Group, Cisco
  • Panelist Ruby Yip, Senior Account Manager, EMC

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