In my barn-office, as in the bull-pen at work, place matters.
In fact where you are physically placed, your general position and your proximity to others really does matter and will ultimately register on the scale of performance.
But as I said earlier…what holds true in the barn holds true in the office….let me explain:
Our small farm is a management experiment real time…except instead of John, Jennifer and Jason…we have Zorro, Mini-Me, Brownie, and Hershey. Early on, the morning barn ablutions were characterized by lots of aberrant behavior, noise and a general atmosphere of chaos.
Grain robbing. Pushy attitudes. Head butting and bowl biting. This was less than pleasant and did not add to the overall ambiance of this bucolic Albermarle farm.
In time, we figured out that if we placed the animals strategically throughout the barn….tying them to post or pin…we could avoid a large degree of disorder.
Then we realized that some were better next to one another than others. Their proximity actually increased their well-being and brought a greater sense of calm to the whole herd.
Finally, we recognized that positioning one animal in front of another fell into their natural rank and order acknowledging a new level of respect and decency for each.
So what are we getting at here?
In work teams as in the work environment, place, position and proximity matter.
A savvy leader will configure his or her team in such a way to physically maximize and harness the very best of each team member. They will thoughtfully consider placing one complimentary skill-set next to another allowing for mutual exchange and the development of strong technical and strategic alignment.
The best leaders will consider a team member’s position as a resource to be shared. Seniority in proximity with the rookie engenders an opportunity to mentor and teach…all in an effort to raise the bar of performance excellence throughout the team.
When place, position and proximity are carefully considered, a level of certainty that breeds confidence results in the team. A quiet strength prevails and performance is enhanced.
So whether “barn or bull-pen”, the best leaders think place, position and proximity to drive team performance, build success and arrest the chaos that lurks when the “herd” is left unguarded.