No doubt, we all have had moments where a light goes off in our mind and brings forward an idea or solution. And, an excited “Aha!” usually accompanies this revelation, am I right?

I’d like to share one of my Lightbulb Moments that relates to team building and the monumental creation of a ‘Team Charter’ within the organization that I serve.

I was completing my MBA program in my 9th year as CEO of Powder River Energy Corporation. The neat thing about going through this master’s program during this time is that not only was I further developing my own leadership skills but also that of my executive staff. What I was learning, they were also learning.

Our executive team at that time had many of the typical components of dysfunction, including silos where people were only concerned with their own little worlds. There was face-to-face conflict in addition to behind-the-scenes conflict. Because the style in which the team had been used to wasn’t built on everyone contributing to conversations, some felt as if they were just sitting on the sidelines. Not a great way to instill rapport amongst members nor an effective way for a team to function.

As we learned to work through these elements more constructively together, we became much more cohesive and focused. And what we ultimately built was a high-performing team charter, following Ken Blanchard’s model.

So, you might be asking, “What exactly is a ‘team charter’?” In a nutshell, it is a documented plan that is developed in a group setting that clarifies the team’s direction while establishing boundaries. It encourages complete understanding and buy-in from all members and the process in which to reach a resolution.

The key ‘Lightbulb Moment’ of this story is how having differing opinions within your team is actually a very good thing. It takes various ideas and viewpoints to reach the best solutions. Having passionate, outspoken people on your team brings life and endless possibilities for consideration. While the more soft-spoken members of the group tend to think more analytically, revealing yet another side to the topic at hand. The dynamic of full transparency and openness reduces negativity and disruptive scenarios. The sooner a team can have open dialogue around conflicts and issues, the sooner they can shift toward working as a high-performing team.

Creating a Team Charter has worked well for our cooperative and I know it can work well for your organization. Through this process, you will create stronger leaders and highly-efficient leadership teams.