The Adult Contract

Adult contractAt EOS we coach leadership teams to be open and honest with each other. This means they should be solving business issues without blame and finger-pointing. Proposed solutions to issues should be agenda-free. Leadership teams should have a united front and strive to eliminate politics from the culture. In other words, it’s about having a healthy, functional, cohesive team.

In order for a company to have this level of health, they need to treat each other as adults. A mentor of mine, Brad Hams, taught something he called the Adult Contract. The adult contract is nothing anyone has to sign. It’s a message you communicate to your team and your workforce that says simply this: We are all adults here. We all want the same things from working here: we want a great place to work, we want an enjoyable environment, and we’re all here to make some money. So as adults, we agree to do certain things, and we agree not to do certain things.

What Adults Don’t Do in Business Teams

One thing adults agree not to do is shoot each other. In other words, we don’t shoot the messenger. When you yell at people or shoot down their ideas, they’ll withdraw because you’re creating a culture of fear. You could also miss out on innovative ideas, as your people become afraid to speak up.

Adults don’t hide problems. Hidden problems don’t get solved. Adults bring problems out of the dark and into the light. A healthy team will discuss its problems, openly and honestly, and solve them for the greater good of the organization.

Lastly, adults don’t argue with reality. We can’t go back and dwell in the past, assigning blame and pointing fingers. We have to acknowledge reality and discuss how we will solve the problem for the future. This is what healthy teams do.

What Adult Leadership Teams Do

Adults do some things as well. They take care of each other. They respect each other and they protect their home and their family—or in this case, they protect the company. They put the greater good of the company ahead of their own self-interest, recognizing that if we take better care of the WE, we can take better care of the ME.

The next time you and your leadership team are working to solve an issue, remember to apply the principles of the Adult Contract. Your team’s discussion and proposed solutions will all be focused on the Greater Good.

Next Steps

 

Related Posts

Are You Making Decisions Out of Love or Fear?

As leaders, we make substantially more decisions than most, and I’ve come to realize that many of our decisions are made out of fear. The root of that fear is now clear, which I will uncover in a moment. First, I’d like to create a little context.Over the last 30 years, I have created five pieces of content to help driven leaders get everything they want out of their professional and personal lives…

Read on »

Creating a Culture of Abundance and Love

Creating a culture of abundance and love isn’t as hokey as it sounds. Instead, it’s one of the key starting points to a successful business. In my experience, if you don’t have a healthy team culture, you’ll struggle to get everything you want out of your business. 

Read on »

Three Ways to Build Great Teams

How do you build great teams? I get asked this question all the time. The research is clear: great teams are built on trust. Below, I cover three ways to build great teams… and they all begin with trust.

Read on »

Subscribe to the EOS Blog

Subscribe to the EOS Blog:

LOGIN TO

Base Camp

LOGIN TO

Client Portal

LOGIN TO

ORGANIZATIONAL CHECKUP

Search the EOS Worldwide Blog

Skip to content