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How Can Leaders Manage Turf Wars?

July 31 2017 - by The Caribbean Leadership Project

As part of the Caribbean Leadership Project’s (CLP) over-arching objective to develop a dynamic, integrated and renewable community of adaptive leaders to transform the public services of the Region, we have produced a series of short videos on leadership. In this video, you will hear from Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), Mr. Ronald Jackson, and Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The UWI Open Campus, Dr Luz Longsworth, on how leaders can manage turf wars.



In your opionion, how can leaders manage turf wars? Please leave your comments below.

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vitillius holder - Reply

Appreciate that individuals make up teams. While we unite as teams towards a shared goals it is iimportant to appreciate that strong individuals make strong teams. So leaders should ensure that while the team works towards a common goal that individuals should have peronal  purpose, beliefs and values. Team work should result in satisfied indivual, satisfied team and satisfied leader , a win/win/win/ situation. Thus leaders should facilitate the developement of turfs to bring out the best in individuals. Thus there will be increase in turfs as more partners are brought to the table. The more we appreciate that turfs are natural occurence then the more we will be able to embrace and fcilitate turf harmony instead of allowing or facilitating turf war.

Lois Elaine Parkes

Well said, Vitilius. Thanks for responding

Claire Williams - Reply

I agree that turfing can be a positive element in teams/organization. It is about boundries, roles and personal space; and how these elments recognised by team members.  

I like the expression used by Vitillius "turf harmony". Therefore to achieve this harmony managers must define roles and responsibilities and more critically manage the sub-cultures among team memebers. To me these sub-cultures are the behaviours that are developed as coping mechanisms that are become morms but never dicussed openly to gain clarity or commonality in interpretation.  Therefore as each one act in accordance with their interpretation of these morns, it becomes obvious that its in conflict with others perception of the interpretation or meaning. Consequently bounderies get crossed, spaces is encroached, functions overlap then there is an urgency to prevent and protect. End product is 'turf war'.

Therefore in addition to having formal information on roles responsibilities, there must be clear understanding of the rolls of engagement that will guide emerging sub-cultures. 

Lois Parkes

Having clear rules of engagements and understanding boundaries, and openly addressing boundary-shifts are all critical for dealing with turf issues. Thanks for responding, Claire

Thom Newcomb - Reply

"Turf harmony" - I love this term. When we understand each others values and purpose we can make each other stronger. By making the other stronger, they in turn, are better equipped to make us stronger if they understand our values and purpose. Therefore, the stronger we make my harmonious partner the better off we are by giving them the ability to make us stronger.  This system of making each other stronger is limitless.  We need not turf wars as it's a battle over the limited present state of now, turf harmony is a partnership for the limitless future of opportunity.

"Good leaders don't create followers, they create more good leaders"-John Maxwell

Lois Parkes

Fantastic elaboration of the term - turf harmony. Thanks for your comment