It sounds silly, but a healthy team is more than one person acting alone. That is called an individual action, not a team effort.
As we are exploring what makes for a healthy team, I believe one of the most important commitments we can make is this:
We are committed to helping each other succeed, because our individual effectiveness is directly related to our overall effectiveness.
Teams are comprised of individuals with a variety of skills, abilities, and backgrounds. But this alone does not guarantee a high-performing, healthy team. That requires individuals to function like … are you ready … a team!
Think about professional sports. Imagine an athlete that is only concerned about individual achievements or records. Every move is based on what will allow them to accomplish more. They decide not to do things that are outside their self-interest. If the athlete is a golfer, bowler, or singles tennis player – great! Those are not team sports.
But how many times have you watched a basketball team that was simply five individuals all trying to score as many points for themselves as possible? Or a football player who refuses to block because he doesn’t want to hurt his hands?
Here’s what the most successful teams know: What we accomplish together is larger than what I accomplish alone.
If holding an individual record is more important to you than winning a championship, then you’re not a team player.
In the business world, it’s common to find people who are threatened by the success of others. Whether it’s from insecurity or outright jealousy, this creates an underlying tension that will eventually weaken the team.
A healthy team is one puts the mission of the team ahead of personal goals. If one member knocks a presentation out of the park, that’s good for the team. And it was probably the result of the team – contributing, designing, refining, and supporting the overall effort.
No one person has the best ideas all the time. Any organization is best served when a team leverages the individual strengths of its members. As we’ll see in the next post, it’s also why refusing to grow and improve as individual makes you a poor teammate.
Healthy teams operate with a sense of shared responsibility for the overall success of the team.
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Experience and Background
- 25+ years of senior leadership experience
- masters in management and leadership
- presenter at the WFX National Conference
- former president, Church Planters of the Rockies
- helped start 2 for-profit tech companies
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