Team dynamics… what is really going on?

January 25, 2013

teamYes it is true…you do not have to have a great team to win.  This has been proven over and over again in business and in sports.  Talent and leadership certainly helps, but sometimes “lightning in a bottle,” right time, right place and the right circumstances do contribute to wins.

Imagine with me for a moment, what if… there was a way to work smarter together to achieve a higher level of performance that not only would you be able to sustain a high level of performance but you could also create the “lightning in a bottle (market demand and offerings match) in the right time (now) the right place (here and now), and create the circumstances (excitement in the market) to win. What would it be like to go to work every day?

Here are three benefits of building a high performance team:

Achieve desired outcomes and exceed goals (perhaps revenue and profits)

Lower stress and improved work life balance

Have more fun and enjoyment

In a nutshell, this goes back to who do you want to become as an individual and then as a team.  Can we start thinking from a higher level?  In other words how do we get teams to think from the vantage of teamness that they want to become in the future.  Here are 5 suggestions to consider based on my experience working with teams to help us elevate our team thinking.

Focus on the “what is” the win. WIIFM (what’s in it for me)

Build strong accountability to communicate “adult to adult” being helpful verse controlling.

Spend time together… informal conversations and formal meeting with strategic agendas.

Develop emotional bonds with each other by embracing your differences… actually care about each other.

Celebrate as a team your wins in meaningful ways.

This week a friend of mine took a team of individuals to New Jersey to help with the clean-up from “Sandy”.  Ryan, a high school student, one of the team members had all the wrong motivations for taking the trip he thought it would be a resume builder for college and also be impressive to any young ladies he might encounter on this extended weekend adventure.  With this attitude my friend who was leading the team knew it would be a challenging weekend.  It was day two that Ryan gave into being concerned with self and started to really focus on helping others and being willing to do whatever was necessary to achieve the mission.  Working under a house in the mud, in stagnet smelley water, with arms and legs hurting from the physical effort yet so focused on the outcome and the impact they were having on families who had given up all hope created the “lightning in the bottle” atmosphere that was maintained for the next 4 days.   At the end of the day a luke warm shower and a Big Mac was the big celebration that re enegerized their efforts to go again the next day.  The work in New Jersey is endless and relief efforts will be on going for two years but for four days my friend Dean and his team because they choose humility made a difference for a few glimmers of hope and a few smiles.

Big Idea! Be “other” focused rather than “self” focused….

Challenge:  The higher you go in an organization the harder it becomes to check your ego at the door.  I know because I fail over and over again.  Hmmmm… maybe in 2013 I will more consistently truly be about others 1st.

Human Relations Principal of the week:

Become genuinely interested in other people.

Dale Carnegie


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