The article below was posted in the "Leadership Thoughts" section of the site. It talks about the keys to team success. Coach Williams states at the end of the article that, "even when you've played the game of your life, it's the feeling of teamwork that you'll remember. You'll forget the plays, the shots, and the scores, but you'll never forget your teammates."
The Benefits of a Team
Throughout my leadership journey, teams have lifted me to heights I never could have climbed alone. Here's a few ways my teams bring me success:
My team makes me better than I am.
My team multiplies my value to others.
My team enables me to do what I do best.
My team allows me to help others do their best.
My team gives me more time.
My team provides me with companionship.
My team helps me fulfill the desires of my heart.
My team compounds my vision and effort.
Invariably, great teams are the main ingredients of a leader's biggest accomplishments. In this edition of Leadership Wired, I'd like to share eight keys to team success.
Eight Keys to Team Success
#1 - Vision determines the direction of the team.
Teamwork gives you the best opportunity to turn vision into reality. However, to earn the support of a team, a leader must cast vision. A compelling vision supplies the team with direction and confidence. Transmitting a vision requires an emotional and logical transference. Emotionally, a leader must gain credibility, demonstrate passion, establish relationships, and communicate a felt need. Logically, a leader must confront reality, formulate strategy, accept responsibility, celebrate victory, and learn from defeat. When lacking either the emotional or logical component, a leader's vision may fall flat.
#2 - Values determine the foundation of the team.
Values influence the team and drive its behavior. Shared values define the team, and they play the following roles:
Glue -- They hold the team together.
Foundation -- They provide stability for the team to grow upon.
Ruler -- The measure the team's performance.
Compass -- They give direction and guidance.
Magnet -- They attract like-minded people.
#3 - Work ethic determines the preparation of the team.
Outstanding teams are comprised of teammates who understand the Law of the Big Picture: the goal is more important than the role. Coming together is a beginning, and staying together is progress, but only when teams sweat together do they find success.
#4 - Personnel determines the potential of the team.
Oftentimes, winning teams rise above losing teams on account of where the players are placed. Take a look at what I mean:
The Wrong Person in the Wrong Place = Regression
The Wrong Person in the Right Place = Frustration
The Right Person in the Wrong Place = Confusion
The Right Person in the Right Place = Progression
The Right People in the Right Places = Multiplication
Successful teams adhere to The Law of the Niche: all players have a place where they add most value. These teams funnel their people into positions where they can leverage each member's strengths.
#5 - Structure determines the size of a team.
An organization's structure should encourage flexibility, change, and innovation. Structure does not cause growth, but it does control the rate and size of your growth. Beware of broken processes and ill-defined systems. They have a way of stunting growth and squandering efficiency.
#6 - Relationships determine the morale of the team.
Winning is often a battle, and there are times in the life of every team player when he or she needs to fight. But if you fight all the time, you can wear yourself out. That's why it's important to pick your battles.
To gain a better perspective of when to fight back and when to sacrifice your interests, practice the following disciplines:
Spend time with people who are different from you. This helps you appreciate and understand how others think and work. As a result, you will be less likely to judge or battle others.
Give in on matters of personal preference or taste. Keep the main things the main things. If you don't save yourself for what matters most, then you'll wear yourself out and wear out your welcome with others.
Don't take things too personally. Always remember, hurting people hurt people, and they are easily hurt by others.
Practice the 101% principle. Whenever possible, find the 1% you agree on in a difficult situation, and give it 100% of your effort.
Be a servant leader. If your mindset is to serve rather than to be served, you will encounter less conflict.
#7 - Training determines the excellence of the team.
Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich argued for companies to spend much larger sums of money for worker training. In his words, "If employers fail to upgrade their workers then they're trying to be competitive only with their capital. Anybody can replicate physical capital, but the one resource nobody can replicate is the dedication, the teamwork, and the skills of a company's employees."
#8 - Leadership determines the success of the team.
As The Law of the Edge states, the difference between two equally talented teams is leadership. Talented performers flock to the best and brightest leaders. In turn, these leaders lift the lids off of their people and uncork the latent talent inside of them.
Final Team Thought:
In the end, a team fails or succeeds together. The best way to serve the individuals on the team is to see that the whole team wins. Do that, and dreams can come true for everyone. Even when you've played the game of your life, it's the feeling of teamwork that you'll remember. You'll forget the plays, the shots, and the scores, but you'll never forget your teammates.