Teams exist everywhere in life, chances are, you are a part of one or maybe more. It might be at work, in a sport, a marriage, or a family. You might be paid or a volunteer, in any case, the purpose of a team stays the same. Work together to achieve a common goal. Teams have proven to be a great and effective way to do this, but creating an effective team can be challenging and is not an exact science. So much so that exponential results that exceed the sum of the individuals are very often observed.
Building the Team
“Teamwork makes the dream work.” It’s a phrase that has become very popular, credited to John Maxwell that rings true because building effective teams has been shown to accomplish greater results. However, many nuances go into releasing that team magic that we are all searching for. The full quote is:
A lot of people focus on the dream but I believe that there is real power in dreaming about the team too. How do you create one? Where do you start? How can it be improved? What are the limits? Maxwell also states:
“If you build the right team the dream will almost take care of itself.”
Thinking Like a Team
Start building the team with the one person you can control; YOU. Whether you are a team lead or a team member there is a way that you conduct yourself that will improve the performance of your team. You may not have control of the tasks, schedule, or resources, but you can always control the way you think and your attitude.
The prevailing mindset in a team is not ego-centric, the mindset shift from “me” to “we” is an important first step and a crucial building block for any team member. Nobody is a whole team on their own, we must learn to appreciate the gifts and skills of those around us. Self-seeking and selfishness will quietly undermine and dismantle a team.
As a practical exercise, think of a team you belong to, and consider the skills, gifts, and abilities of your teammates. Find a moment to encourage or call out these abilities in them.