Monday, June 4, 2018

Self-Leadership #13 Build A Great Team (No Lone-Ranger In Leadership)

Self-leadership is not an isolation, lone-ranger pursuit. Every great leader must (eventually) build a great team. I believe that a team of people working together with discipline, singleness of purpose and a commitment to excellence could prevail no matter how heavily the odds were stacked against them. "Alone we can do so little," said Helen Keller, "together we can do so much." Pele, a legendary footballer, once said, "No individual can win a game by himself." Ryunosuke Satoro also speaks on the same note: "Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean." Ken Blanchard, leader of leaders, put it this way: "None of us is as smart as all of us." To build a great team and team spirit there are three interrelated elements needed: common goals, complementary skills and abilities, and mutual accountability.

Common Goals create drive and energy. A team that hungers and aiming for the same outcome is a motivated team. Common goals foster the subordination of the individual will to the group will. Andrew Carnegie observed, "Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision." If a team is to reach its potential, each member must be willing to sacrifice or aligned his or her personal goals to the common goals of the company or organization.

Complimentary Skills and Abilities makes each member plays to his or her unique strengths such as strategy, planning, operations or leadership while minimizing the weaknesses of each other. "It's a simple fact," writes Naveen Jain confidently, "no individual can be good at everything. Everyone needs people around them who have complementary sets of skills."

Mutual Accountability grows out of complementary skills and abilities. In sport, for example, teammates ultimately end up playing for each other. A key component that every good coach will do to the team was getting each player to believe that every other player would do his or her part the best as possible each time he or she was called upon to do so. How? By emphasizing the common goals, by believing in each individual players, by drilling the team relentlessly in the fundamentals. By the time a good coach was done with the team, each one will be saying to himself or herself: "I'm talented. I'm skillful. I can make a difference and I'm fully prepared to perform the best of my ability. I'll do it for the team to win!"

A great leader will show and tell the team exactly what he expected of them. He convinced them that they had everything they needed to succeed – the training, the preparation, and the skills. He emphasized that each player have an important part in the team. And in all of this, a great leader creates an atmosphere of togetherness, inclusiveness, and solidarity. Henry Ford puts it this way: "Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." Leaders, don't walk alone – build great teams!

Here are three (3) ways you can use to nurture the sense of team in your organization:

Fit Your Game to the Talents of Your Team: A team works together most successfully when each individual component is used to best advantage. Tailor your approach to fit the abilities of your team members.

Emphasize Responsibility and Loyalty: Teams depend on an extraordinary cohesiveness. Encouraging all members of an organization to support and aid other members in the pursuit of shared goals will strengthen this bond.

Focus on Team Success Rather than Personal Glory: A good leader must encourage and exemplify the attitude of placing the interests of the team first and sublimating his or her personal visions of glory to the team's success. Only then can we expect others to do the same. I once said to a president of a Student Christian Fellowship (SCF) that, "If the project is successful, praise your teammates immediately; if the project failed, first, examine yourself."

P.s: To learn more about how to create and build a great team, I recommend John C. Maxwell’s The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork.


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