Friday, November 8, 2013

The MEAT of a TEAM

Teams excel, and teams fail.  Some teams thrive, while others struggle to survive.  Some are led by talented individuals, and then there are teams who fall apart because the talented one makes himself the focus.

We have been conditioned to believe that 'there is no I in team' and 'teamwork makes the dream work'.  To be honest with you, I believe in these statements, but I want to challenge you to look at your ideas about team a little closer.  The strength of a team is found in its meat.  If there is no meat, there is no muscle.  If there is no muscle, teams can't accomplish meaningful goals.  You can't have a TEAM without MEAT.

What builds the MEAT of a TEAM?


Without a unified purpose, teams easily lose focus.  With each selfish word or selfish behavior, teams disintegrate.  The most effective teams have a goal, and they let nothing deter them from achieving the goal.


The most successful teams are focused only on actions that guarantee results.  They show discipline by not allowing unhealthy behaviors to manifest themselves in the work of the team.


If a team expects to win, every member must own a piece of the plan.  Ownership in power teams is shared by all, and leadership is dispersed based on the need of the team and the expertise of the members.


What gets celebrated gets accelerated.  Thriving teams have members who encourage one another and who celebrate each improvement.  


Teams that excel hold themselves accountable to high expectations.  When they come together, they have a purpose, and they generate meaningful products that achieve results.  Team members set expectations for their work behaviors and the caliber of quality work necessary from every member.


Members of a powerful team depend on one another.  No one person can win for the team; therefore, meaningful interactions between all teammates and dependence on one another occurs constantly. 

No Excuses

Excuses are the stumbling blocks to progress.  That is why the best teams don't allow them to be a part of their work.  When words like can't, don't and won't begin to surface, high performing teams ignore them and look for possible options.

Teams need Protein

Protein is essential to build strength and muscle mass.  Teams gain strength through the exercise of their daily actions and interactions.  They become more successful with each selfless act and less effective with each selfish decision.  In the end, teams win when they are Motivated, Engaged, Accountable, and Tethered together.  These are the things that bind and ultimately endure.

Vince Lombardi, one of the best coaches of all time, said the following about teams:
  • "People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society."
  • “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
What do you do to build the meat within your team?

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