The Value of a Team–repost from the Leadership Wired Blog by John Maxwell

Posted: March 26, 2013 in Leadership Development, Monday Morning Message, Youth Development

“Nothing of significance was ever achieved by an individual acting alone. Look below the surface and you will find that all seemingly solo acts are really team efforts.”1

Have you ever met a successful person who has not had support or guidance from another person? One of the most important factors to success is teamwork. Without a team, leaders rely solely on themselves and their own skills. There’s less room for growth, innovation and collaboration.

Today, we’d like to dive a bit deeper into the value of a team for an individual.

“The truth is that teamwork is at the heart of great achievement. The question isn’t whether teams have value. The question is whether we acknowledge that fact and become better team players.” 2

As leaders, we are called to cast vision for our teams, but also to get down in the trenches. In order to reach goals and achieve success, we must recognized the importance of the team.

Here are some truths about teams according to The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork:

1. Teams involve more people.
With more people comes more ideas, innovation and energy. When one team member is struggling to move forward, others can step in to take the baton.

2. Teams maximize a leader’s potential and minimize her weaknesses.
One of the best things leaders can do is to staff for their weaknesses and focus on their strengths. Everyone can build on what they do best and not focus on their limitations.

3. Teams provide multiple perspectives on how to meet a need or reach a goal.
With a variety of ideas and options, teams create alternatives to choose from for each situation addressed. When one person might feel defeated or focused on only one option, the team can bring new ideas to light.

4. Teams share the credit for victories and the blame for losses.
While individuals may enjoy getting credit for success, it can foster pride. With a team, victories are shared and celebrated. When teams fall short, they can pick each other up and encourage each other to “fail forward.”

5. Teams keep leaders accountable for the goal.
With a set goal in mind and a team behind the movement, leaders must be held accountable to others. It is easy for individuals to stray from the end goal when times get rough. Instead, teams can work through the difficulties for a greater reward in the end.

6. Teams can simply do more than an individual.
“If you want to reach your potential or strive for the seemingly impossible – you need to become a team player. It may be a cliché, but it is nonetheless true: Individuals play the game, but teams win championships.”4

If we want to win as leaders, we must embrace the value of teamwork. Teams go above and beyond what an individual can achieve. Then, as a team, we can celebrate the wins (and work through the losses) together.

We challenge you to look to those around you and visualize your life and career without their support. We have the opportunity to recognize and praise our team, or to act like we are capable without them. While we may be capable, we cannot reach our full potential without our team.

This week, write your team members a thank you note including specific ways they make you and your organization better.

_____________
1 The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, pg. 3
2 The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, pg. 4
3 The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, pg. 5
4 The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, pg. 5


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