Peter Drucker, the legendary management consultant and author says this about teamwork:
"The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say "I." And that's not because they have trained themselves not to say "I." They don't think "I." They think "we;" they think "team." They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don't sidestep it, but "we" gets the credit...This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done."
The bottom line is that it's easy for any organization to say..."we value teamwork." However, saying it versus committing to the principles to grow it can be two different things. And that's what Pulling Together is all about! Author John Murphy presents the ten rules for high performance teams in an engaging way that every person in your organization can understand. John is a highly recognized author (7 books), speaker and management consultant who has helped some of the world's leading organizations create environments that value and reward teamwork.
Today, I'd like to share on excerpt from John's Rule #1...Put the team first. Enjoy!
Pulling Together ....The 10 Rules for High Performance Teams,
by John Murphy
At the center of everyis a common purpose - a mission that rises above and beyond each of the individual team members. To be successful, the team's interests and needs come first. This requires "we-opic" vision ("What's in it for we?"), a challenging step up from the common "me-opic" mind-set.
Effective team players understand that personal issues and personality differences are secondary to team demands. This does not mean abandoning who you are or giving up your individuality. On the contrary, it means sharing your unique strengths and differences to move the team forward. It is this "we-opic" focus and vision - this cooperation of collective capability - that empowers a team and generates synergy.
Cooperation means working together for mutual gain - sharing responsibility for success and failure and covering for one another on a moment's notice. It does not mean competing with one another at the team's expense, withholding important data or information to be "one up" on your peers, or submitting to "groupthink" by going along so as not to make waves. These are "rule breakers," that are direct contradictions to the "team first" mind-set.
High performance teams recognize that it takes a joint effort to synergize, generating power above and beyond the collected individuals. It is with this spirit of cooperation that effective teams learn to capitalize on individual strengths and offset individual weaknesses, using diversity as an advantage.
Effective teams also understand the importance of establishing cooperative systems, structures, incentives and rewards. We get what we inspect, not what we expect. Think about it. Do you have team job descriptions, team performance reviews and team reward systems? Do you recognize people by pitting them against standards of excellence, or one another? What are you doing to cultivate a team-first, cooperative environment in this competitive, "me-opic" world?
To embrace the team-first rule, make sure your team purpose and priorities are clear. What is your overall mission? What is your game plan? What is expected of each team member? How can each member contribute most effectively? What constants will hold the team together? Then stop and ask yourself, are you putting the team first?