Why There is No I in Team

Aimed Business ThoughtsEngland’s success in the men’s football world cup is a healthy reminder that this old saying is true.

There were no big stars around which the youngest team needed to be moulded. While the way Gareth Southgate managed and communicated with his players and others spawned hashtags posing the question what would Gareth do in a situation.

This provides a clear insight into team-building for all businesses, because Gareth didn’t just manage the team, but effectively led it. The best team-leaders pose questions and provide insights so the team performs with the leader to one side and not overtly leading from the front.

A team is full of many me’s

Many business managers assume that their teams are all about them and they should follow their decisions. Some even suppose that the best teams are full of mini-me’s as their habits and behaviours are so good. They will never lead effective teams. Big egotists always destroy teams if not effectively tamed.

Any team is formed of individuals who are motivated to add value to the process or task. They are picked because of their skills and use them as and when needed. Penalty shootouts are won equally by strikers scoring and keepers saving. Both are needed to affect the outcome.

So a great question for any team-leader to ask of each individual is ‘what’s in it for me’? Knowing why others are in the team means all can succeed. It also creates pride as individuals can say I am part of that successful group, my role was x and what it achieved for me was y.

Effective Teams are Mates

Good teams are full of mates. Within any group of mates, each has different roles. Some are organisers; others glory-seekers; some hard-workers; others dreamers; but all recognise the value of the others for the group. All also care for others’ contribution and needs.

Consider who Gareth sought out first, but then went round all to celebrate or console. Good team-leaders know the effectiveness of the little words and acknowledgements as well as the big praise or statements.

There’s Tea in Team

Sometimes tea is the working fuel to keep people going. Other times it’s time for a break and a social catch-up. Or is a time for sympathy and quiet understanding and just being there. Tea can also be a time of celebration and not just as an acronym for Traditional English Ale, but also in cream tea and fun.

The best-led teams celebrate successes clearly. To do this all need to be clear on the aims which are realistically set. We may want to be world-beaters so we create that opportunity by being the best we can together. And then celebrate that we got to the brink this time. Later we’ll start to reflect on what might take us further next time.

The other fuel in team is meat because long-lasting teams focus on substantial challenges but also recognise that success may come from continuous improvement as much as the big drive. Successful team-leaders understand, provide and exploit those balances.