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Teams…Do they work??????????

Teams and teamwork have become overused words that used to sound impressive. An often used interpretation of a team member is one who fits into a group and keeps out of trouble. New “team “ members are added to an existing team and they are considered good members if they stay quiet and go along with the majority. I remember reading that this type of team behavior is like a flock of sheep, they hang well together but their only accomplishment is eating grass.

I am upset because I just met with a “team” of nine members and during our two hour session only two of them really participated; several others showed some interest and the rest were there because they were assigned to the team by their boss.

The best way to gather a team is to start with the project. Determine what is to be accomplished and then build a team with people that have an interest in the project and have the capacity to do the work.

A team’s performance calls for both individual and mutual accountability. “Mutual accountability can lead to astonishing results. It enables a team to achieve performance levels that are far greater than the individual bests of the team members. To achieve these benefits, team members must do more than listen, respond constructively, and provide support to one addition to sharing these team building values, they must share an essential discipline.”

For a team to be successful it should possess the following characteristics:

  • A common purpose that the team has helped shape.
  • There has to be specific performance goals.
  • The team has to have the skills to successfully complete a project. Individual team members contribute their specific skills for the betterment of the team.
  • Commitment is another key word. Unless each team member is committed to the goal, they won’t carry their load and the team will not reach its goal.
  • And as mentioned above, mutual accountability.

Teams are powerful forces for accomplishing specific goals. The secret is the selection of the team members and their feeling of ownership in the project. It takes time and research to build a good team; don’t rush the process.

Wisdom is knowing what to do. Skill is knowing how to do it. Virtue is doing it.     Thomas Jefferson

Nick J. Petra CFP     you know you should subscribe to   virtue is doing it!


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