Leadership Excellence – Dr Neslyn Watson-Druée, CBE FCGI FRCN
In this month’s column, the focus is on teamwork. You might have head the saying that teamwork makes dream work, so why teams?
Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships - Michael Jordan
- Have you ever tried to improve efficiency, performance and productivity in your business on your own?
- How easy is it for you to generate ideas on your own?
- Have you ever attempted to bring about transformation in your business for quality improvement, without the involvement of others? If the answer to any of the above is yes, you will know that it takes a team with shared purpose, vision, goals and objectives to bring about the desired results.
What is a team?
A team is a group of people, which shares, says that it shares and recognises that it needs the efforts of every one of its members to achieve the vision and purpose of the team.
Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision; the ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organisational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.
o Andrew Carnegie
A team recognises the ripple effect that each member’s performance enhances the other members’ performance. The team is identifiable by its membership, goals, interdependency, collaboration and identification. An excellent team recognises the independence of its members and that there is no need for total involvement in every decision because each member is working with a set of principles and guidelines that informs the decisionmaking rather than rules.
Members consistently help and support one another. Team members think in terms of ‘We, the team.....’ instead of ‘I....’ They are proud to be part of the team and see success as being a team, rather than an individual, achievement.
None of us is as smart as all of us
o Ken Blanchard
A team does not diminish the leader or the leader’s authority. A team banishes hurt, feelings over exclusion, and stifles the paranoia that makes people go to meetings they have no need to attend for fear of missing out or being overlooked.
During my consultancy practice people have said to me that the want teambuilding facilitation because:
- We are not pulling together as a group; we need improved morale and output.
- A new management team was created by reorganisation and we want realigned purpose.
- We came into the organisation at different intervals with no clear identification of where we are heading together.
- We had rumblings of unrest between members, a lack of understanding of each other's tasks and difficulties and no real sense of corporate direction.
- We are a new team and, although individually we are able, we do not feel that we are working sufficiently as a team.
- We need to build the confidence of each other and to plan strategies to succeed with our vision.
Do you need to build your team(s)?
Do you need to forge a common purpose for your team - Is there sufficient inspiration and insight?
Why might it be necessary for you to engage and enhance the building of your team(s)?
Is there sufficient innovation within your business and are you ahead of the competition?
If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.
o Henry Ford
Team leadership has its own focus. Excellent leadership in teams covers three core responsibilities:
- Delivering team objectives
- Building a cohesive and efficient team
- Leading and developing individual team members for consistent high performance for even more efficiently and enhancement of productivity
That is why it is so important for leaders to be emotionally intelligent and show their ability to flex their styles according to circumstances, rather than having one dominant style of leading.
With a focus on team development within your leadership role, you need to shift your essential leadership style to suit the climate in which the business is operating, the circumstances and the individuals within your team; this means adopting styles to make the most of coaching, delegating, supervising and evaluating performance.
The requirements to produce excellence in teamwork are interdependent and as well as varied. Excellence in teamwork weaves together a rich fabric of competencies, experience, attitudes and values that create a tightly woven integrated net that is suitable for many purposes. Excellent teams need to be seen as a whole entity on the playing field, for each individual's admirable attributes both contribute to and feeds off the others.
Dr Neslyn Watson-Druée, business psychologist enables and support individuals and organisations to developing their teamwork with the application of varied tools to enhance efficiency, productivity and quality.