The Honest Truth About Teams

Posted on 16. Jul, 2013 by in Blog, Career, Change, Character, Communication, Goals and Success, Lead From Within, Leadership, Leadership Development, Life Balance, Life Skills, Mission, Passion, Personal Development, Purpose, Relationships, Trust, Vision, Workplace

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 8.40.23 AMThere’s a good reason we spend so much time thinking about teams.

Every organization in every industry pursues ambitious projects, works hard to get and serve clients and customers, and tackles new markets, new ideas, and new innovation.

Competition is fierce, and it takes a great team to deliver the kind of performance that keeps organizations successful.

There are no quick answers about how to build a great team. But after years of observing many team dynamics, I have come to recognize a few elements that make up a top-performing team:

A compelling vision and meaningful purpose: Top-performing teams have a defined vision and purpose that resonate with its members and draw them in.

Clarified roles and skills: Top-performing teams clearly identify the role and expectations of each member based on their talents and skills. Research shows that collaboration improves when the roles of individuals are clearly defined and understood.

Strategy and goals: Top-performing teams need a clearly defined strategy, plan, and goals. Strategy provides a map that shows where the team is going, and planning and goals tell how they’ll get there.

Commitment and accountability: Top-performing teams need for each member to hold a personal commitment and individual accountability for their role, while still supporting one another.

Mutual trust: Top-performing teams spend time cultivating trust, investing in relationships, and collaboratively developing and refining their mission, purpose, roles, and challenges.

Challengers and collaborators: Top-performing teams need diversity in personalities and talent. They need members who don’t just settle for pleasant conversation but who respectfully challenge and ask, and members who build relationships and bring people together.

Communication and dialogue: Top-performing teams need channels of communication that are open, authentic, challenging, courageous, and real. There is no room for passive aggression and backbiting. Team members are free to speak from the heart and embrace dialogue even in disagreement.

There will never be a perfect team, because teams are, after all, made up of imperfect people.

 

Every team his its own strengths and frustrations, But the best teams have a vision. They communicate well and they know their goals, skills, and talents.

When teams are given the tools to truly collaborate, they can create true excellence.

 

Lead From Within: We are not trying to mandate perfection but to build teams whose hearts are beating to the same rhythm.

For coaching, consulting, workshops and speaking. Please feel free to contact me.

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40 Responses to “The Honest Truth About Teams”

  1. Martina

    16. Jul, 2013

    Very well said, and timely post, Lolly.

    Teams are made up of imperfect humans, and this is all the more reason that clearly defined roles be in place and lines of communication remain open and authentic.

    There are no quicker ways to undermine a team, and its spirit, than by changiing mission, casting an unclear vision or getting in the way of letting people use their talents and skills best. This obviously requires a secure team leader. .

    Reply to this comment
  2. Diana

    16. Jul, 2013

    Thanks for your post Lolly.
    Some of thinks is clear how to use this knowledge for my current team.

    I have question to Martina.
    What do you mean with “Secure Team Lead”?
    I can think what it can be, but what your opinion please.

    Regards,
    Diana Vazna

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      16. Jul, 2013

      Every team needs a leader.

      Someone who will guide the team.

      It is something that I left out in this post and it is crucial for success.

      Thanks Martina for pointing out the glue that makes great teams top performing teams.

      Diana, I hope that answers your question.

      Thanks for commenting and stopping by

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
    • Martina

      16. Jul, 2013

      Thanks, Diana. I will echo Lolly’s answer.

      A secure leader is someone who can lead the team, and has enough insight, wisdom, foresight and confidence in themselves and in each of their team members abilities, to let the team members do what they each do best. One who is not threatened by the member’s skills or talents, but as Lolly has said, is more interested and invested in supporting the best in each member, holding the team together and focused on the vision.

      Martina

      Reply to this comment
  3. Kevin DeSoto

    16. Jul, 2013

    Spot on as usual. Excellent reminders and breakdown how a true teams should work. Thank you again Lolly!

    Reply to this comment
  4. Jon Stallings

    16. Jul, 2013

    Great insight Lolly. It seems like a lot of teams do well with one or two of the components they listed, but they struggle to do them all. They also struggle to do them well over the long term. But as you noted, they are all needed.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      16. Jul, 2013

      Jon,

      Teams are like life, we need all parts to make it work and we need to constantly be working on ourselves- in order to bring the best parts of ourselves.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your insights.

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  5. Garren Fagaragan

    16. Jul, 2013

    Excellent Lolly…

    Thank you.

    Regarding Leadership…John Wooden is my favorite.

    Here are a couple of points he makes on
    how to build a great team.

    First…

    - Few want to share the ball. A leader must
    accomplish the difficult task of getting those
    on the team to believe that “we” supercedes
    “me”.

    and…

    - Acknowledge the unacknowledged. Make
    those with less significant roles feel valued
    and appreciated.

    Looking forward to another evening of
    #leadfromwithin tweetchat…tonight.

    See ya…

    Reply to this comment
  6. Panteli Tritchew

    16. Jul, 2013

    The critical components of teamwork are concisely captured here, Lolly, and we can see why it’s called team*work and not team*play! ;-)
    Great post! Panteli

    Reply to this comment
  7. Oh, if they could let go of being passive-aggressive! It happens so often. Thanks for a very insightful piece!

    Reply to this comment
  8. Jon Mertz

    17. Jul, 2013

    Great points, Lolly. Clarity of purpose, goals, and roles are so essential. Clarity eliminates confusion but also politics. Without clarity, productivity suffers as does commitment. Thanks for highlighting some key elements required to make teams work! Jon

    Reply to this comment
  9. Frank Sonnenberg

    17. Jul, 2013

    Great points Lolly

    Many organizations are so consumed with “getting the job done” that they don’t want to think about the items that you listed. Then they’re surprised that their efforts get derailed. Trust, vision, communication etc. are critical elements of success

    Thanks for sharing.

    Best,

    Frank

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      17. Jul, 2013

      Frank

      Honored you stopped by.

      I find if teams do not do set up clarity in creating vision, mission, purpose, trust, communication

      The team suffers and there is much dysfunction.

      Start right and do it right and you get right results.

      Thanks for your insight and comment
      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  10. Joe Hodgson

    17. Jul, 2013

    Thanks for the insights, Lolly. Great teamwork is the responsibility of each of us who are team members. At the same time, pressures from C-suite corporate cultures need to support each of the points that you make. Teams that, individually, follow your suggestions can find themselves demoralized if the C-Suite culture does not support mutual trust, transparency and open communication and dialogue. It takes strong collective team will and belief in the team’s vision and purpose to buck such C-Suite pressures.
    Thanks for all you give us to think about

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      17. Jul, 2013

      Joe,

      I have worked as a consultant in the organizations that you describe and I firmly believe we can still create a top performing team with the right elements. SOMETIMES we have to set the example for the C- Suiters.

      LEAD BY EXAMPLE is the motto when the pressure is on and the power that be are not being supportive.

      Thanks for stopping by and adding your insights to TEAMS

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  11. Ed Fernandez

    17. Jul, 2013

    I belong to an organization that has been declining in numbers for a few years now.. I have no doubt on my mind that the leadership has done all that is necessary to motivate and maintain the mission we embrace. We are discouraged and our trustees are dropping off… Do you have any suggestions? I know quick recipes might not be the solution, but perhaps, in your wisdom you can help us steer in the right direction… We are a non-profit organization, so moneys are simply not working in our favor… Thanks for your leadership and wisdom Lolly.

    Ed

    Reply to this comment
  12. john_paul

    17. Jul, 2013

    Lolly,

    Your knowledge, experience, wisdom and leadership truly shows in this article. Thank you.

    john

    Reply to this comment
  13. Jen

    17. Jul, 2013

    Wise words & great clarity Lolly! I find your page & posts most inspirational and I look forward to sharing with my team in our team meeting this afternoon some of the ways we can work more effectively and increase mutual trust. I love the point about teams being made up of imperfect people, i find that’s where harnessing the strengths of one another & our honesty & transparency in relationship really helps us to see “we” supersedes “me”! I have a fabulous team who achieve amazing things, so grateful.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      18. Jul, 2013

      Jen,

      Teamwork is a relationship that we need to work on constantly.

      Maintain and contain.

      Let me know what happens with your team.

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  14. dawoodchishti

    17. Jul, 2013

    Lolly,

    You always smartly command your ship in the troubled waters. Great post with deep insight.

    Dawood

    Reply to this comment
  15. dawoodchishti

    17. Jul, 2013

    Inspiring ‘Me’ to breed ‘We’ how smartly, Lolly you have instigated. True description of your lovely soul.

    Reply to this comment
  16. dawoodchishti

    17. Jul, 2013

    Lolly,

    Insightful description of smartly equipped team.

    Dawood

    Reply to this comment
  17. luis moreno

    17. Jul, 2013

    Dear Lolly,

    I agree with you in a most fundamental way. Team seems to be a pretending !

    Reply to this comment
  18. FARAYI MHERE

    18. Jul, 2013

    THAT WAS GREAT ABOUT TEAM WORK,I AM GOING TO IMPLEMENT IT AT HOME WORK AND AT CHURCH

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      18. Jul, 2013

      A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, set of performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.

      Reply to this comment
  19. dawoodchishti

    18. Jul, 2013

    Leadership ignites the spirit of team turning the ordinary into the extraordinary one.

    Reply to this comment
  20. Mark Behl

    21. Jul, 2013

    Great post as always Lolly. I agree with your last comment about not hiring for personality but for skill and skill potential. I always ask two questions of any candidate that I am interviewing: 1) Are they capable and 2) Are they motivated. One without the other will do you no good. You must have both, but if they are then personality is irrelevant.

    Thanks for sharing! Mark

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      21. Jul, 2013

      Fantastic Questions Mark!

      I agree, YOU must have both motivation and capabilities.

      Great insight.

      Thanks so much for sharing.

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  21. Rosa

    23. Jul, 2013

    Dear Lolly,
    I have found in your blog entries a lot of clear, concise and inspiring information. About this specific blog, I feel you have answered the question I have been asking for years: What does a successful team look like? Your key elements will serve me to generate specific questions, like: Do we know what our organizations’ vision is? Besides reciting it, or knowing it by heart, do we know what that means? Is there evidence of the Vision embedded in our daily actions (in our organization?) How could we see more of the Vision reflected on us and our organization? …
    Thank you, always!
    Rosa

    Reply to this comment
  22. J.E.D.

    31. Jul, 2013

    I can see a clothes line with birds is just not the pathway to good team work or maybe birds are the perfect team!

    Or is it the perfect team is for the birds!

    regards
    jed

    Reply to this comment

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