Talented players are important when it comes to a team, but even more important is that they play well together. Relational connection is key. A true team has an US-winning, not ME-winning mentality.
You may be familiar with the executive staff drama going on at Uber. A team that we now know was out of whack has now cost the company millions. The CEO was forced to resign, and now twenty executives have now been fired amid investigation into workplace and team culture.
All of this just reminds me once again that a talented team that is not connected in a healthy way may even win in the short run, but in the long run it’s still the most relationally connected team that wins!
One of the leader’s most important responsibilities, then, is assembling all of the talent of a Dream Team and then getting that talent to actually play together and play as a Team.
There’s a difference between a Staff and a Team. A Staff works individually to do their jobs and stay out of trouble. As a staff member, if I don’t drop the ball, I am OK with whatever else happens. On a Team, however, I care more about collective results than individual results. On a true Team, I care more about US winning than ME winning. On a Team, I care about whether my other team members are winning. On a Team, I care about my team members. Period!
How do we build a connected team? Two fundamental requirements are needed:
Teams must live and move in close proximity with each other. Teams work together. Teams do life together. Teams make decisions together. Teams spend lots of time together. A leader who says “We really don’t have a lot to meet about today,’ doesn’t understand meetings. One of the primary purposes of meetings is the fact that it puts all the talent in the same room, and moves us toward connectivity and away from isolation.
Teams are together often. We don’t need to simply check in from time to time and make sure the wheels aren’t coming off. We need to be together often, Trust takes time. Collaboration requires trust. Trust is earned. Trust is built. Trust requires consistency. Teams not only need to be together. Community is built through consistent time together. I believe every team should build a community building component into their weekly rhythm of meetings. Teams that have a high level of trust can move at a faster pace. Therefore they get more done, and in the long run, tend to be more successful.
Great teams simply aren't too busy to be together and be together often. The most connected team always wins! I am not the only one who shares this opinion:
“The single most untapped competitive advantage is a healthy and cohesive team.” - Patrick Lencioni in The Advantage
“Unity is the difference between a great team and an average team.” Jon Gordon in Positive Leadership
“A true team—one whose members work together to achieve greatness—has a unified vision.” - John Maxwell in The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork
Today spend some time thinking about how you could move the talent you have to be more closely connected to each other. This could make all the difference in whether your team wins...or loses.
By the way, helping you build a more connected team is a large component of what we do here at CourageToLead. Drop us a line and let's talk about what this might look like for you and your Team!