Great Teams

Getting the most out of yourself and others.

Perspective is nearly everything when it comes to accelerating your performance, or someone else’s.  Human motivation is more art than science.  No matter what I believe or expect about the natural laws, for example, my opinion has no impact. Gravity does what gravity does, no matter what I think.

Human motivation is different. What you believe about yourself, or others, has an impact on your behavior or someone else’s behavior. The self-fulfilling prophecy does not apply to natural laws, but does apply to us lowly humans.  This is both good and bad.

We are unfinished beings.  We are deflected and controlled, to some degree, by self-talk and the opinion of others.  We evolve, or de-evolve, every day according to circumstances and conditions. This is why negative self-talk and overly critical communication with others is so destructive.

The difference in effect between leadership and supervision is so profound in this dimension. Leadership instills value in others, and their work, thereby increasing their motivation to follow. Great leaders focus this value, not on themselves, but on the individual and the business or project. Leadership starts with a commonly accepted value proposition and “leads” others to fulfillment.

Great teams have three creative qualities:

Creative Abrasion:  Different experiences lead to different points of view.  None may be completely correct, none are completely wrong.  Folks need to listen to others and to have others listen to them, in a safe environment.  In other words, agree to disagree.  Not being able to listen to others leads to the “emperor in his new clothes” syndrome.  Look this up if you don’t know what I am talking about.

Creative Agility:  The ability to test and refine our processes and ideas.  To align our creative effort toward the ultimate objective.  For us, this is fulfilling customer expectations, which leads to customer retention and profit.  It simply is not about us.  We are not at the center of things, the customer is.

Creative Resolution:  Making a decision.  In most cases the best solution winds up being a combination of several solution ideas.  When done right, we hear the word “we” a lot more often than the word “I”.

All of this boils down to a relatively simple concept.  Successful innovation requires a sense of community.  Working together nearly always leads to success.  Working as individuals nearly always leads to failure (or at best, limited success).

What does this mean to you?  See the operation of the business and its functions as a dance that requires partners. Find ways to work together. Focus on how we are doing with satisfying internal and external customers. Quit focusing on other people’s performance and think on how to improve yours.

Great teams are made up of a group of individuals who have a shared vision, an expectation of success, an understanding of their role, and are focused on execution.