Building Great Teams

I did some research on team building recently.  What I found were lists of qualities that define effective teams.  The problem is that these lists are typically filled with descriptions of characteristics that are superficial.  I can say, or do, whatever is necessary, when it is necessary, so that I look like a great teammate on a great team.

I believe that building a great team requires great teammates. It is much more personal than a list of qualities. You do not want to build a house on a foundation of sand and you do not want to build a team on a foundation of individuals whose sole focus is on their own personal value propositions.


My great grandfather had a team of mules he used for farming. He was the envy of the other farmers in the area because, as I learned, it is difficult to get mules work together as a team. Just because you have two mules, you don’t automatically have a team. As a freshman in college he would tell me stories about his mules and how he managed them to become a team. He would also show me letters from all over the mid-west offering to buy his mule team. They were something rare and valuable.