We were not built to function well alone. We work best in teams.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”—Helen Keller
“A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.”—The Harvard Business School
Watch a YouTube time lapsed video of the Amish raising a barn.
Some lessons on teamwork:
- A compelling direction is needed.
Everyone needs a compelling direction that energizes, orientates, and engages its members. Goal, purpose, cause, passion.
Everything begins with a vision. Ideas become reality, but first there must be the idea. Begin with the end in mind.
“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”—Henry Ford
“The best teamwork comes from men who are working independently toward one goal in unison.”—James Cash Penney
2. Planning is required.
“Make time for planning: Wars are won in the general’s tent.”—Steven R. Covey
Planning is the process of creating your organizational future before it happens.
Planning is creating your actions in advance so that life will respond to you. It is writing history in advance.
Proper planning prevents poor performance.
3. Focus on systems instead of goals.
Goals are about the results you want to achieve. Systems are about the processes that lead to those results.
Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.
“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”—James Clear, Atomic Habits
“Stop setting goals. Goals are pure fantasy unless you have a specific plan to achieve them.”—Stephen Covey
“The score takes care of itself.”—Bill Walsh, Super Bowl winning coach
4. Make good use of people’s time.
“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”—Paul J. Meyer
5. More is accomplished together than alone.
TEAM: Together Everyone Accomplishes More.
6. Fun is necessary for fruitful work.
“If work isn’t fun, you’re not playing on the right team.”—Frank Sonnenberg
7. Rest and socialization must be taken regularly.
“Take a rest; a field that has rested give a bountiful crop.”–Ovid
8. A high level of trust is demonstrated.
“Teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.” – Patrick Lencioni
9. Common people can attain uncommon results.
“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”—Andrew Carnegie
The 1980 USA Olympic Hockey Team were a group of common men who produced uncommon results by defeating the Russian team and the Finnish team to win the gold medal.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb