TEAMWORK
  • Communicating information, sharing assignments and working cohesively with the FFL team
  • Appreciating and leveraging the strengths of others, relying on them for help, input and feedback
  • Volunteering to help someone else complete a task without expecting credit for it

COMMENTARY
I heard recently at a leadership conference, “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go as a team.” It’s true that individuals can often go faster, but in the same sense you can only go as far as your ability will carry you. At some point you will simply run out of gas. When I think of this concept, I often picture a cycling team in the Tour de France. The team works in tandem throughout the stage, everchanging who’s at the lead and who’s sliding to the back to take a break and reenergize. Not one person can stay in the front the whole time and not one person can lag in the back too long. Teamwork takes the reliance of others to get you over the hump; to get everyone over the hump. Of course, when the end is near it becomes a mad dash to the finish line, because after all the Tour is a race.

A good team has many characteristics and parts, with each participant playing to their strength, knowing their weakness, and assisting when and where needed. A good team has good leadership, providing trust and stability, and a communicated goal in which all members are striving to obtain. 

So, one might ask, how do I do that? How do we build a successful team? One that works well together, overcomes obstacles and exceeds expectations? All good questions, and admittedly, I do not have all the answers. I do know this; however, if you want to have a successful team, make sure everyone is included. Being part of a team is not simply the notion that you were invited. Being part of a team is being asked to participate and play a role as well. Remember, all members bring something different to the table, so make room for them. Not one person can simply do it all. Even if they could, it is not healthy in the long run. At some point you will simply run out of gas and burn out.

I picked up a few other points at my conference when it comes to leading a team and being part of one. First, control freaks…loosen your grip. If you are constantly dominating the situation, project or meeting the other members will shut off their brain. Also, keep things simple and let the team do what they were hired to do. Teamwork takes vision and buy-in from everyone. If you’re not communicating, you’re not collaborating. If you’re not collaborating, you’re not connecting and thus are simply limiting your ability to go farther.  
 
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Key Words and Phrases
Reliance and interdependence; Common goals; Shared responsibility; Cooperation; Mutual accountability; Blended strengths; Esprit de corps; Trust in one another.

Opposite Terms
Going it alone; Not trusting others; Not supporting others; Not relying on others.

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