Team. There is no I in team, but there is a t-e-a-m. As if we’ve always overlooked what team can offer versus what it should not be. Team cannot consist of one person working for their own best. But it should consist of a group of people willing to be committed to a common goal. A team does need trust. We need to be able to rely on one another and after we ask each other for help or to get something done, we need to be able to know it will happen and not have to check, double check, and triple check whether or not it will happen.
A team needs to have a common definition of excellence. What does it look like to succeed? What does the goal look like and where will we not make any sacrifices or compromises? We are working together. We are committed not only to the success of each other but also the success of our collective whole. A team knows what a win looks like and what excellence looks like within the win.
A team should also hold each other accountable. When someone on the team is not measuring up, we call it out and help them see how they can do it better for the sake of the team. It is not a personal attack, it is a minor course correction for a ship or making sure the nuts and bolts are tightened all the way. Accountability is also a celebration of success. It is a calling out of places where a team member and the team have been able to step out and succeed in ordinary and extraordinary circumstances. Being able to have accountability on the team makes excellence that much better and encourages the trust to continue.
Finally, a team needs members. Not warm bodies. Members. People who are sold out and committed to the team. People who are willing to take a hit every once in a while so the team can win. People who are taken care of by the other members when life has them down. Members of a team are sold out and are willing to sign up to be trustworthy. They agree with the common goal of excellence for the team, and they are willing to subject themselves to the accountability of the team and hold others to the standard of excellence the team has agreed to uphold.
Team is much more than a fun word not containing the letter, ‘i’. Team is built on trust, excellence, accountability, and members. T.E.A.M. There is much more to be said on these four elements and these four elements and far more to be said of what makes a team. These are, by far, not even the tip of the iceberg in reference to teams and teamwork. But these are the four elements I have and continue to experience and therefore these are four elements I can account for the value of them.
What team are you on? Which element do you struggle with maintaining? Do you have a clear picture of what excellence looks like for your team? Do you struggle with holding other people accountable (both positive and negative)? Can you trust your teammates? Do they know you trust them? Is someone on your team not a fully committed member? Is it time to help them find a new place to be a member or show them what it means to escalate their commitment and investment to the team as a fully fledged member?
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