Teamwork only works if a number of people get on the same side of the page and work collaboratively towards a common goal. The problem with most teams is that there is usually one person who either hogs the ball and thinks the world revolves around them, or they will pass the ball but not take responsibility for themselves.
So, the question begs, “How do you have a healthy high performance team?”
- If you don’t pass, you don’t play. No one person carries the team. Even Michael Jordan had to learn that lesson, and he learned it early in his career. Despite how talented he was, he could not win the games by himself. He had to learn to pass the ball.
- Each team member has to accept responsibility. What happens may not be their fault, but they are still responsible. They are responsible for how they act, how they think, and how they respond. They can choose to react or respond. This difference is, responding engages the brain BEFORE something is said or done. Reaction does not think first, and thus is usually a bomb ready to explode on anyone who has the misfortune to be in the vicinity.
- Team members have to hold one another accountable. Peer accountability and peer pressure are the highest form of accountability next to self-accountability.
- All high performance teams are built on trust. If there is no trust between team members and between the team and the coach, the team is doomed to mediocrity at best, and will eventually crash and burn if not corrected. Trust is fundamental as a foundation in any relationship.
- Respect and acceptance of one another is critical as well. Everyone on this planet is unique. We all have to learn to embrace the diversity that is inherent in team culture.
- Coaches of high performance teams understand they have to coach each person uniquely. Different people have different learning styles and different talents. The successful teams are able to align performance for success by working on the strengths of each unique individual and focusing their direction to the goal of the team.
Whether you function in an organization, you play sports, or your team is just your family, you get to choose what you want to do, but as my wife said to me, “People can choose to do what they want to do, but they don’t get to choose the consequences.” Many times the consequences of our decisions have life-long implications, so choose wisely. Learn to trust. Learn to love one another. Learn to respond, not react. Learn to forgive and move forward. Your team (whatever that team may be) needs you to do your part. Do it well, and the rewards are powerful, plentiful, and successful.