By June 29, 2012 0 Comments Read More →

Put the “I” back in Team

Put the “I” back in Team

Like all populist trends, the term 'There is no I in Team' is a meaningless phrase more likely to lead you astray than provide you with a successful management philosophy.

Just look at any team without a strong leader and individuals without specific skills, attributes and contributions and I'll show you a committee who struggles to perform. And if they are successful, lift the covers and you will probably find that the reason they succeeded is there was an 'I' in the team, even if it's in the background.

The phrase also contributes to other problems, like how you as a manager will motivate the 'team'. We are all individuals and get our motivation from slightly different things and in different ways. Some want the constant stroking and pat on the back. Some thrive on a challenge and winning in what they do. So you can't treat each member of your team the same. Also, rewarding everyone the same, regardless of contribution will demotivate the strong contributors and demonstrate to the dead wood that they don't need to change.

As well, a team functions best with diverse, wide range of skills, backgrounds and personalities. A homogeneous group is a dangerous thing, likely to keep doing the same things over and over again without the spark needed to change things and get better results. As a result, a successful team will have individuals with different contributions to help achieve the end result. And they won't necessarily be equal.

Leaving it up to the 'Team' is a cop-out by management. In fact, the team needs strong guidance, whether externally from their manager, or internally, from a team leader.

Either one has to know how to make the team work. This means working with individual skills, individual aptitudes, individual encouragement and rewards and even management of workload to ensure they are all doing their part.

As a manager, your job is to make the team work, not to make the team and hope it works. Unless you put the 'I' back into 'Team', you aren't managing, you are just a spectator.

About Michel Theriault

Michel is the founder of Success Fuel for Managers. He is an author, speaker and consultant focusing on topics relevant to Managers and aspiring Managers in businesses of all sizes who want to get results, get attention, and get ahead. He is also a contributor to Forbes and AllBusiness Experts . Michel is available for speaking engagements, training and consulting. Connect with him or send an email.

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