“There is no I in team.” I can still hear my youth basketball coach holler this at me I ran down the court. He was trying to get me to learn that a good team requires a group effort and not just the efforts of one. This is also true in the workplace. Most organizations require a collaborative effort from multiple people and departments to ensure that it runs efficiently. One department can’t exist without another department’s input to the common goal. Each department is made up of individuals with their own unique skills that contribute to the success of that department. Each individual in the department needs to buy into the common vision of the leader and know what role that play in the vision. Without equal commitment from each participant, the organization will fail to run as smoothly as it should.
Imagine for a minute two gears(departments) working together in unison to turn an axle(organization). Each gear needs the other to make the axle turn. Each gear has to work in unison to keep the axle turning at a consistent speed. If one of the cogs(employees) on one of the gears were to break, the gears would slip and the other gear would not be able to turn the axle smoothly without added effort. One broken individual can cause an organization to slip and in this competitive business world, the business could lose the customer’s business or cause the organization to fail. It is important that each individual is contributing equally and working together with other employees to keep the organization rolling along.
Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much – Helen Keller
Characteristics of a good team player.
- A good team player must be able to cooperate with the other players on the team. Each player has a specific role that they play in the success of the organization and must contribute equally. Have you ever watched a basketball game where the guard runs down the court and instantly throw up a 3-pointer from way out of range. Then he proceeds to do it over and over again. He is not cooperating with his teammates and causes strife on the team. The lack of teamwork will cause the team to lose the game.
- To have a good team, the players have to be able to accept constructive criticism. Sometimes we overlook our own character flaws and need someone to remind us where we need to improve.
- A good team should be able to resolve conflicts without it damaging the dynamics of the team. Problems should be addressed collectively and not allowed to fester.
- All team members should work together and not against each other. I worked at places where employees were so afraid that you were going to take their job that they did what they could to work against you and make you look bad.
The key to greatness in an organization is teamwork. Take the time to find the right employees to hire even if it means that you have to declare a “no hire” in the interviews for a position. Each employee provides such a vital role in the success or failure of an organization that one bad hire can ruin the collaboration of the whole team. Look for the traits in your potential employees that will ensure that your business or department runs efficiently. Just remember that your SUCCESS will depend on it!
None of us is smart as all of us. – Ken Blanchard