I’ & ‘ME’ – the fallacy:

Many of the youngsters may be thinking that in spite of my commitment and dedication why is the results not to the mark or even below the desired average limits most of the time? I have the answers that I perceive is correct from my professional life.

I think that most of the time the thinking capacity of the team leader or even members shrink to their own self rather than performing to a Common Purpose i.e. dedicated to a mission above individual members. When the team succeeds the member too succeeds. If the member succeeds, the team does not succeed. When each member of the team start thinking that I have to succeed, each has to ensure that all the members share and communicate details of the mission forward and backward as frequently and as transparently as possible. IN THE ABSENCE OF THIS, YOU ARE BOUND TO FAIL JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY.

Effective team players have to primarily understand that personal issues or personality differences should always take a back seat while dealing with team demands. I do not mean you surrender your individuality. I only mean that you should share your strengths and differences both with the team members to move the mission forward. It has to be always “Us” and definitely not “Me”.

Cooperation has only one meaning and that is working together for mutual gainsharing responsibility for success and failure and covering for one another on a moment’s notice. It does not mean competing with one another at the team’s expense, withholding important data or information to “one up” your interests. Unless there is a serious group thinking of “team first’, things will falter and members will fall apart. Result: A gross failure of the team, institution or association itself.

Nowhere in the world can one find high performance teams without recognizing joint effort of team members so as to generate a synergy, which can surmount the task in hand with reasonable ease.   Not only that, this way individual weaknesses – if any – can be set off using other member’s strengths advantageously.

So it is high time Managers understand the team strengths and use this knowledge to distribute and extract jobs from the respective teams. For this you should device simple methods – it need not come from any Management Gurus – which one is comfortable with and review the job descriptions, performance and also look at some kind of a reward system. I believe that this way manager can cultivate a kind of team-first culture and competitiveness among teams.

But first just sit back and think are you – as an individual – convinced with the team-first process. If you are, you wont find it difficult to make this a rule. Once you think put this rule under your complete teams then it become very easy for you to set purpose and priorities as a rule.

One may think, it is my own place and I can get away with whatever I do. But one is wrong and can miss your target by a whole lot.

Madhu K Nair [17th September 2012]

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