|Two Key Characteristics of Winnings Teams|
Written by Alastair LynchAny high performing team will always have its element of pure class. The guns, the stars who have that ability to do extraordinary things. Whose competency in the technical aspects of their work make them outstanding contributors. We all recognise the importance of “having the right cattle” in the pursuit of high performance and getting results. But a group of individuals who come together for a common goal does not automatically constitute a strong and effective team. It runs much deeper than that. In our pursuit of seeking “the right cattle” we can encounter other issues that come with accessing highly driven people. Can they work together in a team? We must challenge ourselves as managers to not only look for the best people but the right people for our organisations.
For performance to be efficient and effective we must challenge individuals to come together—more deeply than the connection formed through name and company- and get them to work together for a common purpose and a shared common result.
Two characteristics of high performing teams are support for one another and sharing mutual accountability or responsibility for team results.
We can get so wrapped up in our own world of achievement we can forget about the impact that our own behaviour is having on those around us. At times you need to be willing to do something that doesn’t just look like a number.
Great teams are willing to look out for one another. To cover for a teammate until they are able to resume their role. They have players who swallow their own ego and perform a role for the team even though they think they may be too good for that role.
Great teams have players who have the ability to not only perform their role for the team but to help others achieve their goals. To think outside of themselves. To not only do this when they are playing well but when they are playing below their best.
Great teams have players that ensure team rules are followed and that the style of game they want to play is encouraged and supported. By everyone.
And they have a group of people who accept mutual accountability for the result of the team. They share the glory or the pain irrespective of personal performance because their emotions are directly linked to team results.
This is difficult to achieve because with high achievers and high performers there will always be strong individual ambitions, goals, wants and needs.
But at times it’s about submitting your ego to the team cause. Accepting a role for the good of the team, and appreciating others who do likewise.
If we have two people who want to be the star then we can encounter problems in the work environment. Too many people want to contribute the most to the team cause or be the person who has the most influence on the team result.
Sport brings us so many analogies of what this is like. We get to go to the footy and make observations about what role someone has played for their team and how they went about it; the admirable qualities that these players have. Yet we all see this on a day to day basis, the ‘players’ on your team that give their all and the ones that contribute little to the team outcome, yet because of personal brilliance get away with many of the behaviours that do not support a team attitude.
I had the pleasure of playing alongside a team member by the name of Shaun Hart. He was the bench mark of this for me at the Brisbane Lions. Despite pressure and fatigue his decisions always reflected what was in the best interest of the team.
Under-rated in the public arena but pure gold within the inner-sanctum and respected enormously by his peers, he was the ultimate support player. The worker-bee.
Sydney is a team full of support and responsibility. Their ability to cover for one another is typical Swans style; and is admired by everyone in their achievements on and off the football field. Even Barry Hall, despite a brain fade against West Coast, managed to stand up the very next day and say his behaviour wasn’t good enough. Leadership- it doesn’t matter who - involves a team priority and a team result.
This behaviour all starts with leaders. If leaders can take enough ownership for the performance of the team and measure people on this despite personal competencies then peer pressure ensures their survival in that environment.
And if people don’t follow team rules? Well I would argue that it is best, at some point, that they do leave as your team will ultimately be better for it.
Look across your own team. Who is taking responsibility for the team results and who is supporting others to achieve their outcomes and driving the standards that are expected within your work environment?
Be the team that becomes the contender rather than a bunch of talented individuals who could have been anything.