We’ve all heard the cliché, “there is no I in team”… but do we really take this to heart? There's some real wisdom in that old hackneyed saying. It tells us that the “team” and the team’s goals are far more important than any single member. Is this really true, and if so, why?
The first truth we need to acknowledge is that teams are not always necessary. If a given objective can be accomplished more efficiently and effectively by a single person, we are obligated to avoid forming a team. At best, an ill-formed team would be a waste of resources. At worst, it would cause unnecessary delay, and quite possibly, even compromise the end product (death by committee).
A team, by definition, is a group of two or more people collaborating for a common goal. What often gets missed is the need for complimentary expertise. By aggregating diverse skills, experiences, and perspectives, a team can simply accomplish more than any single contributor.
So as a 2011 new year’s resolution, figure out exactly what you bring to your team. It can be anything that creates value such as a unique skill set, or company knowledge, or industry contacts, or communication ability, or anything else that helps the team accomplish its goals. Once everyone on your team understands and appreciates what each member contributes, you’re on your way to breakthrough performance!