Hello Family, hope we are all doing great? This week I’m out of station & my routines are a bit skewed but I’m still very much committed to sharing my thoughts with you all as we continue to dive into this series “THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM”

To catch up on this series, please click on the links below:



The United States women’s national soccer team (USWNT) won the FIFA Women’s World Cup this year. This makes them champions back to back & the 1st team in history to win the Women’s World Cup 4 times.

They are currently ranked number 1 in the world.

A brief research throws up some very interesting stats & this will be the focus of our discuss today.

Did you know that the Women’s soccer team was created in the US after the passing of Title IX in 1972, which outlawed gender-based discrimination for federally-funded education programs.

The team lost their very first game in August 1985 by a lone goal to Italy, had no support or significant recognition from the Sports Federation (as they focused only on the Men’s game) & only got sponsored by Nike (maybe out of pity)

Now they are on top of the world!!!

John C. Maxwell stated in the 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork that “As the challenge escalates, the need for teamwork elevates”. This he calls the “Law of Mount Everest“. Teams face challenges everyday & it’s usually the great ones that rise to the occasion & conquer while others shrink & lose.

Adequate Focus on the team and the dream should take care of itself.

The type of challenge determines the type of team you require:

A new challenge requires a creative team.

An ever-changing challenge requires a fast, flexible team.

An Everest-sized challenge requires an experienced team.

The USWNT has gone through a lot of challenges as they started with nothing, lost their debut match, had to re-gig the system by going on an experimental year after 2016.

On April 5, 2017, U.S. Women’s Soccer and U.S. Soccer reached a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement that would, among other things, lead to a pay increase.

Won their 500th game in 2018 with a 1-0 win over Portugal, outrageously beat Thailand 13-0 in their 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup match in the group stage ( A new world record) went all the way to win the Cup & currently ranked #1 in the world with 4 trophies in their cabinet.

As teams face challenges, they go through several stages of development starting from the very beginning. Great & successful team transition from one stage to another as they overcome challenges at each turn & become better & better.


Dr Bruce Tuckman published his team development model in 1965 specifying four stages & he added a fifth stage in the 1970s which is still a major model to study when it comes to team development & it’s dymanics.

The 1st 4 stages are:





While the last stage is ADJOURNING & it’s only relevant for a team that needs to be disbanded after a successful project or task is achieved as expected, this usually happens in a Project Management space or a projectized organization where specific project teams are created.

Allow me take a stab at Dr Tuckman’s model referencing


At this stage, the team is freshly formed, people bask in the euphoria of starting something new. There is a high dependence on the leader for guidance and direction.

Little or no agreement on the team aims other than received from leader. Individual roles and responsibilities are unclear.

Leader must be prepared to answer lots of questions about the team’s purpose, objectives and external relationships.

Processes are often ignored. Members test tolerance of system and leader.

The challenge here is about trying to gel the team together to have one aim & focus.


As the name implies, this stage is all about the storms. Team members start to step on each other’s toes. Decisions don’t come easily within group.

Team members vie for position as they attempt to establish themselves in relation to other team members and the leader, who might receive challenges from team members.

Clarity of purpose increases but plenty of uncertainties persist. Cliques and factions form and there may be power struggles.

The team needs to be focused on its goals to avoid becoming distracted by relationships and emotional issues. Compromises may be required to enable progress.

The challenge here will be the leader’s ability to sell the vision, understand the makeup of the team, identify strengths & weaknesses, be ready to quench any fire & calm any storm.


This stage depicts the quietness that comes after a storm. Agreement and consensus largely forms among the team, who respond well to facilitation by the leader.

Roles and responsibilities are clear and accepted. Big decisions are made by group agreement.

Smaller decisions may be delegated to individuals or small teams within group. Commitment and unity is strong. The team may engage in fun and social activities.

The team discusses and develops its processes and working style. There is general respect for the leader and some of the leadership roles & functions are more shared by the team.

The Leader facilitates and enables. The leadership challenge here will be the ability to encourage participation


This is the ultimate stage of the development. The team is more strategically aware; the team knows clearly why it is doing what it is doing.

The team has a shared vision and is able to stand on its own feet with no interference or participation from the leader.

There is a focus on over-achieving goals, and the team makes most of the decisions against criteria agreed with the leader.

The team has a high degree of autonomy. Disagreements occur but now they are resolved within the team positively, and necessary changes to processes and structure are made by the team.

The team is able to work towards achieving the goal, and also to attend to relationship, style and process issues along the way. Team members look after each other.

The team requires delegated tasks and projects from the leader. The team does not need to be instructed or assisted. Team members might ask for assistance from the leader with personal and interpersonal development.

The Leader delegates and oversees. The leadership challenge here is the ability to delegate, release & let go of the team to perform efficiently.

There are challenges every where you turn, every step of the way & every stage of development for both the team members & the leader.

Great teams are made when these challenges- even if they are as high as Mount Everest- are surmounted!!!!!

The USWNT have achieved a lot so far, but the challenges never end & the next big one is off the pitch. On March 8, 2019, all 28 members of the U.S. team filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation. The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court in Los Angeles, accused the Federation of “institutional gender discrimination.” The lawsuit claims that the discrimination affects not only the amount the players are paid but also their playing, training, and travel conditions.

For those counting, we’ve touched on these LAWS OF TEAMWORK:

The Law of Significance
The Law of the Big Picture
The Law of the Niche
The Law of Mount Everest

Let’s see how far we can go……..

Are you a team member or leader?

Do you have huge challenges like Mt. Everest?

Are you elevating your teamwork?

This is my snippet …….. I AM SHALOMESQ


3 thoughts on “THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM – II

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