THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM – II

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 MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM

THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM – PREQUEL

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.

STAGES OF TEAM DEVELOPMENT

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:

FORMING

STORMING

NORMING

PERFORMING

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 http://www.businessballs.com

FORMING

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.

STORMING

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.

NORMING

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

PERFORMING

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

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THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM – Prequel

Hi there Family!!! It’s another great Friday & the month of June 2019 is a few days from becoming history!!

Have you met your goals & target for Q2? What are your plans to achieve Q3 targets & make the end of 2019 fulfilling?

Feel free to reach out to me if you need help & I would be more than happy to add you to the FB group:

Setting Goals that’ll stick in 2019

In which we are building a community of goal getters.

Transforming from ME to WE!!

After I posted the last article on this topic last week, I realized that there is a need to run a prequel to that post just like they do in the movies.

The making of a great team actually starts from YOU as an individual.

You must inculcate the collaborative spirit by transforming your mentality from ME to WE.

This post is aimed at sharing some of the lessons I’ve learnt in managing projects & leading people to successfully achieve the required objectives.

To catch up on the previous post please click on the link below

THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM

John C. Maxwell published a book in 2001 titled “The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork” & last week’s post attempted to highlight the first 2 laws:

 The Law of Significance

People try to achieve great things by themselves mainly because of the size of their ego, their level of insecurity, or simple naivete and temperament. One is too small a number to achieve greatness.

The Law of the Big Picture

The goal is more important than the role. Members must be willing to subordinate their roles and personal agendas to support the team vision. By seeing the big picture, effectively communicating the vision to the team, providing the needed resources, and hiring the right players, leaders can create a more unified team.

WHO ARE YOU?

There is no team without a team member or player & it’s impossible to achieve the required level of greatness without one, so let’s take some time & focus on this individual.

One of the very first principle that I learnt when I was starting out in my career was the ability to know myself. The late Dr. Miles Munroe was very clear about this he says “When purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable“. You as an individual must know yourself, your purpose, skills & abilities, if you dont know this, you will be abused as you’ll be in the wrong places, doing the wrong things & become frustrated.

To know yourself, you need to simply conduct a SWOT analysis & highlight your areas of Strengths & Weaknesses while also accessing Opportunities & Threats around you. The aim is to magnify your strengths while aligning them with opportunities, at the same time reducing your weaknesses & guarding against threats. This exercise will really help you to align yourself with your purpose in your career & in life generally.

If you’ve played the Electronic Arts (EA) Sports FIFA Football video game, you will see a player’s card with their specifications like speed, strength, dribbling ability, good in the air, etc. All of these are like SWOT analysis information to make you as the manager select your team.

It will be difficult to select & draft a player to the team if a manager doesn’t have their stats on a card, the same way it’s difficult for your line manager to do the same at work. Now the SWOT analysis is not just about the skills you have (like ability to use Microsoft Office), but also about your attitude & temperaments.

Some people say they prefer to work alone!! When I hear such statements, I know for a fact that the person is dealing with a chunk size of ego & has got some attitude problems that will not flourish in a team. As established before, one is too insignificant a number to achieve greatness.

My usual practice as a Manager when anyone joins my team is to ask the individual to prepare 2 things for me:

A SWOT Analysis: This allows me to see how best to deploy & engage them while working to reduce their weaknesses & threats as well as maximizing their strengths & opportunities.

Goals & Targets for the next 5 years: This allows me to align their goals & aspirations with that of the team & the business at large. I’ve realized over the years that when there is alignment between an individual’s goal & that of the organization, motivation & passion will occur naturally.

People get stressed & frustrated when there is a misalignment.

Does this work all the time? NO!!! Most of the time it works, but not all the time, some team members feel it’s none of my business to know their goals & some say they dont have a weakness to analyze.

Nevertheless, I keep on doing it & i’m encouraged by the results that those who go through the process get at the end of it all.

After the SWOT analysis is conducted, you as an individual now knows your value & what you can do. These can now be deployed by your manager to achieve set targets, goals & objectives.

The Law of the Niche

All players have a place where they add the most value. Essentially, when the right team member is in the right place, everyone benefits. To be able to put people in their proper places and fully utilize their talents and maximize potential, you need to know your players and the team situation. Evaluate each person’s skills, discipline, strengths, emotions, and potential.

How to transform from ME to WE?

Focusing on ME is a great way to start & it’s not bad as already highlighted above – you must know yourself first, understand your limits, your temperaments, skills, etc, but dont just stay there, with the knowledge about your value & what you can contribute in a team, you are now ready to transform ( it’s a process, a journey, it takes time) to WE.

To transform from ME to WE, the below key skills are required:

  1. Humility ( Drop the Ego)
  2. Meekness ( Teach-ability. You dont know everything)
  3. Confidence ( Have the required content)
  4. Empathy (Feel the pain of others)
  5. Listening skills ( You’ve got 2 ears & 1 mouth for a reason)
  6. Collaborate ( Mix your value with that of others)
  7. Accountability ( Be responsible for your actions & own it)
  8. Dependability (Allows others to count on you to deliver)
  9. Self Management (Be self driven!! Know WHAT you need to do, WHEN to do it & HOW best to do it)
  10. Be inspirational ( Let others be motivated to be like you, be a good example)

The list is not exhaustive.

I’ll like to leave you with the Business Dictionary definition of a team:

A group of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, job, or project.

Team members:

(1) Operate with a high degree of interdependence.

(2) Share authority and responsibility for self-management.

(3) Are accountable for the collective performance

(4) Work toward a common goal and shared rewards(s).

A team becomes more than just a collection of people when a strong sense of mutual commitment creates synergy, thus generating performance greater than the sum of the performance of its individual members.

Are you still ME focused?

Do you really know yourself?

Have you conducted a SWOT analysis on yourself?

What are your goals & aspirations in life? Are they aligned?

Where are you on the road to transforming from ME to WE?

This is my snippet …….. I AM SHALOMESQ