THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM – IV

Hello Friends, Family & Followers of shalomesqsnippet, it’s another wonderful Friday to be alive as 2019 rolls into the annals of history.

How are things with you? This is Q4, the very last lap of 2019.

How far with your goals & targets for 2019? On course?

If YES congratulations, you are at the home stretch now, keep going dont stop.

If NO dont fret, Q4 can still be your best quarter in 2019, just dust off yourself, be like a river & find a way, dont give up now.

If you need help in reassessing your goals & targets for the remainder of 2019, do reach out to us & we will give our very best support to make you achieve some level of growth between now & December 31st 2019. It’s a promise.

We’ve been pouring out a lot in the last couple of months & also got feedback about the length of our posts.

We’ve listened & will surely make adjustments to ensure our posts are not so long, but brief & straight to the point. We appreciate your thoughts & feedback, this helps us a lot.

So today, we will continue in our series “The making of a great team” & I just knew this will be the next topic to write about based on the Olympics 2020 ticket won by the Nigerian Male basketball team ( D’Tigers) when they beat China ( on home soil) to clinch the ticket & have now done this back-to-back-to-back.

The next Olympics will be in Tokyo, Japan & I would love to be there as it will be a double tick on my bucket list : Attend another Olympics & also visit Japan.

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

THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM

THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM – PREQUEL

THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM – II

THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM – III

This series is based on the “17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork” by John C. Maxwell & for those that have been following the series, we’ve taken it one law at a time.

Today’s law is the The Law of the Catalyst

Winning teams have players who make things happen.

These are the catalysts, or the get-it-done-and-then-some people who are naturally intuitive, communicative, passionate, talented, creative people who take the initiative, are responsible, generous, and influential.

Going by Chemistry’s definition, a catalyst is a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change.

Successful teams will have at least one. Take a look at life generally from sports, to marriage, to organizational teams, military missions, etc.

There is always a catalyst, someone who carries the team & would get the job done at any cost especially in trying & chaotic times.

The unfortunate thing is that in most cases where there are a lot of mediocrity, instead of allowing the catalyst be & perform to the best of their abilities, they are stifled, kicked to the backside or the curb & made of no effect while the team suffers for it.

I dont understand the beef of not passing the ball to a Ronaldo or Messi when they are the best player in the team, the MVP ( Most Valuable Player) & are in a better position to score the winning goal.

Ultimately the team suffers for it when the catalyst are not given the free hand, authority & backing to perform at their best.

We must learn to collaborate & allow each member to bring their A-game to the table at all times, it shouldn’t be a competition.

In this sense, competition is not healthy as it divides the team & the main objectives are not achieved.

The greatest catalyst I’ve ever had the privilege of seeing in action is Michael Jordan.

In the opinion of many people (including me), he is the greatest basketball player ever to play the game, not only because of his talent, athleticism & understanding of the game, but also because of his ability to perform as a catalyst. Check out his profile below:

MICHAEL JORDAN

How to become or Identify a Catalyst?

According to John, these guys are easy to spot after they’ve done something for the team consistently however the better thing to do is to spot them even before they do anything, recognize them & raise them up with authority.

Below are a list of attributes that will make you spot or become a catalyst:

  1. Intuitive
  2. Communicative
  3. Passionate
  4. Talented
  5. Creative
  6. Initiating
  7. Responsible
  8. Generous
  9. Influential

When you see many of those nine qualities in someone on your team,take heart.

When crunch time comes, he or she is likely to step up to a whole new level of performance, and attempt to take the team there too.

Assignment

Rate your own teamwork abilities by scoring yourself between 1-10 on these 9 qualities of a catalyst. No matter what the % score is, you can always improve.

Start to put yourself on the road to improvement by doing the following things:

  • Find a mentor. Players become catalysts only with the help of people more skilled than themselves. Find someone who makes things happen to help you along the way.
  • Begin a growth plan. Put yourself on a program that will help you develop your skills and talents. You cannot take the team to a higher level if you haven’t gotten there.
  • Get out of your comfort zone. You won’t know what you’re capable of until you try to go beyond what you’ve done before.

If you follow these three guidelines, you still may or may not become a catalyst, but you will at least become the best you can be — and that’s all that anyone can ask of you.

Allow me dock here for today & we will surely continue on the series next time looking at the next law, THE LAW OF THE COMPASS.

Are you a catalyst in your team?

Do you need help to be one?

This is my snippet …….. I AM SHALOMESQ

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THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM – III

#TGIF family!!! it’s the last Friday of the Month of July 2019 & we will shortly land in the 8th month of August. The year 2019 is rolling along quickly & Q3 will soon be over, so how far have you achieved as regards your 2019 set goals?

Since all national cup competitions have come to an end, we are ever getting closer to the start of a new EPL season & my darling club – Chelsea FC– the pride of London is fixing to take another stab at winning the EPL again & also doing well in Europe.

Today’s post will continue on our discuss regarding “The making of a Great Team” & this will be the 4th post in the series.

To catch up on the previous posts, please click the links below

THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM

THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM – PREQUEL

THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM – II

Following John C. Maxwell 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, today we will be looking at “The Law of the Chain

The strength of the team is impacted by its weakest link. When a weak link remains on the team the stronger members identify the weak one, end up having to help him/her, come to resent him/her, become less effective, and ultimately question their leader’s ability.

This nicely ties up with a post I made last year on the topic the weakest link based on a popular British game show I loved watching growing up.

You can read up that post by clicking the link below

THE WEAKEST LINK

A chain is as strong as it’s weakest link“, this statement first appeared in Thomas Reid’s “Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man,” published in 1786 & it means that a group is only as strong or successful as its weakest or least successful member.

So far, the discussions have been majorly related to teams in a corporate or organizational settings but today I’ll like to switch to looking at a couple as a team. A man & a woman coming together in holy matrimony under God forms a team just like any other team. Gen 2:24 & Ecclesiastes 4:12

It will be 14 years (by November) that I said “I DO” to my delectable & authentic wife in the presence of witnesses & it’s been a fantastic journey since. We went through all of the various stages of team development & now we are the performance stage of our relationship.

God has granted us the privilege by his mercy to make our home heaven on earth, a haven & not an oven. It took us a lot of work to get here & to an outsider it seems everything is working effortlessly & smoothly, just like a duck gliding on the stream, there is a lot of leg-work action going on underneath that you are not seeing.

A major part of our success is our ability to constantly deal with our weaknesses (reducing them to the minimum) while maximizing our strengths. Our relationship has been a source of inspiration to people around us & we get several requests to counsel young folks who are about to get into a relationship or are already in a relationship.

For those who are about to get into a relationship, we counsel them not to be in a hurry, to work more on themselves as individuals & ensure they dont hook up with an incompatible & weak partner as a team mate. God is interested in making a great home for anyone just like he did for Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden

For those already in a relationship, we talk to them about the need for a strong & dynamic team in the home, the need to work on themselves to identify areas of individual weaknesses & start to eliminate them while also looking at the weaknesses of the team together.

The feedback we get is really encouraging most of the time & it also confirms that the principles we’ve used over the years really works.

The aim is not to create carbon copies of us or our relationship but to help each individual or couple be the best they can be as planned by God.

Highlights

  • God cares so much about everything in your life & your happiness is important to him. Remember he thought about the need of a help-meet for Adam. Genesis 2:18, Jeremiah 29:11
  • Your marital team mate is out there waiting for you. Just continue to focus & work on yourself, ensure you are dealing with your weaknesses & growing in all areas of your life, in due time your team mate will show up. Habakkuk 2:3, Genesis 2:22-23
  • Once you find & bond with your team mate under God, aim for greatness ( Contend for the ultimate prize). Ecclesiastes 4:12, Amos 3:3, 1 Corinthians 9:25
  • The home team is not in a competition, you are rather meant to complement each other. So give each member the space & chance to perform in their areas of strength. 2 Corinthians 10:12

I hope this helps someone out there.

Going back to corporate & organization settings, the way to deal with a weak link is slightly different. In this case it’s more ruthless at the end as the weakling is ultimately removed from the team.

The best practice is to find a way of helping the weak team member by tagging them with a strong person & reassessing progress after a while, if the situation doesn’t change for the best, the weak member will have to be taken out of the team as the impact of keeping that weak member will be catastrophic on the team. ( The Law of the Bad Apple)

Do you have weaknesses?

What are your plans of dealing with them?

Do you have a strong team?

How do you deal with a weakling?

Next stop we will be looking at THE LAW of the CATALYST

This is my snippet …….. I AM SHALOMESQ

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

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

THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM

Thank God it’s Friday!!! It’s the penultimate Friday in the month of June & very soon we will be embracing Q3 of 2019!! Wow the year is running away so far. I hope you are doing great & making some progress no matter how small.

I’ve been watching a lot of football ( soccer) lately with the UEFA Nations League won by Portugal, the FIFA U20 World Cup that just finished in Poland ( And Ukraine came tops as champions) as well as the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup competition in France with Nigeria & Cameroon qualifying out of the group stages into the round of 16 & looking forward to the CAF Africa Cup of Nations competition starting today in Egypt. My mind has centered around various teams for a couple of weeks, hence the inspiration for this post.

Let me highlight a couple of points my Mentor ( John C. Maxwell ) always makes when he’s talking about this topic:

One is too small a number to achieve greatness

I’ve checked all through life & this truth holds true. You cant achieve greatness as an individual, you need people around you, working with you to get to that realm of greatness. This is the way God has made things to function in this world – everything that works in life is connected.

No matter the type of sports that is played on earth, there is always a team, from golf to javelin to ice hockey to Formula 1, nobody does it alone. There are coaches, psychologists, nutritionists, physiotherapists, trainers, admin,protocol & security personnel who all work to ensure the common goal is achieved for the athlete & the same applies to relationships, marriages, corporate organizations, businesses & life in general.

The earlier you realize that you need people around you to achieve your goals & objectives in life, the better for you. I love another thing that John says when comparing Success & Significance. He says Success is arriving at your planned destination alone, Significance is arriving there with a bunch of people that you’ve connected to & inspired to join in your quest.

Personally, I’ve received individual awards & accolades over the years in my career, but the one I enjoy the most is a team award & today I love to work with teams to achieve greatness & significance. Dont be alone, Ecc 4:10 (MSG) says “It’s better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work” share the wealth. And if one falls down, the other helps, But if there’s no one to help, tough!

Some people pride themselves in saying they are self-made, but when you have a deeper look at it, it’s not true. Someone somewhere helped, gave a leg-up or a boost along the way, so always strive to recognize those people & things that helped you along the way, it might not be positive, it might be a hard or difficult situation, but at the end Rom 8:28 (AMPC) “All things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good“.

Teamwork makes the dream work

” Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team” —- John C. Maxwell

It’s really great to have a team, but what is more important is to have a working team. In most cases you will see just a group of individual stars & not a team. There is this all time debate about who is the greatest football player of our time – Messi or Ronaldo? I drift towards Ronaldo because he has achieve a lot with different teams over the years not just at the club level but even in the national team, Messi has only been at FC Barcelona & really struggling at the national level.

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 & working team

As I was ruminating on these things, I stumbled on a post by another mentor of mine – SKIP PRICHARD on How to create a powerhouse team & he broke it down into 4 points with the mnemonic code T.E.A.M.

Powerhouse is defined as “a team having great energy, strength, and potential for success.” To build a powerhouse, there are four pillars:

  • Transform
  • Empower
  • Achieve
  • Motivate

There are a lot of points to unpack on this topic, but allow me drop the anchor here & pick it up next week as inspired, however the series on Cultivating A Growth Mindset will still continue in parallel & I have some exciting news to share in the coming days.

Are you going through life alone?

Do you have a team?

Are you a team player?

This is my snippet…….. I AM SHALOMESQ