Guest Post By: Gary Michels
When I think of the ultimate in teamwork, I think of the Blue Angels flight team. These pilots must be not only perfect but also precise in their daily performances. They do this not only entertain, but to stay alive. They raise the bar in a multitude of ways. Their passion for what they do along with the amount of preparation and dedication to being the best is remarkable. Regarding teamwork, when it is at its best, amazing standards are being set daily. What level do you think your team is currently operating? I am referring to the team you work with, and perhaps your family unit as well? Where do you and your team and need to raise the bar? What areas do you think need the most improvement?
Below you will find a few common characteristics seen in teams that work well together and achieve significant successes, both together and as individuals.
Teams that rock, or are wildly successful, tend to share certain common values. I find these teams typically have very focused goals along with a passion for succeeding. You can ask any member of that team what is the focus of their team. Each member of the team will know the main goal and they will all answer in a similar fashion. These teammates are so committed to their shared goals and success that they will put the success of the team first and be willing to make personal sacrifices in order to help the team. One person on the team may purposefully take a back seat for a short while and let another teammate succeed. They realize that a short-term sacrifice of glory and ego, today will help the entire team in the long run.
When you are a part of a top team, teamwork is not something you only do part time. You live your life by doing what is best for the team. I like to teach the concept of either/and instead of either/or. Top leaders of top teams must have a team first attitude and mentality. Also, they must make sure they are performing at their very best. When you are at your very best, in most cases you are helping the team as well.
Top teams tend to consist of several leaders, leaders that are confident and skilled enough to walk the talk, not just talk the talk. In all areas both personal and professional you will see top teams whose leaders lead by example and set the pace. They are proactive, rather than reactive and plan on winning no matter what.
Yet another part of teamwork to be aware of is trust. Teams that have a great chemistry also have amazing trust for one another. This comes from amazing communication amongst the team. Often teammates will carve out time to communicate when challenges arise. Typically the type of situations that may threaten the bond and success of their team. Often, trust is broken when communication is poor. People who want to grow their teamwork skills must make good communication a priority.
Teams that succeed are the teams that prepare the most. They often work harder and more diligently than anyone would imagine. Whether its additional hours of work in order to prepare, or tenacious effort during the hours of preparation, strong teams do the work. Ask yourself this question: Does your team put, less, the same, or more work when preparing for success than the average team? The answer probably lies in your results. If your team isn’t where you want it to be, it is because you need to work on becoming more prepared.
Lastly, great teams have great attitudes. Attitude stems from what and how teammates talk to themselves when no one else is around. They have clear affirmations and the words they said whether to themselves or to their team. Of course, things happen in life and having a good attitude and good self-talk can help everyone bounce back fast from the challenges one may experience.
You don’t see winners walking around defeated and down. It’s because they have mastered the self – talk and attitude skill set.
What type of team do you want to build? When do you want to start? What are you and your teams biggest growth areas to Turn It Up A Notch in your teamwork abilities?
Gary Michels is a co-founder of Southwestern Consulting. He is a keynote speaker, sales trainer and business consultant and has motivated nearly 1,000,000 people to achieve their highest potential nationwide. Gary spent 19 successful years as a sales representative for a national fund-raising company.