“Synergy… it creates new untapped alternatives; it values and exploits the mental, emotional, and psychological differences between people.”
Being a part of a team can be a wonderful, exhilarating, delightful, excruciating, debilitating, and/or harrowing experience. Navigating the roads to a successful internal partnership can be dangerous and filled with trepidation that must often be cajoled with tenacity. But without the stubbornness that must be honed as business partners/owners, we may become nothing more than corporate doormats; laid out for all to wipe their feet on.
Weakness or Strength?
I have been in numerous meetings which have resulted in, “I told you so” moments. I’m sure we all have. One meeting in particular? It wasn’t actually said out loud but it was felt by all in the room.
Knowing when to utilize strength in an office setting or on a team can be a difficult line to walk. Too much strength and you run the risk of ostracizing yourself from the rest of the team, not enough and yep, wipe your feet here. Attaining sufficient confidence will enlist the gumption required but also, acting on your knowledge and experience may be just the right prescription. Sometimes, we fear that we will be wrong or that our own personal assessment of the situation is inaccurate or even the dread of ridicule will cause inaction even when we know the right course of action.
The Whole is Greater…
Reminiscent of the old, “whole is greater than the sum of its parts…,” But is the whole greater? Wouldn’t it be more accurate to state that the whole is equal to the sum? and vice versa? For without one, you cannot have the other. This isn’t to say that good teamwork is always hunky-dory, for friction can surely create fire. But the wrong kind of friction can also present a negative work environment where nothing worthy is achieved. Finding the right balance is key to creating a work environment where all excel – where a company achieves desired success.
Why come together at all? To solve a problem or complete a task. There are times when it cannot be done efficiently or sufficiently enough, by an individual. Teams fail when members refuse to take advantage of or even recognize each other’s strengths. One team member may be excellent at providing feedback, another may know the required tech inside and out, and still another may be an organizer and able to quickly identify the right strategy with which to proceed. When each member is strong in their particular arena, it may be difficult to ascertain who the leader is.
And a leader may develop merely by default. Some leaders are identified before a project begins, some are born in the middle, without much effort or contemplation, they simply emerge. And, sadly, the potential for others to rise may be squashed by those who think they know more or do not realize their strengths lie elsewhere. Balance and control are key for successful teamwork. And if neither balance nor strength can be attained? It may be time to rethink the team.
To expand on Covey’s thoughts regarding synergy, we are consistently asked to set aside emotions and even “what we know” in order for team success. Perhaps, we should recognize that passion is important to motivation. Being motivated in our work and passionate about what we produce creates excitement and joy which can extend to our daily operations – bringing fulfillment and continually igniting the underlying impetus that allows us to love what we do. And thus, produce great work.
“I think the foremost quality – there’s no success without it – is really loving what you do. If you love it, you do it well, and there’s no success if you don’t do well what you’re working at.” ~Malcolm Forbes