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Key principles of leadership

Why teamwork always wins: follow this guide

John SpenceIt was one of the biggest sporting upsets for years, but Iceland beat England in Euro 2016 for a reason. Equally, Wales exceeded everyone’s expectation to make it to the semi-finals.

Both Iceland and Wales worked together, for each other, with drive, determination, passion and belief. Each individual knew his role and executed it, ensuring that the ultimate result was greater than the sum of the individual parts. 

Both teams were inspiring examples of good leadership, motivation and teamwork.

Leicester City, 5000/1 outsiders to win the English Premier League at the beginning of the season, were another case in point. The down-to-earth approach of Claudio Ranieri was in stark contrast to the bombast of Manchester United’s Louis van Gaal, and was a classic lesson in getting results with, and through, other people. 

The power of teamwork can be seen everywhere. In nature, for example, large flocks of geese fly thousands of miles to their destination as the seasons change. These individual birds could not go the distance alone, but together they make it. How? Teamwork. 

One bird leads while the others fly in formation to minimise wind resistance for the birds behind them. When the lead bird tires, it rotates to another position so a different bird assumes the responsibility of leading the flock. 

“Effective teamwork leads to improved results”

Together the whole flock can fly more than 70% further than if they fly alone. Now that’s synergy! The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Effective teamwork leads to improved results because teams are able to apply the collective knowledge, skill, experience, power, creativity, and insight of everyone on the team to accomplish a given goal.

Team members who take personal responsibility for their actions and their behaviour as a team are creative, quick to notice areas that need improvement, and take appropriate action. They truly “own” the team’s vision and purpose. 

A leader is responsible for helping team members satisfy their needs and desires in an organisation.

“Leaders will tap into team members’ creativity and imagination”

If team members can find respect, meaning, and purpose in their work, leaders will tap into their creativity, imagination, and the huge reservoir of untapped potential that most organisations never see. This is a competitive advantage that is virtually impossible to match or duplicate. 

So how do you build a winning team? There are three fundamental principles:

People are looking for something to believe in. They want to be involved in something that has meaning, something that has value – and makes a difference. As a leader, be alert to this need. It is present in everyone.

People are looking for someone to believe in. Leaders can be the person they believe in and trust. You can only do this by being a role model. You must talk the talk and walk the walk. You must be a true leader.

People are looking for someone to believe in them. Business is believing in people. You do this by showing people how to believe in themselves. Know their family. Know their interests. Know their goals.

These three principles apply to everyone – not just footballers and geese.

John Spence is director of Leadership Management International, a global leader in helping develop people and organisations.

This article appears via DB Direct. Details here

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