What Makes Teamwork Work?
“’Men work together,’ I told him from the heart, Whether they work together or apart.” — Robert Frost
What Makes Teamwork Work?
The adage “Two heads are better than one” has probably been around since teams of men, women and oxen built ancient Mesopotamia and bored grape growers learned to become winemakers. These were people who knew the importance of working together effectively and in harmony, cohesiveness and with a shared plan. They were some of the first humans to make teamwork work successfully and achieve the goals they set out to achieve.
Today it is no different. In order for teamwork to work effectively and successfully, you got to have a plan, you got to have a leader and you got to have qualified people working together in harmony and common cause. Let’s break it down to specifics and what I call “The Three Prime Elements of Teamwork.”
In a proverbial nutshell, they are:
LEADERSHIP – An army doesn’t only march on its stomach, nor can it be successfully driven like sheep from one pasture to another. Not unless that sheepherder is a leader—and an effective leader!
An army is a team. So is the makeup of a professional business or company. And every department in that company. However, to be guided forward and to success, they need an effective leader.
He is a leader who knows how to instruct, teach, supervise, guide and inspire a team of men and women (employees) to work together as a team, And work together in harmony and cohesion, driven forward by their leader’s leadership and a passion and desire to succeed—all inculcated in them by their leader! He is a leader who can get people to move forward and accomplish things. He is the creator and keeper of the plan. The key term is “work together”; for a leader not only leads but works together with the team.
THE TEAM – The core of your business and company are its people, i.e., the employees who work for you and make your business hum, produce and operate. They become teams of employees designated by department or project, but their productivity and performance is not only based upon their experience, training, aptitude and abilities. But from how they are treated and respected and rewarded by the company and the managers and supervisors who supervise them.
But there is more to managing and supervising than just management and supervision. Leaders who lead from the front through example, vision and inspiration are core values that lead to unified teamwork, productivity and success. Gratitude and praise are often the only reward team players need to stay with the team and keep it moving forward in a continually productive and successfully direction. In simplest terms: keep watering the plant and the plant will keep growing!
THE MISSION GOAL – Last but certainly not least, is the meaning and importance of purpose. As one famous philosophy often wrote and spoke, “A life lived without purpose is a meaningless life,” so it is for employees who work together as teams for a business or company that is not their own. Make it their own by letting them always know they are an integral part of your business and integral to its operation and success.
So, give them a purpose and a mission goal to ever strive to reach, accomplish and replenish. People need to know there is light at the end of tunnel. Show them that the mission goal is not just completion but accomplishment. Success is not just profit and financial reward but a sense of pride and victory in overcoming adversity and accomplishing what no other team could accomplish.
A great leader creates a great team and leads from the front and through example, mutual respect and inspiration. He and the team work together and never apart. This is how teamwork works and why and when it always works best!