Teamwork is one of the most important aspects of success, productivity and happiness for any community, whether that community is family, a football team or an office. Good teams not only are more likely to conquer their goals and come away from challenges more prosperous than before, but they’re also more likely to have higher levels of contentment, friendship, and joy. Read on for a review of a couple of the best (and worst) teams in history and what we can learn from them.
The Ford Motor Company, 1985
The Ford Motor Company of the mid-80’s is an excellent example of turning to teamwork when the chips are down. When Ford Motor Company experienced a loss of $1.5 billion dollars in 1980, they knew that something needed to change if they wanted to stay in business. Rather than attempting to sell models that they’d already manufactured, Ford compiled a team of 400 individuals with backgrounds ranging from engineering to marketing. Put in a room together and told to brainstorm, the team came up with the Ford Taurus, the first car of its kind and widely adored for its unique lines and curves. The car was named as Motor Trend’s Car of the Year in 1986, and restored faith and finances to the Ford Company. The take away? Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box, even when times get tough.
Al Gore and Bill Clinton
Putting all political beliefs and policy preferences aside, there have been some president and vice-president teams throughout the course of history that have definitely made the “top teams” list. One of these pairs is Al Gore and Bill Clinton when Clinton picked Gore to be his running mate in 1992. At the time, Clinton was seen as reckless and irresponsible, as well as having limited experience when it came to foreign policy. Gore, on the other hand, was viewed as straight-laced and had extensive foreign policy experience. The two created a perfectly balanced pair that led to both a successful campaign win, and, some would argue, a successful time spent in the white house. The moral of the story: if you don’t have the assets to make you successful, find a team member who does and work together.
Sears Holdings is an excellent example of what not to do. The company that owns both Sears and K-Mart, Sears Holdings has made the list as one of the worst teams in history. Sears has recently closed 173 stores and sold another 1,200, and is rumored to provide employees with low salaries and unfair working hours. What’s more, Sears has had multiple CEO changes throughout the years, making consistency within this company’s core leadership nearly impossible. Sears also relies on outdated technological systems for most of its information. With so many CEO changes, unhappy employees, and out of date systems, it’s no wonder Sears has had to sell so many stores. More successful company teams, such as Apple or Google, use the latest and greatest in technology, and put employee happiness as a top priority. It’s important to focus on what makes a business great, and for most companies that’s the employees.
What can we learn from the best and worst teams in history? Successful teams are those that dare to think originally, recruit those who bring talent and skills to the table, utilize great resources, and put taking care of one another as the ultimate goal.