What do ants and Navy Seals have in common?
They work toward a common goal with everyone playing their individual part! Think about that for a moment.
Could one or two ants move a bread crumb? No — but when there are 100 moving toward a destination (the colony) and a goal (to feed other ants) they succeed.
I recently saw the movie Zero Dark Thirty, which is about the killing of Osama bin Ladin. Navy Seals were given the task of going into his compound to capture or contain the al-Qaeda operatives in the base. Could one or two Seals do the job? Absolutely not! The compound was too large and the task too great. Each Seal knew their job and executed it faithfully.
How does all this relate to teamwork? While ants and Navy Seals may seem so different, they really are not.
Each one pulled their weight as a team for the benefit of the greater good and the task could not have been completed alone.
Small tasks we can do by ourselves, but big opportunities (bread crumb) or problems (al-qaeda) require a team.
So, how do you get your team working like a team? Here are some thoughts I have on the process:
- Your team must have a common goal. Just like a crew team rowing to the calls of a captain, your team needs to put personalities aside and row toward a common purpose. Whether it be selling more widgets, boosting test scores at your school, or opening a new store, everyone is on board with the plan and doing their part to make it successful.
- Personal agendas and personality differences need to be set aside. Not everyone is going to get along or agree, but there is no “I” in team. No one person is going to get the glory. Just like the baseball team that wins the World Series or the football team that wins the Super Bowl, it is the team that makes it happen.
- However, healthy discussions should occur on a team. When strategy is being discussed, this is where the team should weigh-in on all the alternatives. Functioning as a team doesn’t mean one person is dictating all the thought process. However, what it does mean, is once the play is called or the strategy set, everyone is moving toward that objective.
The benefits of working as a team are:
- More work is completed in a shorter period of time
- You can accomplish much more as a team than as an individual
- You will gain multiple ideas and skills
- There are checks and balances during strategy discussions
- You build relationships
- Individuals learn better communication and compromise skills
Fun Team Building based in Atlanta, Georgia wants to help your organization! Owner Larry Lipman travels throughout the world helping companies, educational institutions, and non-profits build better teams! Give Larry a call at 770-333-3303 to learn more about his offerings.