Hello my friend, on your quest to become a better leader, I want to share Simple Concept #5 today and that is to become a better team player. Here is a quote I like, “Individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds.” -SEAL Team Saying
No matter how small your organization, you interact with others every day. Letting others shine, encouraging innovative ideas, practicing humility, and following other rules for working in teams will help you become a more likeable leader. Youâ€™ll need a culture of success within your organization, one that includes out-of-the-box thinking.
A few nights ago I was reading an article in Forbes Magazine title Five Ways to Become a Better Team Player by Dorie Clark, and she points to Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson, author of the new book, Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy, on her experience and knowledge ofÂ 5 ways to becoming a better team player.
Here are the highlights:
Create Ground Rules It’s a myth that the best creative teams are disorganized, says Edmondson. Instead, they’re only chaotic within certain boundaries. She suggests codifying a rigorous process of action, reflection, then new action and new reflection. The goal is to learn from your mistakes each and every time.
Ensure everyone participates. If you actually tape-record team conversations, says Edmondson, you’ll be surprised to diagnose the transcript and see how rare genuine questions are. Why don’t we do it? We’re too busy telling and not asking. It’s easy for groups to be dominated by the loudest voices; don’t let it happen. Literally going around the room to ensure everyone has spoken up can introduce an element of airtime equity.
Don’t assume others know what you do. Says Edmondson, I do exercises in the classroom with managers where I’ve deliberately distributed the information needed to solve the problem through the group but eight times out of 10 they fail the problem because they haven’t shared the information. Why? It’s very rarely an intentional gambit to hoard information-as-power, she says. Instead, people will say it all the time in the debrief I assumed everybody knew this. Don’t risk a bad guess: share your information.
Share, analyze, decide. Your group process should first require team members to share what they already know about a problem, then analyze alternatives, and then make a decision. Not working? Rinse and repeat but do it systematically.
Failure means succeeding at learning. Many employees can become paralyzed at the thought of failure but taking risks is essential to innovation and creativity (as I discuss in my recent Forbes post on Why Leaders Should Embrace Being Wrong). To inspire your teammates, says Edmondson, Get curious, look around, model the behaviors you hope to see openness, fallibility, and humor. The right mindset shouldn’t be about succeeding or failing in a given performance; rather, it’s an exploration where you learn each time.
Now of course with your experience in leadership, you can add many more ideas and caveats about being a better team player and I want to ask you, what are your secrets for being a great team player?
Thanks again for wanting to become a better leader and reading our posts and if you received some value from this content and if you have more tips to add, Please like and share with others and make a comment.
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**Concepts and quotes taken from David Kerpen, co-founder and CEO of Likeable, NY Times best-selling author and keynote speaker.