Lessons Learned: Why The Power of a Team is SO Important

OK – cards on the table.  I have ALWAYS believed in teams – based on the simple fact that the more that people work together and  have an understanding of the projects overall goals – the easier it is to achieve said goal when one of the teammates has to disappear – for whatever reason – for a while.

But the reality is – sometimes people find it easier to just do the entire job themselves.  I am one of many who is guilty of this.  I surround myself with people who WANT to help; for the greater good, because they believe in the project; or the objective, but at times I don’t want to admit I need help.

This is the WRONG way to lead – and a recent experience reminded me of this.  Last month, during Engaging Associations Forum, I came face to face with a family emergency that not only left me unable to think about much else, but unable to stay at my own corporate event.

And, this is where I was reminded (like a slap in the face!) that teams are greater than one person trying to achieve a goal.  Here is why:

  1. A great team demonstrates that the sum is greater than its parts.  My team was able to pick up the pieces when I had to leave, and deliver the event in my absence.  This is because they were well aware of what needed to happen, and when.
  2. A great team empowers the lead:  While the lead may be responsible for the final decisions on various items – the lead is NOT the expert at everything; which is why the lead must choose its teammates carefully; bringing people into the fold that can help you achieve a common goal.
  3. A great team does not have to deal with hierarchy.  Giving decision-making power to your teammates is important, from the outset.  They can then start helping get tasks completed without having to question and get approval every step of the way.
  4. Teams can help respond to change: We had a few speakers bail out at the last minute, which was un-cool.  But because my team was in place, we were able to (quickly) source solutions. In this case, the solution was all about crowd-sourcing content. But when faced with a few last minute changes, working alone can leave you frozen in the problem, unable to see a solution.  Teams help you avoid that.

I always knew teams were important – but last month I truly was reminded why.  Thanks to Frank Rockett, Mark Thompson and Bettyanne Sherrer for standing by me.  I have the best team in the world!

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