Team Work, The Good, The Bad, The How


Image by tim ellis via Flickr

A couple of weeks ago I participated in a wonderful set of conferences that strive to support and help entrepreneurship. You can visit the Road Ship For Entrepreneurship site (this is a Portuguese program) or you can get a wonderful book about business called Business Model Generation to start you on the path for entrepreneurship.

One of those conferences was about team work, more specificity team building and leadership (by Rui Lança). Today I taught I’d share some of what I learned.

Whether you like to work in a team or you prefer to do it solo you’ll have to deal with team work sooner or later in your life. After all we can’t do it all on our own. So it’s good to be prepared and you’d be surprised how a team can help you move forward. There are two parts to any team, the team and the leader.

The Team:

The first step to a good team is to realize what drives it’s member. What brought them to you and why do they want to belong to the team. It’s important that every member of the team knows himself well and is capable of communicating it to the rest of the team. In a team you must know who are the most rational and who are the most emotive, you also need to know what each member of the team brings to the table and what he’s willing to do.

A successful team:

  • has a common goal;
  • listens;
  • provides feedback;
  • has a strategy;
  • cares for it’s members;
  • keep it’s members liable;
  • has defined roles;
  • has a commitment to quality.

The Leader:

“Leading is as important to the leader as it is to the team.” Rui Lança

A good leader has certain characteristics, they are:

  • Emotional intelligence;
  • Communicational impact;
  • Dedication;
  • Insight;
  • Drive;
  • Commitment.

There are two major task to being a leader, facilitating and reflecting. A good leader must promote discussions, organize the work and keep the team moving forward (that’s facilitating). It must also analyse the information given to him and reflect on where to go next (that’s reflecting). His tools are: observing, giving feedback and asking questions.

But at the end of the day the most important part of the team are the individuals, and keep in mind that most teams fail because an individual doesn’t believe in the success of the group.

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