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Five Missing Ingredients in Great Teams…

This is a picture Mark Beeson took at our Senior Management Team strategy retreat earlier this year. It was a week of hard work and great rewards. (If you want more scoop about the retreat, Mark, Tim and Mark got it.) When I ran across this photo earlier this week, I got to reflecting…

I’ve had the chance to work with and be a part of many great organizations over the years in a variety of sectors– local advertising, regional business consulting, national technology products and global financial services. And, I’ve had the privilege of working with some outstanding leaders and talented professionals who continue to impact who I am and how I do things to this day. But, in all of my experience I’ve never been part of a team culture as unique and as enriching as the one I am a part of at GCCwired. Not only do I recognize it’s unique, but others do, too. I regularly answer questions about our staff structure and approach to “team.” While there’s no secret to success, there are a few ingredients I’ve observed we’re consistently missing around here.

  • No super stars. There are no lone rangers, no individual heroes. As a matter of fact, when I was hired I was told that I would not be celebrated or held accountable to my own personal success but for the success of the team around me. That’s how important team is. It’s a no ego fly zone
  • No games. All roads are closed to the whambulance and complaining is as fashionable as skin-tight jeans and a mullet. We assume the best in each other and make sure all talk stays about the issues, not people. If there is something that needs to be worked out, it’s handled simply and directly. It’s a no drama zone.
  • No posers. There are no boxes to fill, but roles that are shaped around individual gift sets. Sure there are tasks to be done, but it’s not for the goal of assembly line production or identical thinking. Individuality is a good thing and comparisons are a waste of time. Strengths are celebrated. Weaknesses are starved. It’s a no clone zone.
  • No failure. Creativity, progress and growth are encouraged even when it involves risk. When I make a mistake, I might get coached to try it different next time, but I never get in trouble. It’s a no fear zone.
  • No put-downs.Value is communicated different ways to different people. And when the focus is mission, not mirroring-the whole culture changes. Harry Firestone said “You get the best out of others when you give the best of yourself.” It’s a no superiority zone.

That was a brief fly-by. If you’re looking for more practical tips on creating healthy staff teams, you’re in luck. Tim Stevens published a four part series on culture building. Enjoy.