Updated: Mar 7, 2021
Hello September! When did you get here!? Last time I checked it was March and we were just starting to feel the impact of the global pandemic. My how time flies...and look how much we've grown! Not physically of course...(well hopefully not!)...but growth as it relates to our mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. We've been learning things that we either forgot about, loosely understood, or never knew until we started this journey together.
Welcome back to those who have traversed this road from the beginning; if this is your first visit with us I encourage you to head to Waypoint 1 and begin from there to get caught up with all the principles and insights you'll need to finish strong.
Lastly, if you haven't subscribed to my website, be sure to do so.
You may recall from last month’s blog a blurb that mentioned the influences (or influencers) we encounter in our lives and how we are molded and shaped by them. We learned that in order to lead well, we must lead ourselves FIRST, before we can truly lead others, and that begins with increasing our own self-awareness.
We have also previously learned the importance of getting to know others through effective communication and relationship building, so when they need us the most, we have developed our ability to empathize and support them in the way they need us to (quality of a good team member.) Why is all this so important and relevant to this month’s topic?
Because it’s not enough to simply be known as a group of people who show up to work every day to do our jobs. It’s not enough to be good or strong in what you do, but unable to help others in their weakness. It’s not enough to say, “I did,” when the rest of the members of the group are struggling. It’s not enough to work from day to day, week after week, disconnected from those we spend the most time with, sometimes even more than we spend with our own families. It’s not enough!
Some of you may ask, “What is enough, Lindy?” Well, I’ll tell you…TEAMWORK…which requires Team Building to even get to a point where a group of people actually begin communicating, connecting and collaborating, utilizing their strengths to support one another and advance the team towards achieving shared goals. (Quick sidebar...if you've been following along from Waypoint 1, you may be thinking...wow, those are some great skills to have learned that will be VERY helpful when it comes to team building. Yes, and you're welcome!)
So, here it is!
Waypoint 9 - Team Building
Team-building begins with an understanding that the team is a group of individuals with unique strengths and experiences. It takes emotional intelligence, relationship building, leadership, and communication skills to identify those unique traits, and equip, empower, and develop the group to perform individually, and as a team.
Friends, Team Building, when executed from a solid foundation comprised of all the Waypoints presented thus far, is enough to get the entire team successfully headed in the right direction; but it requires individuals to be vulnerable enough to admit weaknesses (because we all have them,) humble enough to ask for help (because we all need it,) teachable enough to learn what is necessary (because no one knows it all!) and confident enough to share knowledge with others (because it helps no one when we hoard all the info!)
Oh, and just for funsies, here’s a popular quote that pops up when you do a little ‘teamwork’ research online…
“A team is only as strong as its weakest player” - I have no idea who said this first, but it’s literally found just about EVERYWHERE teamwork, team building, and team player content exists
Just curious, what do you think of that quote? Accurate?
Now, growing up, I was a part of a lot of teams in my lifetime…but it wasn’t until much later in my adult life that I actually UNDERSTOOD and APPRECIATED the value and importance of team building. That’s nearly 30 years of being someone’s teammate, and not understanding my role, and the value I bring to the team, along with my other teammates. I spent YEARS just being the best me I could be, not knowing how to use my strengths to help others and allowing others to compliment my weaknesses with their strengths. I didn't really know if what I was doing was helping or hindering the team, and although I attended COUNTLESS meetings where after-action reviews and exercise evaluations were the norm, I never recall any of those meetings feeling productive in terms of gaining a better understanding of my performance.
They always felt like pointing out fault and failure across various functional offices was the focus and quick, corrective action to fix the broken process or procedure was the result. There was rarely, if ever, a focus on developing the people, who execute the processes and procedures. It wasn’t even a thought in my mind that that was even a thing…team building focused on people building; getting the people who do the job, to improve, so they can do the job better and achieve greater results for the organization.
It’s crazy y’all! Madness. I had some seriously difficult challenges that I navigated through, and assumed it was all up to me to figure things out on my own…what!?! More importantly, when I found myself in positions of leadership, I struggled with team building because I didn't have a solid foundation and understanding of the importance.
<Sigh> I know better now, y'all!
Anyway, below, you can listen to Jocko Willink, CEO and Co-Founder of Echelon Front, talk about the benefits and importance of Team Building, and share some solid principles of team-building for your listening pleasure and consideration!