Leading on the teamwork tightrope

Businesspeople, teamwork. Group of multiethnic busy people working in an office

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For a group of people to perform and deliver something memorable, depends on how unified the team can be. And that, is the leader’s responsibility.

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Leicester City started the English Premier League as the underdog and won the top title in 2015. Only 6 football clubs have managed to do the same to-date since the Premier League was incepted in 1992. Claudio Raneiri, the team manager at that time, was aware that the team was in a tight spot near the bottom but he also knew that he was in the presence of something special. Unusually anywhere else, players on the field and on the pitch played with their hearts and developed a strong bond with each other that led the team to success to shock most book keepers around the world as such long odds had never been paid out before in history. The Leicester title was thus dubbed “the greatest sporting shock ever”.

Many theories have been postulated to suggest the basis for reasoning with Leicester City’s stunning feat against all odds. The experts conjured up several conclusions that boiled down to one simple fact: they practiced as a team, every day.

Claudio Ranieri explained that building a good team starts from the understanding that teamwork is a continuous process. As the leader, you must be constantly exploring and looking for ways to improve teamwork way before competing, without anyone telling you when and how to do it. With that, there are a couple tricks that any leader can apply to their team for a better a bond.

Change the verbal language

It is very easy to talk about ourselves or high flyers with high water marks by using familiar pronouns like “me”, “he” or “she”, but we have to be careful with these words and turn to focus more on team overtones with “us” and “we”. The more often pronouns of unity are used, the more members to feel better about their contribution and the more confident the team as a whole. It is impossible for the team to believe in itself as a unit when only a selected few are mentioned, much worse predominantly the leader.

Encourage team members to speak in meetings

Do not rely on a single voice to constantly speak for everyone else in the team. For everyone to participate, one effective method is let each member take turn to lead a meeting or assume chairman, irrespective of experience or position as any professional assigned to overlook an important task automatically takes responsibility and gives it their best.

Make each individual feel valuable to the team

Every​ team member serves as an autonomous building block with a specific function to perform, all of which are in place to support and fulfill other blocks. A glitch in one thus becomes a stumbling block that hinders the performance of the entire team. As such, when each player understands the impact on others when one malfunctions and all performs autonomously as a unit, nothing describes the phenomena better than the time honored words, “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts”. A good leader must instill a level of confidence in each team member and ensure the importance of each role is taken to heart.

Create an environment that encourages vulnerability

One of the best characteristics of a good leader is the care for team members. A lot of times, it is reflected in the time spent with individual members to learn about their well-being and see how things are going. As things get busy and schedules overlap, time becomes a rare commodity and everyone seems to have a wall around them to limit availability to convenient windows and screen out unnecessary engagements. When paths do actually cross unexpectedly, it is nice to spend some time to catch up with each other with small talk around daily routines. Acts of random kindness goes a long way in breaking the ice, and a lot of times, even breaking the walls that separates team members.

Compiled by BLOG.SCGLogistics

References and photos Linkedin.com, freepik.com

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