On My Walk (Teamwork)
The following gem on "Team Myths" comes complements of Richard Hackman via Professor Michael A. Roberto:
Four key myths people hold regarding teamwork:
- Group harmony will enhance team effectiveness.
Actually we want to see dialogue and debate. Getting along may be less important than the exchange of ideas that leads to more effective solutions.
- The leaders style serves as a primary determinate of team effectiveness.
Style alone will not guarantee success. A quick survey reveals that leaders come in many different styles. Additionally, a variety of styles can work effectively in different situations.
- Large teams outperform smaller teams.
The idea behind this is that a greater knowledge base, greater diversity, increased resources, and potentially greater buy-in will be an overriding factor. In fact, research has shown that leaders often build teams that are too large. Optimum size is 4-7.
- Team effectiveness deteriorates as shared tenure increases.
Actually, there is benefit from being together for awhile. The 2004 USA Basketball team only won bronze and lost more games in that Olympics than the U.S. did in Olympic basketball history. Lack of time together may have played a part in that.
Having read Hackman and listening to Professor Roberto, I am reminded why leadership is "a gift, a skill, and an art." Building and leading teams is no easy task. What action do you need to take today to improve your teamwork?
- I gleaned this information on teams from Professor Michael A. Roberto in the Great Courses, "Transformational Leadership: How Leaders Change Teams, Companies, and Organizations."
- Professor Roberto references former Harvard Professor Richard Hackman. Hackman's book Leading Teams is considered a seminal work on teams and team building.
- "Leadership is a gift, a skill, and an art" is from my colleague, Dr. Angie Ward.