Some Final Thoughts

20151104_145237Chances are you’ve recognized some of your team’s behavior in 10 Good Reasons to Hate Work Teams. If you haven’t, you are either on the most amazing team in the known universe or you’re choosing not to recognize things too well. Teams are a fact of life in organizations. Perhaps there was a time when a single ‘heroine’ or ‘hero’ could manage everything and tell people what to do and they would gladly or otherwise go do it but that time is long gone. Life, and organizations are too complex, too busy and too big for mythical roles of leadership and management anymore. We really do need others in our organizations if we are going to succeed. Many leaders and managers still trying to play those mythical roles are finding this out the hard way as they become more and more irrelevant with each passing day and their teams and organizations become more irrelevant as well.

Maybe you were able to laugh at your team a little too, as you recognized behavior that described it pretty well. All teams experience similar problems and the only problem that’s really unacceptable is not trying to do something about them. That’s when teams become horrible, time-wasting, resource sucking monsters. Perhaps in the midst of your laughter you were also able to see, or try some solutions that will work for your team.

If you look back over this e-Booklet you will notice a couple of words that have been used a number of times when describing what is needed to dig your team out of the hole it might find itself in. The words are courage and honesty. Some situations are just darn ugly and some are wonderful. In order for a team to be effective both these states need to be honestly recognized to be able to continue to move forward. It takes courage to be honest and honesty to be courageous. It also takes courage to share honest information with your team so it can do the work it is supposed to do. All the bells and whistles ever invented to help teams be more effective are useless if you don’t have the courage and honesty to apply them. It can be pretty tough at times. Good teams do their best to ride the roller coaster of good times and bad and press on. Amazing teams learn to love the roller coaster. They learn from each up and down and press on just a little bit better.  Or perhaps even know when it’s time to get off, which can be the toughest choice of all.

There are choices to be made. Do you choose to have a useless team you can’t stand being a part of or do you choose to push yourself and your teammates to be amazing?

Which choice will you make?

Discussion and comment points for this post:

  1. What are some of your final thoughts (on this initiative, not your final thoughts ever!)?
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4 Responses

  1. An excellent – and thought provoking summary. inspired a conversation with a team member where we both asked a few tough questions and although it is a struggle to stay open to those honest replies … they will undoubtedly move our work together forward.
    Thanks for this whole work … an invitation to stay enough on the edge of the ways things have always been done to be able to question/reinvent ourselves.

    • So Bonnie, we now want to hear about the conversation with your colleague and how it relates to this post!

      You are right I think; it can be a struggle to stay open to honest replies, or even honesty in general, and we need to be ok with that struggle and not assume if we, or our team, was ‘better’ we would not have such struggles.

      It can be very tempting though to simply not engage in those struggles and then when your team is a mess it becomes even more tempting to simply blame someone else. It’s then that the mess becomes much more difficult to clean up.

      • Thank you so much for this thought-provoking series Tom. I’ve enjoyed the way it’s asked us to each reflect on our own experiences, trials and tribulations – the ugly and the wonderful. And how critical it is that we not only understand and accept our reality, but take responsibility for it. Thank you.

  2. Thanks Chris and good to see you here! You are so right in the ‘taking responsibility for it’ point. It can be hard to do this when things get ugly but that is typically when accountability is most needed. When this doesn’t happen we often end up with patterns of behavior that are filled with blame or guilt and being on teams like that are not much fun at all.

    And it is our accountability in some ways if we are part of that.

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