We have talked about making decisions and and choosing what we believe is the best thing to do or say either personally or for the team we are leading. But sometimes leaders make mistakes so how do leaders handle that? Leaders take “responsibility”. If they make a mistake real leaders do not start pointing the finger and blaming others. They admit when they are wrong, apologize as is needed and then try to make things right. In other words they “fix it’.
It is very easy to get caught up in the moment when we have made a mistake and start pointing fingers. But when we begin blaming others we really start diminishing the strength of the team or at the very least of those around us. If we are a leader we would be best to follow the advice of Peter Drucker who said: “The leaders who work most effectively…never say ‘I’…They don’t think ‘I’. They think ‘we’; they think ‘team’…They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but ‘we’ gets the credit…. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.”
How does taking responsibility impact people around us? It creates a trust in you as a leader, it allows others to feel comfortable in risk taking and most important they know that the leader will share the success of the team with crediting everyone. With that sort of trust others in the group are willing to take responsibility for any mistakes they make also. I am reminded of the thing my father told me when I was young. He told me that when we point a finger at others, we have to remember that we have 3 other fingers pointing back at us. Blaming others accomplishes nothing and fixes nothing.
Making good choices and taking responsibility for our work and what we say and do builds great teams. As I tell all of our students, “The most important team we are on is our family.” So do you take your jobs, chores, and work you do seriously? Are you responsible to get things done? Do you show you are responsible for the mistakes you make?
Everyone of us is on a team. Our most important team we are on is our family. Mom, Dad and all the children are teammates. So what are we bringing to the team? What are the strengths we bring that make the team better? It is very seldom that we see everyone is good at the same skills. That is what makes a team so strong. What I may be weak at, may be your strength. When we pool the strengths of each of us then we are able to accomplish tasks and goals that would have been much harder if we had tried to do them by ourselves. At the same time a team can make us better at skills too. You may not be real good at organization, but if you watch and listen to someone on your team who has that skill, you will find that you will improve in that skill set also. You may not ever be as good as your teammate but you will remember that you have your own set of skills to bring to the team. Appreciating our own strengths and the skills of others will help a team be stronger too. There is no reason for us to pretend that we are not good at a skill, thinking that others may like us better or we do not want others to think we are showing off. At the same time we do not want to quit a team, or stop playing full out, because someone is better at a skill that we wished we had. Remember, Team is about pooling our skills to accomplish a common goal using the skills of many. When we can share an accomplishment with others it is more enjoyable and will get done faster than if we tried to do it by ourselves.
Teamwork is our word of the month. There are times when we must work alone, but most of us enjoy having the help and company of a team to accomplish tasks. Teams make the tasks easier and more fun as general rule, unless of course someone on the team has an attitude of being better than the others or does not play full out.
A team is never about just one person – it is about the team and the power that comes from the concerted effort of a group of individuals. While teamwork can be used in different parts of our life, home, school, work and recreation, I believe our most important team is our family.
How do we approach tasks at home? Continue reading “Teamwork discussion”