Find good teams

When it’s teamwork, it doesn’t seem work. Cute phrase, but I have been on some project teams that were down right painful. Other times the experience was really great. It’s like when you have a good manager; when it happens, you know it. It’s not only rewarding, but often leads to some valuable long term relationships.

Even friendships.

Have you had a good work team experience? If so, I don’t need to tell you how special it really is.

So what exactly goes wrong when it’s a bad experience’? Lots of things. The group process of coming together around a common goal is not easy and forces both in the group and from outside can sabotage it.

Here are a few things to look for in a great work team…

A team leader who actually LEADS

Watch for someone who understands and owns their leadership role. Someone who really believes in the project objectives. Someone who is ready to stand up for the team – and has team members’ backs when issues arise. This person is critical, since he or she must keep management support, get whatever resources are needed, and remove hurdles along the way.

Team members who respect each other

By this I mean where members are not averse to arguing, debating, fighting and challenging each other to resolve complex issues. But, at the end of the day, they’re a team. They probably even blow off steam together.

Team members who are honest and accountable

They know where they stand on their milestones and deliverables. They care so much about the teams’ success and their commitment to each other that covering their behinds, pointing fingers, padding schedules or sugarcoating the truth just don’t come into play.

Bottom line – Be on the lookout for team projects with the right ‘chemistry’. Keep your eyes open for the right opportunities. Look around you. What projects are the ‘good people’ on? How might you be able to work your way into them?

Motivated people will naturally gravitate to high value, high visibility work. That’s where you want to be – even if there is risk involved. Don’t just play it safe.

Once you have the chance to show yourself as effective team member, people will seek YOU out. Then it will be part of your ‘brand’.

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”– Michael Jordan

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