This unlikely success story reminds us that the whole can be significantly more than the sum of the parts. I was once told by a taxi driver that Together Everyone Achieves More, yet I am often struck by how leaders and organisations say they want teamwork and then proceed to set up reward systems that encourage exactly the opposite. It is not uncommon to see individuals promoted because of their personal contribution to a specific project or sale, to see bottles of champagne awarded to someone who stayed all weekend to solve a customer problem, or to see praise (and money) publicly heaped on one star ‘goal’ performer. If all the plaudits go to the star ‘goal’ scorers it can undermine the cohesiveness of the team by demonstrating a culture that prioritises the individual over team contribution. In such a context, it is not surprising that selfish motives can prevail. The individual sees the clear opportunity to score by passing to a team-mate but decides to go for glory despite the oncoming defender and as a result is more likely to fail. If we want to create team spirit, we must reward team actions and recognise the key talents of all members.
Where can you notice and reward activities that support team goals?
How can you maximise collective working?
What is the best contribution you can make?