Teamwork and Tandems

Teamwork for leadership is always challenging. “The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say ‘I.’ And that’s not because they have trained themselves not to say ‘I.’ They don’t think ‘I.’ They think ‘we’; they think ‘team.’ They understand their job to be to make the team function. 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.” –Peter Drucker
Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork, that is all we hear from self-labeled consultants, gurus, coaches and wannabe leaders.  The word teamwork is overused in every way.  It is especially used when large organizations with poor leadership attempt to get their employees to behave like sheep.
The proper way to use teamwork is how Peter Drucker uses it in the quote above.  Teamwork is only useful if the team is led by a leader of great skill, experience and natural talent. The bicycle in this photo was loaned to me by some great friends with a warning.  We were told that the tandem bike riding experience will accelerate your relationship in whatever way it is already headed.
  1. What are your processes for communicating clearly from the rear to the front?
  2. Where are the breakdowns in communication which could wreck the effort?
  3.  Are you moving too fast for your team to keep up or will they burn out too quickly?
A small business, especially a family business, is like this tandem bike.  All members of a small business are along for the ride but play critical roles in the success of the team.  There can only be one trusted, experienced and competent leader at the front.  Neither the leader nor the business is going anywhere without the input and guidance of those on the team, the stokers. Interesting resource on teamwork can be found here. What are you doing to ensure that your leaders and your team agree on the path and the destination?
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