Extraordinary Teams

Inc. published a nice blog post yesterday on the “7 Habits of Extraordinary Teams.” It’s an obvious play on Stephen Covy’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and Patrick Lencioni’s “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” (both of which are worthwhile reads, by the way).

One thing I like about the post: the predictable but still critically important emphasis on the ways in which strong teams collaborate and support each other. It seems pretty obvious, but in the absence of real trust and effective communication among team members, it’s pretty tough for a group of folks to gel (and consequently kick ass).

I do have some quibbles with his list. For instance, while I agree that clear goals are critical I’m not convinced that those goals must necessarily be quantifiable. Similarly, while clear roles are really important, part of what elevates teams from mediocre or even good up to greatness is an enthusiasm for stepping up wherever the needs might lie. Yes, it’s critical that each individual know her role, but that has to be coupled with an ownership – by every individual – over the entire team effort and a willingness to fill in whatever holes and to grab whatever opportunities present themselves.

Those are just quibbles, in any case. However obvious the list may seem, dysfunctional teams are at least as common as the strong ones, so there’s clearly a lot of work to do (obvious or not).

Photo by Flickr user dearbarbie.

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