Thomas Edison, when asked why he had a team of twenty-one assistants “If I could solve all the problems myself, I would.” Another rather amusing fellow I know said “There is no “I” in TEAM, but there is an “I” in WIN!” Whatever your philosophy, working in a team is challenging, especially when separated by distance and time zones. Team work requires taking into account the views of others with whom you may not agree, and working with people who may seem irritating, stubborn, or just plain sociopathic at times. And there is always some level of conflict, which most people don’t enjoy (although some people argue for sport!), so the road of “journey shared” can be a bit rocky at times.Here are some survival tips based on my 20 years of working in teams:
AVOID TEAM WORK!
– Well, only if you don’t NEED a team, of course! If you can accomplish the goals without investing your time and energy into building a team, avoid working in a team. Teams should only be used to accomplish what cannot be accomplished alone. If you are playing a game that only a team can win, you’d better have a team!
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.” – African Proverb
CHOOSE TEAMMATES CAREFULLY
– OK, we don’t always have a choice of who’s on our team. But, your individual success will be tied to the success of the team, so when you do have a choice, be selective in choosing teammates. Personality clashes and lack of shared values are a recipe for lots of angst and very little progress. I’ve quit plenty of teams, and even jobs, to escape torturous teammates. Life is just too short!Continue reading