One bad apple DOES spoil the whole barrel

Image source

Team-work is often slower and always more complex than individual-work; it requires more interaction and greater skill.

Five stages:

Teams go through five stages: forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. Typically, they are not distinct stages; forming and storming overlap. Additionally, storming, norming, and performing may occur simultaneously.

Before forming:

The success of teams is determined before they are formed, when team-members are selected – who is on the team matters more than what the team does. Random team-members never deliver exceptional results.

Diversity represents the strength, complexity, and difficulty of team-work. If diversity isn’t useful, don’t form teams.

10 Teamwork attributes and skills:

  1. Self-awareness. You must know what you think and how you are perceived.
  2. Communication. Beyond knowing what you think, you must effectively express it.
  3. Self-confidence.
  4. Respect.
  5. Listening.
  6. Conflict resolution.
  7. Trust building.
  8. Initiative.
  9. Responsibility.
  10. Technical insight.


Negatives don’t produce positive outcomes; they frustrate and constrain.

One “wrong” person destroys team-effectiveness. One dominant person can destroy team-work by silencing diversity. One withdrawn, disagreeable person is a bottleneck to efficiency; everyone dances around them. One irresponsible person blocks progress by arriving at meetings unprepared.

Say it:

Effective teams consist of individuals who openly share their perspective. Your genius seems simple to you, perhaps obvious, but to others its brilliance.

Ask it:

The fear of looking dumb makes teams dumb. Ineffective team-members ask privately in the hall. When questions aren’t asked publicly, real team-meetings often happen after the meeting between the power-members.

Have you seen great teams working? What made them work?

Have you seen teams crash and burn? What happened?