The Real Reason Teams Don’t Work

Overwork prevents teamwork.

Imagine the feeling of being close to missing a deadline. At 3:00 p.m. a team mate needs your expertise on their marketing project. Are you eager to serve? Or, are they an irritating pain in the a**?

You’re frustrated because you want to help but feel you can’t.

People who can’t get their own work done can’t help others.

When schedules are maxed out teamwork is out.

Overworked leaders don’t have time to help. They are too busy helping themselves. A corporate leader recently said, “My boss is buried. She doesn’t have time or energy to give me.”

Turf wars not teamwork:

“Overworked staff results in turf wars and office politics,” Andy Stanley at Catalyst. Can you see people jockeying for position? Jockeys aren’t team players.

Helping others help others:

  1. Get real with workload or teamwork-talk becomes platitudinous drivel.
  2. Reward and recognize helpers. Ask, “Who helped you?” at the end of projects.
  3. Honor serving. Ask, “Who are you helping?”
  4. Ask, “How are you helping others?” What get’s asked about gets done.

Supporting team work:

From Facebook: Leaders support teamwork when they _______.

  1. … don’t try to do everything themselves.
  2. … are willing to do the nitty-gritty work with team members.
  3. … share opportunities, responsibility, and credit.
  4. … affirm others’ strengths.
  5. … treat team members as stake holders.

More at: Leadership Freak Coffee Shop.

What are the roadblocks to teamwork in your organization?

How can leaders support team work?