WE CREATE A CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE
The “Team” sphere is the interior-collective sphere, where self joins with others to become a team.” Every team not only is comprised of a collection of individuals but also develops a collective sense of “team self.” We often call this a team spirit. The team spirit is the culture of the team. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts in a healthy team – meaning that the team elevates the individuals to a higher state of performance, contentment and well-being. In a faltering team, the whole is less than the sum of its parts – meaning that the team experience drags the individuals to a lower level of performance, contentment and well-being.
In the team sphere we must see a rock solid trust bond develop. This bond is the result of the collective trustworthiness of all of the individuals on the team who demonstrate an attitude of service toward each other, making them good followers as well as always ready to lead.
For a team to operate at an elite level the following attributes must exist at all times:
Trust – Trust must exist amongst all teammates and within the culture of the team itself. As discussed this trust is powered by the trustworthiness of each individual on the team displayed through their actions and authenticity.
Shared Experience – Experience must be shared to the extent that no team member is left without a mental concept of what the other team members are experiencing in their “self” sphere. A good example of not sharing experience is the leader ordering a team-building ropes course but standing on the sidelines while the team does the course. How can we understand our teammates if we don’t share experiences with them? I see this as a big challenge for remote team mates, especially for international organizations. We must always look for ways to share experience and develop trust.
Shared Risk – This is similar to shared experience, except that most every day team experiences do not involve much risk. However, where there is risk, whether physical, emotional or financial, then the team should share it equally. A SEAL officer jumps off the ramp into the night along with his men. He would not have the respect and trust of his men if he avoided the risky endeavors while tasking the team to charge forward into these same endeavors. Is this an issue on your team? Do others take all the credit while you take all the risk?
Service – We know from lesson 2 that service is a key discipline of a warrior and thus a leader. Service is a mindset and occurs when we develop our personal kokoro and connect with our heart-mind. We then develop a habit of putting our eyes on our teammates before ourselves and an attitude of service to the team. Always be asking yourself how you can make your teammate’s job and life easier.
Supportive Following – This is closely related to service but applied to the role of follower. How can you, as a follower or team member, make the leader’s job look like a cake walk? The best teams I have led have also been the easiest to lead. The team members were all looking for ways to make my job easier. I did not have to task them with many things I would have expected because they were anticipating these things in advance and getting them done. It is a beautiful thing to experience this level of teamwork.