Effective Teamwork: a 360-degree Look
Effective teamwork is critical for every successful organization.
In order to reap the benefits of teamwork, leaders must not only lead, they must be able to work well with upper management and their colleagues while setting the example for their team.
An example of a young, junior military officer who learned this lesson the hard way went as follows:
- Major: “Captain, what is the first thing you do when you receive an order?
- “Captain: “Execute that order, sir.
- “Major: “Wrong! You execute that order as if it were your own.”
This brief exchange highlights the need for junior leaders to either question the instructions given or apply that directive with the same spirit as if they had made the decision themselves.
When a leader halfheartedly supports their boss on less popular decisions, people see through it. Later, when you need their support, they may do so with the same spirit they observed you supporting your boss.
Once the vision, values, and corporate mission are defined, leadership must speak with a common voice to promote consistency, maintain standards, and achieve corporate goals with the greatest efficiency.
Effective communication involves cooperation at every level: within and across divisions, and, in support of senior leadership.
- How important is loyalty in your organization?
- Why should your staff cooperate with you if they see you resist supporting senior management?
Supporting Senior Leaders and Colleagues
Supporting senior leadership implies providing your full support when final decisions are made. Or, when you do not agree, seeking to understand that decision better. If unable, take the initiative to suggest a better alternative.
Similarly, teamwork requires support and trust between peers. When a supervisor does not get along with his or her peer, they implicitly promote the same lack of cooperation within their own team.
Demonstrating a cooperative attitude in all 360 degrees will help you meet team and corporate objectives.
Whether senior leaders or colleagues, when we do not work well together, it usually means we haven’t taken the time to communicate. As we recognize and incorporate teamwork principles within your organization, we find that we have more in common than we realized.
Good leaders look beyond their immediate team in order to promote effective teamwork to exist throughout the organization.
Leadership means learning to work together and keeping everyone focused on the corporate objectives.
Only when the management team is committed to the corporate values, will there be a spirit of teamwork and communication.