For those of you with kids, you know the developmental chart. It outlines the different skills and behaviors to expect at different ages. For the most part, a child has to master one stage before moving on to the next.
You can look at organizational team building in the same way. Every team transitions through a variety of developmental stages before it reaches productive maturity. At each milestone, a team will need different types of support and leadership.
But before we get to describing these developmental stages and how you lead through them, we have to ask you a question.
Are you leading a group or a team?
A group is a collective of mutually independent individuals with separate goals who are brought together by common interests and experience. Members may share resources, but every person is responsible for their own work.
A team is an interdependent group of individuals who share responsibility and are focused on a common goal. The most important characteristic of a team is their interdependence on each other. They focus on working together to maximize each other’s strengths and minimize weaknesses. The result: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Think of your classic disaster movie. The characters start as a group, stepping onto a plane or a boat with their own agendas. They may interact with each other, but they are pursuing their own interests.
Then after the plane has crashed or the boat has sunk and they are deserted on an island in the middle of nowhere, they transform into a team. Only by focusing on the goal of getting off the island and gathering resources to meet that goal can they survive.
Back to the real world. Think about your employees.
Are you leading a group? OR Are you leading a team?
In our next blog, we'll give you leadership tips for each developmental stage of a team.