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The Transformation of a Team Starts with the Transformation of You

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I have found in my career that most of the finger pointing on teams is at the leader or other teammates, but rarely is the finger pointing back at the person pointing the finger.

Maybe you can relate?

A number of years ago I was working with a team as a consultant, where every finger on the team was pointing at the leader and blaming her for every issue the team was having. This was expressed to me multiple times, both in private and in our team development sessions. I had never seen anything like it at that level before or since.

One thing that became really clear as I met with members of this team and the leader, was that no one was looking at themselves and asking how they might be contributing to the problem. The real issues on this team had as much to do with this leader as it had to do with each member of that team.

The transformation of a team starts with the transformation of every member of the team. Whether you are the leader of a team or a teammate, it always starts with you. Every member of every team has to ask themselves what they can do to make the team better.

Each member of the team needs to take careful introspective inventory on a regular basis.

When is the last time you and your team took a careful look in the mirror? When is the last time you and your team asked questions like: What am I contributing to the team today? What do I have the potential to contribute that I am not? How committed am I to the team? What have I done to demonstrate my commitment? What will I do differently moving forward?

Ask your team at your next meeting or event to start thinking about these questions. Maybe even discuss their reaction to these questions and share as they feel they are comfortable in sharing.

As you and members of your team begin to make a personal transformation, your team will also begin to transform in magical ways. It has to start from the inside out though.

You Are the Team!

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Leave a Comment

  • Todd December 13, 2017, 8:07 am

    This is a great post. It got me thinking about your previous post on November 28 titled “Why Traditional Team Building Doesn’t Work “.
    At first, it would seem that problems with a team like described above would be way too complicated to consider addressing it with team building activities.
    Wouldn’t it be cool if those team members who have fallen into a rut of blaming it’s leader for EVERYTHING could discover – through play – that perhaps they have a role in the issues and that they are a part of moving the team forward?
    I would love to see a discussion on using activities to create safe environments and then bridge to meaningful discussions that address specific issues like the one that you describe in this post. Good stuff!

    • Michael G. Rogers December 13, 2017, 9:18 am

      Thank you Todd. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I would also be interested in hearing how others do that.

      The concepts I write about in this post are from my book—You Are the Team. I am in the process of creating what I call my Inside-Out method to building teams, and I have a program that I will be rolling out in January. It includes activities and discussions. I feel team members must do a lot of personal introspecting. And teams must do the same.

      • Todd December 19, 2017, 5:51 am

        I look forward to seeing your work.


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