There has to be a point in which teamwork can’t exist because individual agendas interfere. But there also has to be a point in which team incentives are so great you have to put aside your own agenda for the good of the team. Maybe there is no balance; it’s one or the other?
I have seen this with teams that I have developed over the years. The leader with good intentions decides that he or she will begin to introduce competition among the team. So individual productivity based rewards are introduced to the team based as a way to drum up “healthy” competition. What the leader gets instead are team members not willing to give help, ask for help, provide best practices etc… Much like many of the team based reality games on television today like the “Biggest Loser” or “Survivor” team members will turn on teammates if it means they might win the game.
I have been watching a reality show lately titled “The Deadliest Catch.” Now, I am not a big TV watcher; there really isn’t much that appeals to me. But this show is different. For some reason I am glued to it. Maybe it’s the risk these fishermen take with below 0 temperatures, 70 foot waves, little sleep and lots of equipment that can take your head off – literally. Or maybe it’s just simply the sport of fishing. But I think it is most likely the lessons in teamwork.