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Why Is It Always The Leader’s Fault? Who’s Responsible for Teamwork?

Who? Blame The Team for Poor Teamwork.

8 Questions Every Great Teammate Must Ask (Below)

If someone asked you whose responsible for teamwork, what would you say? Most would point to the one at the head of the table – the leader. While that is an acceptable answer, it is only part of the answer.

While it is true that leaders have an important responsibility in hiring those on the team, playing an important role in fostering trust on the team, creating a compelling vision and holding members of the team accountable – team members also have just as an important or more important accountability to teamwork.

Think of it like an orchestra. While the conductor can create expectations and even incentives around practice time and performance – she can’t sit with each orchestra member forcing them to do it the way she desires. And certainly she can’t pour the feeling, emotion and synergy into each musician to create the beauty of the perfect symphony. The conductor guides, but the musicians perform.

While I understand ultimate accountability is always on the leader, we often don’t put enough of the accountability on the team. At some point each member of the team must step up in a significant way to make it all come together.

The greatest teams I have ever watched or have been a part of – the leader didn’t have to do much because the members of the team were passionate about what they were doing. Because teammates were passionate about what they were doing, they cared deeply about doing it together.

Members of these types of teams won’t let another member fail. They won’t allow mediocre performance either. They are passionate about succeeding together.

Leaders must set up the framework so teams can succeed, but after that it is critical that each member of the team step up and lead from within.

Always look inward, before looking to blame outward.Click To Tweet

Team members must ask of themselves the following questions:

1. Do I look for ways to serve others on my team? What can I personally do to help each member of my team perform better?

2. Am I generally positive with my teammates? Or do I contribute in any way to bringing the morale of the team down through griping, complaining and/or criticizing?

3. Do I carry more than my share of the load on the team? Am I looked to as a burden, or a super performer by my teammates? Am I a “get it done and then some” kind of contributor?

4. Am I passionate about the team and what we are trying to accomplish? Or am I mainly passionate about my own aspirations and accomplishments?

5. Do I care enough about the team and my teammates to provide feedback – both positive and constructive? Or do I withhold feedback that would improve the team and teammates?

6. Am I humble? Do I solicit and do something with the feedback from others to improve? Do I give credit where credit is due when members on my team step up?

7. Am I generous? Do I take the time to share my talents, knowledge and ideas for the benefit of the team and its members?

8. Am I a person of my word? When I tell a teammate I will do something, do I do it?

If the answer(s) to any of the questions above are negative, then the team member must reflect and ask why and what they need to do to change it. Can you imagine the power of a team where every member of that team truly cared about each of these questions and was working towards improving?

Always look inward, before looking to blame outward.


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