U = Unity in Teamwork

‘If you want to get the best out of someone, you must look for the best that is within them. Leadership develops daily, not in a day.’
John C. Maxwell

The U in IMPACTFUL leadership stands for Unity in Teamwork so today we are going to look and what I call herd dynamics and how can find find your place in the herd.

There is so much we can learn from horses about teamwork and community. As prey animals horses live
in herds to ensure their safety and for companionship. They have a rigid set of rules for how the group operates and this is what maintains the harmony. Every horse has their role in the herd and every horse knows their responsibilities. There is absolute clarity and, as a result, no pointless arguments or internal politics prevail.

There is trust between herd members and acceptance of the hierarchy of leadership. Just compare this with society together where the cohesiveness of groups of people – whether they be teams, family units or business entities – are fuelled by fear and mistrust. No wonder then that we can learn much from horses about how to run our businesses and boardrooms more effectively.

So what is a team and why do people, like horses, instinctively want to be part of one? The reason lies in the fact that none of us want to be alone. Tony Robbins has identified what he calls the six human needs. These consist of:

  1. Certainty
  2. Uncertainty/Variety
  3. Significance
  4. Connection/Love
  5. Growth
  6. Contribution

Th e six core values work on a type of pull-push system whereby if you get too much of one core value you then go out and seek the opposite core value.

It is this need for significance and connection that drives us to want to become part of a team. As social animals we need to fit in and there is nothing more satisfying than contributing to others and feeling needed. However, if no acknowledgement is received that you are performing well and contributing to the team, then people become demotivated. People, like horses, need feedback and confirmation that they are doing a good job. Without this feedback, both people and horses become resentful and lose their sense of value. They feel like they are not needed any longer and so lose their sense of being part of the herd. I know from personal experience how this can feel.

The other great feature of being part of a team is that it enables us to achieve more. I just love this acronym for TEAM:

  • Together
  • Everyone
  • Achieves
  • More

In ‘The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork’ John C Maxwell asserts that “One is too small a number to achieve greatness”’ And if you really think about it, can you recall a time in history when one act of genuine significance was achieved by just one man? On all occasions a team has been involved and so this is why President Lyndon Johnson once famously said, “There are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few that we can solve by ourselves.”

The importance of teamwork is paramount to any organisation and all good leaders must realise that they cannot be successful without the support of team members. Johnny Wilkinson might well have been the best rugby fly-half that England has ever seen and indeed, his spectacular drop goal in the final minute that won England the 2003 World Cup is legendary, but Johnny could not have achieved that success without the support of his teammates. Individuals play the game, but teams win championships. The same runs true in business: great leaders play the game but only committed, motivated employees help companies achieve great financial success. Success is a team sport however you look at it.

Extract from Unbridled Success – How The Secret Lives of Horses Can Impact Your Leadership, Teamwork and Communication Skills.  You can purchase the book here from Amazon

On January 16th, 2013, posted in: Teamwork by

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