Everybody knows the somewhat cliche statement of “There is no I in Team”. We all also know that the things you can do purely by yourself (unless you are working ON yourself but even there I would argue one needs help) to full completion are limited and this is across your life not only related to your professional career. I do wonder how many people follow-up with just a simple question: “What does it really mean to be a team?”
These are my raw thoughts and not in any particular order aside from forming the two words “WE CAN” :).
Warm — I was listening to The Psychology today podcast with Vanessa Van Edwards on “How to captivate people” and at one point she was describing the word “charisma”. You can and should listen to the full podcast (lots of insights) but in short charisma is defined with confidence and warmth. Team as a whole can be knowledgeable and GSD but if the team is perceived cold and unwelcoming then wont get far. Warmth is key!
Execution-focused — the way the team gains confidence is by actually getting shit done and testing and pivoting not only the products they launch, but the team itself. Confidence is not arrogance, just remember that! So in order to become a charismatic team the execution is important in order to continue building confidence together as a team.
Curious — We are born curious, we are by nature built to explore but as we become adults, many blinders come up. The key to being a team is the fine balance between curiosity and execution. If the team just throws ideas around, it’s never enough. If the team never takes these ideas forward, then curiosity has failed us. Those who know me, I say this all the time “Ideas are cheap!”. A very important part of maintaining your personal curiosity, is dedicated time to yourself and with yourself and “stepping back to the balcony.” as my old EMBA professor of organization behavior used to say.
Aspiring — With curiosity and execution, its also important that the team is aspiring beyond what is currently seen and being executed. What else do we see on the horizon? Where do we go next? Whats the next leap? What else we can learn as a team? Who else can we teach?
Networked — I also learned in the aforementioned podcast a new word “ambivert”:
“Ambivert — a person who has a balance of extrovert and introvert features in their personality.”
The point of Vanessa was that while there are extroverts and introverts, it is almost impossible to be an extrovert 100% of the time, we all have our time of the day or those moments. (I already added her book into my Kindle queue). So in order to become and stay a continuously learning team, the team itself need to be networking. There are some extroverts on the team, there are some introverts but maybe as a whole, the team is an ambivert balancing each other out at times of need!
Would love to hear your thoughts and lessons learned.