3 Attributes of Successful Teams

Happy Hump Day!

February is rapidly coming to a close, and yet there are still no signs of February type weather. It was 67 yesterday for heaven’s sake! Ugh! This probably means it will be snowing smack dab in the middle of peak triathlon training. Great…

It’s been a big week at work with the production release of our six month project, and it’s been quiet. Almost too much so for my taste but I guess that means things are going well. I suppose I should be taking notes from last week’s blog about the journey being more important than the destination, and what a path it has been. For those of you not familiar with insurance, it’s freaking complicated! If you are familiar with insurance, you know just how incredibly complicated! ACK! It’s enough to drive someone insane. Regardless, here are three key factors of successful teams.

  1. Synergistic Team – I would not be a good insurance IT worker on my own. Frankly, I would probably just end up inadvertently lighting a system on fire or melting down a server somewhere, but the teams you are surrounded with are often the gateway to our successes. There are colleagues who know about 75,000 years more insurance knowledge than I do, and I have a different approach to problem solving than some of them may. It’s a wonderful approach and one which spells success in an organization.
  2. Enthusiasm and Passion – In my experience, it’s not what you know (or don’t) it’s how you approach those knowledge gaps that defines the outcome. A team without enthusiasm or a desire to learn may not fail outright, but their successes will be far less reaching and impactful. A team that explores, brainstorms, and compares notes together in a passionate way may fail at first (in spectacular fashion) but their outcomes are nearly guaranteed to be greater, more powerful, and longer lasting. There’s nothing that kills a work project buzz like someone who just doesn’t care.
  3. Willingness to Learn by Making Mistakes – I am a huge proponent of learning from botching tasks in a royal fashion. Note: I don’t encourage you to intentionally drop the ball, eff up, or do something stupid and then play it off as learning a lesson; however, the intent of this idea is not to be afraid of making well-thought decisions for fear of messing up. EVERYONE MAKES MISTAKES! Everyone! 100% of the entire population blows it time and time again, but it’s the method of your madness and how you recoup your sanity post error that defines A) what you’ve learned B) the responses from others around you and C) what you take away. There is nothing more humbling than timorously slinking into your bosses office to admit you blew it… it burns for a bit but if you come prepared to not only admit what you messed up on but how you have begun to fix/address the problem then you are a step ahead of the rest. Perhaps my favorite quote from one of my supervisors is this: “Everything is able to be fixed, short of loss of life or limb.”
“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”

We are over the week hump! Crush it for the next two and a half days and maintain these three principles for team success. Teams surround us, and penetrate us… it binds the galaxy together.


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