Real Teams:

So are you a member of a real team?  Many times we think we are on a real team, but fail to realize what it takes to be a real team.  I have been reading a book about Senior Management Teams and the authors list the three marks of a real team.  The book is titled Senior Leadership Teams and the authors are Ruth Wageman, Debra A. Nunes, James A. Burruss and J. Richard Hackman.  When I shared these marks with our ministry leaders some realized for the first time they weren’t leading real teams.  So let me share these with you and I would recommend the book as well.  It will help you flesh out what kind of team you lead and how to make sure you are leading a real team.  So here goes…

  1. Real Teams are Interdependent:  A real leadership team has members that share responsibility for seeing the purpose or vision of the team come to fruition.  They are still responsible for their own areas, but share in the decision and implementation process when it comes to decisions and activities that have to done.
  2. Real Teams have Clear Boundaries:  Team members as well as outside observers know who is on the team and who isn’t.  It is made very clear who the members of the team are.  However, the strongest teams place the strongest people on them, so real teams are not chosen by status, or position or responsibility.  The team leader recruits the best for the team.
  3. Real Teams are Stable:  If your team is changing players every month or quarter, it’s hard for the team to come together and know each other if members are constantly coming and going.  People don’t get to know one another’s strengths and weaknesses that way.  It’s hard to be a real team when people are coming and going.

A team that is interdependent, bounded and stable is a real team.  So do you lead a real team?  Check out these three marks of real teams.  One easy way to answer the question is to share these three marks with your team and see what they say.  When it comes to the bounded mark ask them how many people are on the team.  See if they get the answer right.

That’s this leader’s view.




One response to “Real Teams:

  1. HI Dave, thanks for that summary. Yes that is really interesting the way that what we think is impt for teams isn’t necessarily so and what is really impt isn’t that obvious. I know I have been part of team building days where in hindsight we focused on all the things (ie not the things you posted about) f. Thanks for your post!

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