There is no ‘I’ in team but there is in Indispensable


In Simon Sinek’s video – A leader without a vision is a follower he speaks passionately about the leader’s responsibility to make the team they lead feel protected and safe.

Simon talks about the fact we should think of our teams as family – we do not get to choose our family, but we give them our undying love and support.  We celebrate their strengths and do not constantly point out their weaknesses.  Sometimes you let them fail and sometimes you discipline them and sometimes you let them go.  All we want for them is to achieve more than we achieved, we offer them support and protection.

Simon, as do I, strongly believes that this should be the same at work.  It’s even more unacceptable as we choose the people that we bring into our teams.

STOP saying our company is like a family, IT IS A FAMILY.  Make sure your team members can achieve more than you ever did.

The people matter more than numbers and customers.  Take the leap of faith that supporting your teams will mean they feel safe, they work hard, learn and achieve great things.  That in turn will lead to better products and services, happier customers and higher profits.  It just will.

Too often we still demand certainty in outcome in an uncertain world.  If we fail to achieve then we sacrifice our teams.

Stop identifying goals like increased top line growth for next year, start by aspiring to a company that will last 100 years.  We cannot predict the future but we stand a better chance of being around when we create teams that care for each other.  The best teams can create any product and solve any problem, this is very different to ‘any team can build my product’.

My team can build any product……very different to any team can build my product

Speed seems to be more important now than ever given the increased adoption of new technology, but this cannot be at the expense of the people creating and embracing that technology.  Technology will not just keep advancing, it needs people driven and motivated to do so.  Leadership or more specifically, servant leadership, has never been more important.

To go fast go alone, to go far go together

Intrinsic motivation needs to be understood.  With unemployment at a 42 year low and software craftsmanship and digital expertise in demand, the extrinsic motivations of money and competition will no longer motivate the team.  We must look to the intrinsic motivations of purpose, mastery and autonomy (as specified by Dan Pink).

With all that in mind when did it become OK at work to stop caring about each other?  For the task to become more important than the happiness of the person carrying out the task, for it not to matter at all who is even doing the task.  To become so fixated on a goal to complete a task for your business, that the duty of care for the people in your teams to be forgotten or ignored.

I find it unacceptable the so called leaders in large organisations who seem to pay lip service to peoples’ feelings, to people aspirations and desires for support and development, when it becomes clear that the only concern is for the job that needs to be done and for their own survival and reputation.

Once the tribe figure out that the leader will not keep them safe then we are all in danger.  The tribe starts worrying about it’s own personal safety, they even stop looking out for each other.

Don’t let that happen.  Lead by example.  First thing tomorrow, ask someone in your team how they are feeling, ask them what you can do to help them improve.  Ask them what they want to learn.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: