John Maxwell on Teamwork Truths

Excerpted from John Maxwell’s “Talent is Never Enough”

It’s easy to see that teamwork is essential for tasks; however, a task doesn’t have to be complex to need teamwork. Teamwork not only allows people to do what they couldn’t otherwise do, it also has a compounding effect on all they possesses — including talent.

1. Teamwork divides the effort and multiplies the effect. Teams involve more people, thus affording more resources, ideas and energy than an individual possesses. Teams also maximize a leader’s potential and minimize weaknesses.
2. Talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships. Teams that repeatedly win championships are models of teamwork. It’s easy to see the fruits of teamwork in sports, but it is just as important in business. Harold S. Geneen, who was director, president and CEO of ITT for 20 years, observed, “The essence of leadership is the ability to inspire others to work together as a team — to stretch for a common objective.”
3. Teamwork is not about you. The true measure of team leadership is not getting people to work. The true measure of a leader is getting people to work hard together.

4. Great teams create community. All effective teams create an environment where relationships grow and teammates become connected to one another. That environment is based on trust. Little can be accomplished without it.

5. Adding value to others adds value to you. Too often people join a team for personal benefit. They want a supporting cast so that they can be stars. People who take advantage of others inevitably fail in business and relationships. The reality is that there never has been nor will there ever be a talent shortage. Choose to become a talent-plus person. If you do, you will add value to yourself, add value to others and accomplish more than you dreamed was possible.

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