8 Essentials of a Dream Team

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

When a team collaborates effectively, play to each other’s strengths, likes each other, and puts in their fair share of the effort, their combined inspired action can achieve incredible results. Even more important than that, a great team is a pleasure to work with. Work becomes motivating, fun and incredibly rewarding when you’re surrounded by a dream-team. Who wouldn’t want to work in a team like that?

Selfishness sinks ships: friendships, partnerships, relationships, championships, even leaderships. Like an iceberg tearing through the hull of an ocean liner, selfishness will inevitably send all of those ships plummeting to the depths of the abyss. Selfishness sinks ships.

In an individual, selfishness uglies the heart; for the human species, selfishness is extinction. Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on service to self, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. However, when we focus on service to others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and seem smaller. We increase our capacity for connection through compassionate action.

Selfish people don’t know they’re being selfish. They usually assume they’re nice people who care about their own happiness more than anything else. The thing is that, on their journey towards finding their happiness, they carelessly and intentionally walk over people.

In every relationship, be it platonic or romantic, partners give and take from each other in equal measures without keeping count. Because selfish people are excessively concerned with themselves, they tend to disregard the needs or feelings of others. This means that they extract your love, affection, energy, time and effort without giving back in return. They inherently believe that you need them more than they need you.

Unfortunately, the traits of selfish people are not always obvious and easy to notice. Most of the time, they are people pleasers and hide their dark side very well. However, when someone you have to deal with regularly is consistently self-involved and self-centred, they can make your life miserable. And it is when you let them in and drop your guard down that they start showing their true colours.

Each of us must make it our priority and personal responsibility to stay in harmony with our fellowman. Harmony is not just about creating a pleasant environment; it produces synergy. The best way to explain synergy is to say that a hand is much more effective than five fingers working independently. You can test this theory using dumbbells, to determine the maximum weight each of your fingers can lift independently. Individual finger strength (added together) doesn’t even come close to what one hand can lift.

When employees are motivated and encouraged to collaborate together to solve problems, they cease to be employees and they become a team. Everyone benefits from combined effort and inspired action.  As we head back to work, in a post-coronavirus world, here are our 8 essentials for building your Dream Team.

1. Effective Communication

Effective communication is essential in any human connection. Great teams communicate openly with each other their thoughts, opinions, and ideas. Good healthy communication is impossible without openness, honesty, and vulnerability. Effective communication is essential in order to understand what is going on inside other people. If they do not tell us their thoughts, feelings, and experiences, we are left to guess. This leads to confusion and crossed wires, resulting in work that is left incomplete or incorrect. Pretty soon trust erodes and conflicts increase. Effective communication is key.

2. Compelling Purpose

The only way to do great work is to love what you do. Meaningful work is love made visible. When we contribute with a common purpose to create value, we go the extra mile and tap into gifts and talents that are not always visible on the surface.

3. Results Focussed

A dream team will champion their purpose by committing to goal-based outcomes and results. They are unconcerned with the amount of work being done because they experience a deep commitment to the group’s decisions and actions. Collectively they move in a clear direction towards each goal.

4. Creative Expression

Creativity, innovation, and different viewpoints are expected and encouraged. Dream teams celebrate the strength in their diversity in problem solving, process improvement, and creating the new and exciting. Failure, mistakes and mishaps all play a vital role in helping teams learn and grow. When mistakes are penalised, people become stifled, risk-averse and too shy or nervous to try anything new. Dream Teams encourage failure, embrace out-of-the-box thinking, and allow everyone to make thoughtful mistakes and see what happens.

5. Participative Leadership

Participative leadership in leading meetings, assigning tasks, recording decisions and commitments, assessing progress, holding team members accountable, and providing direction for the team. Everyone actively contributes to leading the team to successful outcomes and contributions.

6. Consistent Feedback

Knowing what’s working and what needs improving creates the feedback loop that both individuals and teams need. Without feedback, it’s hard to maintain motivation and a willingness to improve. Celebrating successes is also a huge part of creating a Dream Team. Victories are made memorable and worth striving for!

7. External Support

Even the best teams can’t succeed without the necessary support around them. A team that works well internally, but is externally blocked from achieving great things, ends up feeling frustrated and disenfranchised. Soon enough, morale drops and team members leave or resign themselves to simply going through the motions. Depending on the situation, this might be senior management support, adequate funding, or support from a board.

8. Have Fun!

All work and no play will only lead to burnout and a lack of productivity. Teams who work particularly well together enjoy each other’s company and get together outside of the office from time to time to socialise and have fun. The best teams get on well inside and outside the office.  

A Dream Team promotes an atmosphere that fosters friendship and loyalty. These close-knit relationships motivate people in parallel and align them to work harder, cooperate and be supportive of one another.

When you need to innovate, you need collaboration. It’s true that no matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team. Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved. Teamwork makes the dream work.


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