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The Promise and Problems of Outstanding Teams

outstanding_team_promiseDo you know what it means to truly be outstanding?

Those who seek to be part of an outstanding team must go into the experience with open eyes, knowing that there will be great promise but also many problems that they will encounter as well.

Outstanding teams are by their definition teams who STAND OUT.

They choose to separate themselves from the mediocre masses. Whether that is by working harder, working smarter, working better together, or some combination of the three, all outstanding teams have made commitment to outperform the competition.

Outstanding teams are ones who are willing to take risks.

In Seth Godin's book Linchpin, he writes that “You can either fit in, or stand out. Not both.”

Those who fit in do not often make a dent in the universe.

It is the ones who choose to stand out who make a difference.

They are willing to have others characterize their investment of time and energy as being an obsession. They are willing to put up with the criticisms of people who question their innovative methods or rabid attention to every detail. Outstanding teams are aware that there will be critics and voices of protest – because everyone outside their cult of ambition is likely working hard to protect and validate their own comfortable place in mediocrity.

Have you ever been to a Chuck E. Cheese pizza restaurant, where kids go to celebrate birthday parties and play games? One of the games you will find at virtually every one of their locations is the “Whack-a-Mole.”

The “Whack-a-Mole” game is one where you grab a large padded hammer - and you score points by hitting the plastic moles when they pop up their heads. And that is sadly what happens to great teammates who are driven to accomplish something special with their team.

Society holds that hammer high, and delights in crushing any head that sticks itself out above the crowd.

But outstanding teams are willing to endure that criticism and suffer through those painful attacks because they know that, by standing out, they have an opportunity to reach mountaintops and feel emotions that most people will never experience.

Most of the problems you will encounter when working to become an outstanding team are the result of others protesting that you shouldn’t care as much as you do, or work as hard as you do, or reach as high as you do. But outstanding teams have a vision and a passion and a determination to achieve more.

Outstanding teams focus on the promise of their efforts. Outstanding teammates see the great results that will be produced both for themselves and for others, and they celebrate the opportunity to be a small part of something larger than themselves.

The promise of working to become outstanding – and to exhibit the five traits of all great teams – is that you will not only achieve great things… You will most importantly become a beacon to others of what teamwork and dedication and persistence and vision can create. And by unapologetically letting your passion drive your and your team to new heights, you will also have an inspiration for future dreamers and doers who refuse to be content with the status quo.

Outstanding teams endure various adversities and overcome the doubts of others so they can prove them wrong and see their own vision become a reality… And it is outstanding teams that later serve future generations as motivating examples that the effort and investment and passion really are worth it.

If your team could benefit from a day of team development activities and insights, I encourage you to contact me about a fun team building event or interactive speaking topic to inspire your organization.

I would also be honored if you chose to follow me on twitter or to connect on LinkedIn to get additional information and teamwork resources!



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Sean shares insights on teamwork and leadership to improve your team motivation, morale, and productivity - inspiring you to LEAD from where you are!

If you are searching for an interactive bonding experience, challenging activities to strengthen relationships and leadership skills, or an engaging speaker to share a motivational message at your next meeting, contact Sean to transform your group into a more productive TEAM!


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Guest Thursday, 30 October 2014

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