Teams such as these are extremely rare. They are tough to find and even tougher to build. But they do exist. They can be built. And they can be led. Anyone who has seen one in action or been fortunate enough to participate in or lead one will know it.
Perhaps these teams are most easy to recognize in the world of sports because performance there is so starkly quantified and transparent.
- The first is a lack of mistakes.
- The second is the margin of victory they achieve.
- The third is the charge they get from what they do. (members fires each member of the team not only to perform, but to enjoy)
The first characteristic of such teams is vision. Teams must have something to believe in, something to achieve, something to become. Vision does not mean objectives
The second characteristic that distinguishes high-performing teams is ability. No one has yet figured out how to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, and world-class teams will not be produced without a fair number of world-class players
The third characteristic critical to world-class teams is “divine discontent.” It is an attitude to learning and growth that is never satisfied with past achievements but always searching for the next challenge
Discipline is rather an old-fashioned term these days and conjures thoughts of rules, curfews, and punishments. But in my experience an understanding of discipline is vital for world-class teams. Without it there is confusion and waste. Discipline in teams should begin as a set of boundaries that define what is acceptable and unacceptable
The politics of world-class teams is not the politics practiced by professional politicians. It is not the politics of building positive interest groups, neutralizing opponents, and maneuvering for leadership. It is the politics of managing interpersonal relationships in a team.