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From the Masters

The following is from Pulling Together:  10 Rules For High Performance Teamwork by John J. Murphy

Wanted: High performance team members; passive observers need not apply. Want to be part of a winning team? Get involved. Be part of the solution, not the problem. Speak up. Share your ideas. Put the “we” in front of the “me.” Volunteer your time and talents. Effective teamwork means total commitment and participation from every team member. There is no room for dead weight. Every player has an obligation to contribute, to carry part of the load. Without this commitment, a vital bond is broken. Team members have to know they can count on one another.

Effective teamwork requires that everyone leads and everyone follows from time to time, creating a powerful dynamic that invites proactive leadership. We lead when we have something important to say or contribute, using persuasion and influence to benefit the team. We follow when others are leading or when we have a plan in place.

Stop and ask yourself:

What part of the load do you carry?

What special gifts, talents and competencies do you offer?

To what extent do you lead and follow effectively?

What is your contribution?

Remember, you do not need permission to be a team player.

There is no substitute for personal ownership, responsibility and self-control. Accountability breeds quality performance and empowering solutions. When we take ownership for a problem and accept responsibility for our outcomes, we become agents of change as opposed to victims of change. When we resist the temptation to blame others or make excuses, we become part of the solution, not the problem.

High performance teamwork requires self-management and self-discipline. Along with clarity in both goals and roles, effective team members understand the responsibility they each have to manage their behavior in line with team rules. This means putting the team first, sharing information and getting involved. When everyone on the team is accountable, the team’s effectiveness rises about the sum of its parts. Each team member does not just do what is asked, but what is needed.

How are you doing in the area of personal ownership?

Do you accept responsibility for your outcomes?

Are you part of your team’s solutions … or its problems?

If you’d like more lessons like this, purchase “Pulling Together:  10 Rules for High Performance Teamwork” at the Inspired Faith Gift Store from Beliefnet.

Reprinted by permission of Simple Truths (c) 2011. In order to protect the rights of the copyright holder, no portion of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent. All rights reserved.

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