What 1D taught me about being a great team

Throughout many of posts so far I’ve touched on how I’m working to be a better me and how I’m working with my team as we seek to become a great team.

Let’s aim high

Saying that we want to be a great team is quite a statement.

It says that we don’t want to just be a team. It says that we want to aim high. It says that we want to exceed the level that most teams settle for.

It is seen by some as being a bit of an ego statement. It is seen by others have being aloof. And for others, it’s seen as us thinking that we are better than them.

And in someway I believe that they are all correct.

We are setting our standards, our aspirations and our expectations high. And we believe (for most of the time!) that we can get there. There are times when we think that we won’t become a great team due to a problem we are facing, or if the team starts to stick, or if we are unsettled by an outside – or internal – force.

Don’t just settle 

But because we are aiming high, when we have these issues we don’t just settle and say this is just a normal team situation, we dust ourselves off and get back to doing what we were doing – aiming to be a great team.

I should say that it’s not easy to keep that mindset though. It so easy just to settle. It’s easy to look at the energy needed to do better and take the easy option of doing nothing. It’s easy to put off tackling the problem for tomorrow. 

But great teams don’t do that. Great teams aim high and work hard at being great. 

Great teams understand, appreciate, and acknowledge the hard work and high energy levels required to stay great. And then they take the actions needed to tackle the problems. 

An example of a great team 

As a huge fan of music of all genres, I’m a bit of a fan of The X Factor. A few years ago there was a group formed by the show who, whilst not wining The X Factor, have gone on to become a massive musical act all over the world – and have been in the headlines this week as one member of the group has left.

What was the group? It was One Direction.

[I should say here that as a huge lover of pop music I do like their music! Phew, confession over!]

Why am I bringing them up in my blog post about great teams? Well, there was a moment in one performance that they did during a live show that just proved to me that they would become a great team. It was a small moment – but I believe that it was a huge moment for them.

Here’s what happened:

Whilst singing one of the tracks, one member of the group goes slightly off key, and instead of either ignoring it or getting frustrated by it, another member walks up to him, puts his arm on his shoulder and helps him get back on track.

It happened, was dealt with and was over in a split second. But it had a huge impact on me, so much so that’s it’s something that has always stuck with me about them.

At the time when it happened, I rmemeber thinking this group will go places. They support each other. They are a team. But more than that. They are aiming to be great. The other member of the group didn’t just allow the incident to happen, shrug his shoulders and say “oh well, it happens”. He got involved. He supported his colleague. And got them back onto their game.

He wasn’t settling – he was aiming high.

They were becoming a great team.

What can we learn from it?

To me it just proves how essential the peer-to-peer support is for the team. And it proves how team members can support each other to aim high, to perform well, and reach the levels needed.

And it got me thinking, if you are part of a team, have any of your collegeues helped you like that? Or do they just let you – and the team – sink and settle?

Let me know by commenting below, tweeting with  the hashtag #GreatTeams, or dropping me an email to iammichaelwatts@gmail.com. In addition, let me know if you have any other famous examples too and we’ll see wht we can learn together.

Let’s be bold. Let’s aim for greatness. Together we can achieve it.

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