A Love Affair With Teams

A Love Affair With Teams

When it comes to business (and life), we all have complex relationships with teams.

A quick scroll through your LinkedIn feed and you’ll  see hundreds of leaders celebrating their teams.

It seems that leaders who need to complete complex projects or achieve lofty targets know how important teams are.

According to Zippia Research*, 86% of employees in leadership positions blame poor teamwork as the top reason for workplace failures.

To summarise, leaders understand that retaining, building and optimising their team is important.

Of course, that reality doesn’t change the fact that for lots of people, teamwork is like pulling teeth.

Why do some people find teamwork hard work?

Even assuming the team has been set up beautifully in terms of a clear vision and mission by the perfect team leader. Some people don’t relish teamwork.

Personality is a factor.

Individuals with a strong preference for introversion can find some team interactions deenergising and at times downright pointless.

The type of information that a team member prefers can also render some teams with a lack of focus on the teams’ overall goal and instead leave them with heads down, perpetually ploughing through the ‘to do’ list.

Self-interest is another factor. Individual interests often sabotage team spirit. People’s competitive instincts end up finding targets in fellow team members rather than rival teams.

The more ambitious you are, the harder you’ll find it to manage the tension between getting ahead and getting along.

In fact, even when we want to collaborate, the wrong expertise, incompatible values, or an unusual style could make just about anybody a poor match for a given team.

Leadership is a key ingredient

Talented leaders are good at picking the right people for the right task, and inspiring them to set aside their selfish agendas to focus on the group’s goals.

Indeed, the ability to build high-performing teams that people don’t find hard work to be a part of is basically the essence of leadership.

If you ask enough top executives about their leadership style, you’re likely to hear some of them say, “I hire the best people and get out of their way.” It’s a go to line that makes sense at a certain level.

Hiring the right people is a critical first step for any leader but the job doesn’t end there.

In order to create an engaged, high performing team leaders must (amongst other things):

  • Understand the personalities and ambitions of their team to build trust
  • Articulate the vision and mission of the team
  • Connect the team to that vision
  • Involve the team in the process of deciding how to achieve the goal to ensure commitment
  • Make the team accountable
  • Focus everyone on results
  • Set the tone
  • Lead by example
  • Listen more

No easy feat! Many a team has succeeded or failed with the calibre of its leader.

We all love teams though, right?

7 of the top 10 sports by viewership (sportsbrowser.net) are team sports. The top 3 sports namely football (soccer), cricket and basketball boast a combined viewership of 7.2 billion.

We love investing our own time and money in watching groups of individuals become a team and achieve collectively. Perhaps it testifies to a human desire to belong and be a part of something that succeeds.

Many of us have been lucky enough to be a part of a team that has just excelled. A team that achieved all of its goals and was a joy to be a part of.

Some of us have had the misfortune of being in a team that has been an absolute misery. An ordeal from start to finish.

There’s no way around it though: every significant human accomplishment from moon landings to curing cancers is the result of coordinated group behaviour – people working together to achieve a common goal.

Every significant human aspiration from solving the climate crisis to colonising Mars to Aston Villa winning the Premier League** WILL involve high performing, highly engaged teams.

That’s why we love teams at EML. That’s why we exist. To help build and sustain teams that will change the World for the better.

*Source Zippia Research Inc 2022 – Collaboration Statistics [2022]: The Importance Of Teamwork Report.

**Please note some aspirations are more realistic than others

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Many thanks from me and the team for a successful and productive 2 days in Denmark. Your ‘fluid’ approach and ability to fit in with our last minute changes was appreciated. I will be engaging your services again next year…!

Ecco Spokesperson - Team Building Event

A great set of events to help keep spirits up and teams connected during lockdown. Especially appreciated the flexible and creative approach. Many thanks.
Adele Cox
Excellent fun and fully engaged activity, completely loved it ???? Thank you so much.
Himabindu Vutukuri
I thought the event was excellent - informal, fun & very engaging!
B. A. Nimmo
I really enjoyed the exercise and was honestly quite surprised at just how engaged with the activity I became.
Richard White
Enjoyable virtual event. I liked the theme and imaginative art class to make it a fun group event.
Conor Morris
A very entertaining experience... we had to make decisions and work together. And we also got a sense of achievement - I can’t draw and produced 2 decent superheroes. An excellent activity.
Elizabeth Donachie
A great event which made was a lot of fun! At first I was nervous to try the task but by the end I wanted to do more!
Lisa Redpath
Enjoyable event and well run, enjoyed our 3 hours with EML.
David Rodman
Good afternoon of activities and being in the winning team topped the day, thank you for the prize.
Adrienne Cousins
Many thanks to Neil and Ruth for leading our virtual team building exercise... Many laughs were had while scrambling to collect the twenty items...!!! The Murder Mystery was my favourite and my team winning was the icing on the cake. The Haka showed how uncoordinated we are but the laughs ...just proves what an enjoyable experience we all had.
Suzanne Mitchell, Beckton, Dickinson & Co
Our team really enjoyed the event - they are already asking when we can do another!
Karen Wilson, Zhero
The EML virtual team building event was well organised and entertaining. Tasks were interactive and challenging in a fun and relaxed environment.
Brandon Lee Maharaj
It was fun and I loved the energy this brought out of us as a team.
Clinton De Klerk
Great and fun team-building event. Enjoyed!!!
Christopher Dahwa
Perfect. From initial enquiry to event day. I’m really pleased with the session. We had a short meeting pre activities and then 4 fun team games. The event staff were really helpful and professional all the way through.
EML delivered a great virtual training afternoon for our new Graduates, Undergraduates & Apprentices. Everyone found it to be a fun and engaging afternoon.
Victoria Goodwin
Super fun virtual event, the team are friendly and entertaining. Thank you so much Neil and Jon.
Thank you EML for a great virtual team building Christmas party. Everyone had a great time and this virtual option created a great opportunity to stay in touch with our colleagues and have some Christmas fun. I've received lovely feedback from staff - they really appreciated the event.
Sue Quick
Thanks for organising and facilitating our online Christmas social. I've had some great feedback from the participants and it was lovely to do something together even though we couldn't meet face to face.
Michelle Hammersley
Great fun, thank you.
Simon Elkins
Well organised and good fun - many thanks to EML Team.
Mark Roberts
Great fun, engaging and well organised :o)
Belinda Mitchell
Thank you so much for organising a very interesting and fun event... it gave staff an opportunity to work together in different ways and helped to develop our team skills. I'd recommend similar online events to other organisations.
Isla Boadle
Great fun had by all. Both inclusive and engaging. We will be looking to use EML again next year.
John Williams, ECCTIS

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