Eventually, I convince most people that working as teams is the best decision you can make to continuously improve your performance. Our research has shown that the willingness to rely on others is the common success factor across all domains. Consistently high performers are open to coaching and sharing the workload with teammates. However, there are some things to keep in mind when employing this concept.
- If you have people who do not know HOW to coach, it can have the opposite effect you desire. The majority of self-trained coaches are actually advice givers who are attempting to help by sharing their personal secrets to success or giving advice. That is not coaching. Learn to coach.
- Mentorship is great, but it is a completely different animal than coaching and teamwork. For example, if I wanted to run my first marathon, you should not pair me with last year’s Olympic champion from Kenya and say, “Do what they do!” I will quit, and so will most people. Group people with similar abilities and potential if you want them to push each other.
- Keep score, but do not try to find out who the “best” is. You are looking for proficiency. Once everyone achieves it, you raise the bar. Games and contests serve their purpose to get people warmed up, but they do not facilitate permanent change. Gamification is not for developing champions. Preparing for the real thing is.
Business development is a team sport. It allows performers to focus on their strengths, rely on specialists, and collaborate in the best interests of the client. If you have issues with culture, compensation, or trust getting in the way of this reality, we should chat about it.
For pilots, being “slightly better” than novices at landing a plane is not acceptable. That is why they train in a very specific way. They train and execute as teams.