Today I’ve got some more insights on business and teamwork to share, inspired by a quote from Andrew Carnegie: “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” Let’s take a look at the different aspects of this quote and how we can apply it.
The first part of the quote indicates that a common vision is the core of teamwork. Typically one of the initial things I look at when considering a purchase or working with a new client is if that company has a vision. This is more than just saying “I sell stuff,” this is showing how you fit in with the bigger picture, how your clients fit in with the bigger picture and even the bigger picture and impact on life. Too many people don’t bother to answer the “why”, they just focus on the “what.” But the “why” is the motivation behind taking action or the reason why people choose you. Without it it’s a lot harder to get people behind what you’re doing. If the people you want to be on your team don’t know why they would want to be part of your team you’ll have a very hard time convincing them to support you.
The second key aspect of teamwork is the people. For a team to be successful several things have to be in place. First, there has to be communication. There has to be communication not only between the team members for the duration of the team, but there also has to be good communication of what you’re working towards and how you’re going to get there. Obviously, for the communication of how the goals will be accomplished there has to be a plan on how it will happen not only so you know how you’re going to accomplish the goal, but so that you can give people actionable steps they’re going to do as part of the team.
The final insight in this quote I want to talk about today is the really awesome ability of teamwork to make something more than just an accomplished goal, but an actual victory, or as Andrew Carnegie says create “uncommon results.” This is how the underdog wins the Superbowl/World Series/World Cup/NBA Finals etc. This is how we have rags-to-riches stories. This is how we go from saying “impossible” to seeing that it’s not only possible but more than we could have ever dreamed or done individually.
So this week I encourage you to first check in with the vision you have for your company; do you even have one and do people know what it is? Second, check on the communication that you’re doing with your team, whether employees, partners, suppliers and especially your family. Is it enough for them to understand what you want done in detail as well as understanding the big picture and sufficient for them to know how best to support you? Finally, don’t be afraid to dream big. Go for gold and beyond because you know you’ve got the team that can make it happen.