We have worked with thousands of teams over the years, all of them with their own unique characteristics and dynamics. But when we ask leaders to tell us the secret of good teamwork, what separates the high performing teams from the less effective ones, the answer is always essentially the same: clarity.
If ambiguity is the enemy of change, then clarity is its best friend!
It sounds obvious (and it is, although also incredibly rare), but good teamwork relies of a group of people working together. Not alongside each other, with every individual doing their own thing, but actually in harmony, in concert. Listening to each other, anticipating, adjusting, co-ordinating, supporting, as well as being able to speak up when things go wrong. Good teamwork is when everyone in the team:
- Has a clear sense of purpose
- Knows what they have to do
- Understands their boundaries
- Has role clarity
- Knows when to say no (and can explain why)
It is the leader’s job to provide this clarity, not just at the beginning of a project or when a new team is formed, but every day. Without a deep and clear understanding of the ‘WHY’ and the ‘WHAT’, no team can be expected to execute the ‘HOW’ effectively. Communicating priorities, articulating the vision and enthusing the team with a shared enthusiasm and enjoyment is a vital daily leadership habit that we explore further in this blog.
Where clarity meets charity
The importance of clarity and good teamwork is at the forefront of my mind at the moment as I’m in training for a 60km charity walk in aid of One Big Family, a local organisation which does amazing work to support the homeless. Having taken part last year in the pouring rain, I know what a major challenge it is!
In order to keep all the participants motivated to continue with their training, on-track to complete the walk next month, and fired up to reach our fundraising target, clarity is central to our efforts.
- The ‘WHAT’ is clear: to walk from London to Chatham in one night
- The ‘WHY’ is clear: to raise money to support those who have dropped into some difficulty, and help them back to work and housing
- The ‘HOW’ is clear: to put one foot in front of the other, repeatedly!
However gruelling the walk becomes, with this clarity of purpose at the forefront of my mind, surrounded by a team of similarly-motivated fundraisers, I know it will be a success.
If you would like to contribute to our efforts, please use this sponsorship link. Your support would be hugely appreciated.
For more advice on how to achieve clarity for your team, do get in touch. We’d be happy to help.