Aiming too low

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” One of the key factors why teamwork is so disappointing for many members of a team, is that the goal set for the team is too low. When the goal is set, often the lowest common denominator is used, or the concept of the weakest link. Both these don’t count for much in true teamwork. In teams that work to genuine team principles members stimulate, encourage and carry each other to achieve greater heights than they could ever do if they looked at what every member could achieve alone. Teams are only true teams if the individual members complement each other, if they have complementary skills. In other words, if the combination of their skills is greater than the sum of the individual skills. To see this in action, you only have to look at sports. In Formula 1 racing for instance there is only one driver, but he is usually not the best technician and doesn’t change his own tires. Or take American Football, where there is an offense and a defense, which alternate as the play develops (and there is team of coaches too). To Excel And Maximise (T E A M) means that you can,  and should, set the goal way higher than you would ever do if you looked at the individual capabilities of any one team member (even the best ones). Just imagine how good a Formula 1 driver would be on his own! With a clear goal, set ambitiously high, and a good team spirit, the team members will carry each other, push each other and ultimately achieve far more than you thought they were capable of. ‘Aiming too low’ means that the multiplying dynamics of teamwork remain untapped, that the potential of the team, the magic of co-operation, is wasted. Team members will instead coast and because they are not challenged they will underperform, often even missing even the low target. To combat this, involve the team in setting the goal, in aiming high. Let the team members motivate each other, evaluate what they are capable of. Do the math, justify the goal and then set your team free to achieve amazing heights.