There are many ways to build relationships and build teams. We of course love travel as a creative and fun way to do this. Why travel? Before I get into that, let me explain what we mean by team.
Coming from an Army background, the 3-4 person fireteam is the foundation upon which all other teams build. They continue to increase in size and serve many functions.
In the civilian world, there are sports teams, corporate and small business teams, and in fact any group of people that socialize, or function together in some way has the potential to be a team.
Families can be teams, church groups, neighborhood friends, college fraternities or sororities, running clubs, golf clubs, or any type of club for that matter. If a team has to be a group of people, what makes that group of people a team? For not every group of people operates as a team.
Each team must at least have these four elements; cohesion, a mutual purpose and outcome, individual contributions, and a leader.
1. The Leader.
Each group must have an identified leader. You’ve heard the old saying of “too many chiefs and not enough Indians.” A team will remain stagnant if there is not a dedicated decision maker that the group trusts and is willing to follow.
Sometimes the group chooses the leader and all agree; other times there is no choice, but regardless of personal opinions, someone must rise up to lead.
2. Individual Contributions.
Secondly, each individual must contribute something unique and of value to the group. Often people may not know what their unique contribution should be. One of my mentor’s, Meredith Hill, says “you have to identify your brilliance.”
In many cases, it may be up to the leader to pull a person’s brilliance out of him or her. But, somehow each group member must contribute and know that he or she is of value to the team as it accomplishes its objective.
3. Mutual Purpose and Outcome.
This leads to the next element; the team must have a mutual purpose and outcome towards which they are working. Otherwise why have a group in the first place?
The purpose need not be complicated; perhaps it’s just to get together while tasting and enjoying new wines. The outcome of the wine club may be simply that the group learns about new vintages each week or month and has fun. Outcomes can change, but this is why the team exists.
The individual needs the team to accomplish what he (or she) cannot do by himself. She needs the person next to her to achieve a task of which she is passionate.
We achieve more together.
An Olympic runner in an individual event has a team behind her in coaches, trainers, nutritionists, doctors, sponsors, and friends and family. No one achieves greatness alone.
The final and most difficult element required is group cohesion. How on earth do you achieve that? You cannot appoint cohesion like you can a leader. You cannot create cohesion as an individual, and you cannot achieve your mutual purpose and outcome without it.
It can seem like this abstract concept that must occur somehow. But, is it really abstract? What bonds you to another person? If you play tennis, you’ll gravitate towards others who play tennis. The same holds true for many hobbies and often we also become friends as well.
Stay tuned for Part 2 next week where I’ll discuss how travel builds teams and how we specifically can help you become the creative and mindful leader you desire to be to build your team and travel with your group.