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The Impact of Effective Teamwork

January 24, 2010

Effective teamwork is critical for every successful organization. In order to reap the benefits of teamwork, leaders must not only lead, they must be able to work well with upper management and their colleagues while setting the example for their team.

Why would others feel the need to cooperate if management cannot get along?

Once the vision, values, and corporate mission are defined, leadership must speak with a common voice to promote consistency, maintain standards, and achieve corporate goals with the greatest efficiency.


Supporting Senior Leaders

Effective workplace communication involves cooperation at every level: within and across divisions, and, in support of senior leadership.

Supporting senior leadership implies challenging questionable decisions in the appropriate forum when you do not agree or understand, or, your full support when final decisions are made.


Every junior leader eventually faces this challenge sooner or later. They may not agree with a decision, but neither do they challenge that decision nor do they provide a better alternative.

Then, when the time comes to support senior management, it seems easier to give it half-hearted effort or claim it was not your choice.

Is this a question of loyalty for junior leaders?

How can you expect senior leadership to support you if we are not willing to do the same?

An example of a young, junior military officer who learned this lesson the hard way went as follows:

Major: “Captain, what is the first thing you do when you receive an order?”

Captain: “Execute that order, sir.”

Major: “Wrong! You execute that order as if it were your own.”

This brief exchange highlighted the need for junior leaders to either question the instructions given or apply that directive with they same spirit as if they had made the decision themselves.

When you give a half-hearted effort or attribute less popular decisions to your seniors, people see through your actions and they become a basis for their response when they do not agree with the decisions made.


Supporting Colleagues

Effective teamwork also requires support and trust between peers.

When supervisors do not get along or never seem to be able to present a united front, they become easy targets for a disruptive employee to manipulate in order to achieve other aims.

Supervisors should communicate and instill cooperation to meet corporate objectives.

If we cannot work well with our colleagues, it usually means we haven’t taken the time to communicate. When we start to communicate and work together, we find that we have more in common than we realized.

Leaders need to collaborate closely so that they work together and present a united front.


Effective Workplace Communication

If the management team is not committed to the corporate values, there will be a breakdown in teamwork and communication.

Leadership means learning to work together and keeping everyone focused on the corporate objectives.

Leading includes supporting senior leadership and your peers while setting the example for your team in every way.

Good leaders look beyond their immediate team in order to promote effective teamwork to exist throughout the organization.

About the Author: Tom Crea has been developing leaders for more than 25 years. Values-based approach to leading, building, and improving communication within your team.

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