Do you want to accomplish something significant in your life?

I know I do, and most people do. As Steve Jobs put it, we all want to make our “dent in the universe”. We want to know, at the end of our lives, that we had meaning. That we meant something to someone. This is our legacy, and it’s a universal human desire.

I have worked for many years to be a better leader, so that I could make a bigger difference in the lives of the people on my team. I want to make their lives more meaningful, by giving them meaningful work and helping them to understand how their work is making a difference for the people they are working for, for the company, and for themselves. I love the symmetry of win/win/win.

Unless your goal is really small and self-focused, you need others around you to help you make it a reality.

As John Maxwell puts it: “One is too small a number to achieve greatness”. He calls this the “Law of Significance” and it’s his first law in The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork. Although this was published in 2001, it is a foundational work and is required reading if you want to learn about teamwork.

Although there are many reasons why teamwork is important, here are my top ten (in no particular order):

  • Teams simply bring more people into the mix, giving more energy, time, resources, and ideas.
  • Teamwork maximizes strengths and reduces weaknesses.
  • Teamwork gives people a sense of belonging.
  • Teams bring more views (perspectives) of the situation. As Ken Blanchard said: “None of us are as smart as all of us.”
  • Teamwork helps people grow and develop.
  • Teamwork creates synergy — where the sum is greater than the parts.
  • Teamwork increases accountability at all levels.
  • Teamwork promotes the sense of camaraderie. Teams share the lows (and losses) that inevitably happen, and they celebrate the highs (and victories) when they succeed.
  • Teamwork reduces risk — more people allow for coverage due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances.
  • As a Christian, I am called to live in community with other Christians. This involves being on a team.

Why do you think Teamwork is important? I would love to hear your comments!