The Power of “We”
Leadership is a team sport - harness the power of "we" over "me" by aligning people around shared goals, promoting collective achievements, soliciting input, and having each other's backs.
WRITTEN BY: ADAM DANYAL
Leadership is not a solo sport. Though the buck may stop with you, real progress depends on “we” thinking, not “me.”
Like championship teams, your crew wins when every player feels part of a greater whole. Tap into that power by keeping “we” front and center.
Broadcast team goals. Spotlight collective achievements. Make decisions together. And never hog the credit. As basketball legend Bill Russell said, “The most important measure of how good a game I played was how much better I’d made my teammates play.”
Speak in terms of “we.” At meetings, use phrases like, “Here’s what we’re trying to accomplish” and “How can we improve?” In emails, say “Let’s connect on this” not “Get this done.”
Actions speak loudly here too. Consult colleagues before big calls. Seek consensus when possible. And collaborate on plans, not dictate them.
Like an orchestra conductor, your job is to harmonize diverse skills into a masterpiece. So cue in all the instruments.
And just as a rising tide lifts all boats, lift your people up. Brag on them to your boss. Reward team victories, not just individual feats. And promote their ideas, not just your own.
“We” thinking also means having each other’s back. Jump in to help teammates who are swamped. Listen when they’re frustrated. Go to bat for them with higher-ups. They’ll return the favor when you need it.
Finally, build team spirit outside work. Throw parties, volunteer together, or join a fitness challenge. When crewmates bond as friends, they’ll move mountains for you.
Leadership guru Peter Drucker nailed it: “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”
Remember, there’s no “I” in team. Embrace the power of “we” and your people will make you look like an all-star every time.
From our Leadership Bookshelf:
WRITTEN BY: JULIA DANYAL
Leaders must break down silos and connect all parts of an organization. As General Stanley McChrystal realized when fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq, a "Team of Teams" model is needed to share information and adapt quickly.
Share information transparently across departments and levels. This builds trust and empowers people to make smarter decisions.
Develop a "shared consciousness" so everyone has visibility into the big picture. This allows for decentralized decision-making.
Provide clear commander's intent not detailed orders. Let people collaborate to determine how best to achieve the mission.
Flatten hierarchies and connect disparate groups into a network. This facilitates rapid information sharing.
As McChrystal says, today's complex world requires a "team of teams" approach. By connecting the organization into a cohesive, transparent network, leaders can empower people to work together toward shared goals. With shared consciousness and decentralized decision-making, teams can continuously adapt and thrive in turbulent conditions.