Mike Tyson was great and then not great. He was the greatest when he was coached by Cus D’Amato. Cus made sure that Mike worked not against people or for his own ego, but only to win the fight. Winning is the only thing that Mike and Cus could share. Egoistic motivation is very hard to share and dooes not build teamwork.
The same principle can be applied to company teams. If team members are feeding their own egos, they will most likely be less efficient as individuals and the team will definitely be inefficient. It is possible that they might perform well for a period of time, but the teamwork will suffer and overall team performance will drop.
Ideal method to align the team is to focus on the goal and the process that delivers it, not on the people. Instead of thinking about who does something (me, you, us, them) team members should focus on what is being done. Therefore when there is a problem blame is not placed on an individual (an ego feeding decision) but on the process. Individuals are very difficult to change or replace, but processes can be improved in minutes, especially in agile environments.
Examples of goal and process focus:
– NOT which sales person performed best, BUT which sales and marketing processes performed best.
– NOT who made a mistake, BUT how can the process be improved.
Paradoxically, team members are happier if the focus is not on them but on goals and process. This way they are more effective and more satisfied. It worked for Mike Tyson. It should work for an sales and marketing teams.
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