One Common Feature – Weekend Reflections for Leaders: June 1, 2019

Effective leaders spend a great deal of time building an environment where different points of view are valued, diverse experiences are leveraged to drive innovation, and different communication styles are managed effectively to ensure everyone has a voice. It has been proven time and again that diverse teams drive value creation in the marketplace. Intentional effort, not just winging it, is what builds effective diverse teams over time.

Whether it is academic research or our own real-world experience, there is a time-tested truth that value is created by building and cultivating diverse teams. However, there is one common feature that all strong businesses and teams possess. There is one feature where a difference of opinion is not helpful in the long run.

The one common feature that needs to be valued and nurtured is Teamwork. People need to see that serving the needs of the team to accomplish the mission is paramount.

When individuals see a situation in the business that needs attention and have the mindset of “that is not in my job description” or “that is not my department” or “that is someone else’s problem” the business will be on a path toward underperformance or insolvency.

We have all been there when something came off the rails: An unexpected delay on a project at the worst possible time, a poorly handled engagement with a customer, or some critical information that got out ahead of a well-thought out communication plan.

Do individuals run to the problem with the intent to help or do they run away and let someone else handle it?

In well-functioning teams, teamwork is the mindset across its members. There is no room for different attitudes around the commitment to serve the needs of the team.

Below are a few practical examples of how senior executives and the top talent on their teams build a culture that values teamwork:

  1. Leaders model the way. They are seen running to the problem to help. They are not making jokes about another department messing up again and creating silos within the organization. They are solution oriented around the challenges throughout the broader organization.
  2. Leaders are intentional about catching people modeling effective teamwork and highlight those examples to energize others. They create an environment that puts teamwork on a pedestal.  
  3. Leaders have the courage to have the difficult and direct conversation when teamwork is not being displayed. They are timely and direct in addressing gaps in effective teamwork.

Today’s senior executives and the top talent on their teams are responsible to model teamwork and ensure that teamwork is the one common feature among individuals in their organization. The marketplace is too complex and too fast-paced for any one individual to have what it takes to drive sustained success. The marketplace warrants effective teamwork to create value.

What if I were to ask you, “What is the most difficult leadership challenge you are facing today?” What would you say? 

Here are a few resources to HELP YOU:

  1. Download FREE resources, including the 4 A’s of Leadership, at
  2. Contact me. Email: (M) 269-370-9275
  3. Check out my latest book, Looking Back-What I Learned When I Left a Great Company, for helpful insights on leadership, building a great business, and winning the war on top talent.

David Esposito