Team Building Harare, Zimbabwe

BUILDING WINNING TEAMS THROUGH COMMON GOALS

When the goal is not known, a lot of energy can be wasted in the pursuit of other agenda not in line with why the team exists in the first place. Great teams place a priority in building a common goal and communicating it to very member. In teams that have developed the habit of winning together, the WE is always bigger than the ME of each individual member. The emphasis on the WE comes from knowing the WHY of the team, which is addressed by the unifying force – the common goal. The existence of the common goal makes the entire team work towards the same thing.  It is challenging and frustrating to the team if each member feels that they are more important than the team or their personal agenda supersedes the team’s goal. The team should be seen for what it is – always bigger than the individual team members regardless of how talented the team member might be individually, cementing the fact that there is no I in a Team.

Teams are best defined by what brings the teammates together. The overriding theme or goal is the starting point to any place where the team wants to go. As long as there is no congruency in terms of the goal, it doesn’t matter the level of talent or resources at the team’s disposal, there is nothing much that will be accomplished. How can the team achieve what is not known? If it’s not defined, then it can’t be pursued. If the team doesn’t know where it is going, any route and action taken is good enough, with nothing worthwhile ever going to be achieved. Great things have their origins in the mind/s that set out to do something. In the case of a team aspiring to win and reach high levels of productivity, it is the coming together of great minds to achieve something that is even greater.

The team goals are not picked anyhow from anywhere. Instead, clarity of goals act as a pulling force for those who consider joining the team. If an individual’s aspirations align with the goals that a team has, a connection is established. This is distinct from a situation where one is forced to join a team by circumstances. The best of teams are built from common goals that act as a glue that binds all together. When the why and the what are known, the how falls in place on its own. Once the end is defined, the means to the end can easily be put in place.

The goal carries the power of promoting mutuality, where everyone has a feeling and conviction that whatever is being done is for the common good, and not necessarily for the benefit of one or a few members of the team. There is a reason for everyone to do whatever they have to do; this goes a long way in advancing the cause at hand. With the connection and conviction brought about by the increased responsibility of all, mutual trust and active member participation are built up, with the resultant effect of productivity enhancement.

The environment for great teams is known for the freedom with which members can contribute towards the attainment of great results. In the case of new members joining the team with already established goals, platforms for asking questions go a long way in ensuring quick buy in to what is expected of the new players. When teammates are free and willing to ask questions to clarify issues, they develop a feeling that there is nothing being hidden from them. Where the environment is a closed one, with the push to accept anything without querying, chances of one joining grudgingly are high, leading to reduced commitment. Total commitment is guaranteed when every team member has a feeling that whatever is set before them is done in good faith. Any other feeling becomes a cancer with the resultant negative effect on the progress of the team. The possibility of silos arising within the team grows, especially when a part of the team feels that their needs are not being addressed fully or they are not part of the overall goals set.

The common goal acts as the superordinate mission from where other goals at every level are drawn, cascading right to the individual goals. When the individual’s goals find a footing on which they fit into the bigger picture, it creates a ripple effect of positivity and greatness for the good of all. Team fit is easily established when everyone knows how their contribution add to the bigger picture. A well-defined big picture is a great leap in the establishment of the chemistry of the team, which is central to great team results.

Getting everybody on the same page is crucial to moving ahead. The secret to the much-desired synergy in most teams comes from a well-defined common goal. The common goal can be likened to the skeleton on the human body. Everything falls in place when the frame is there. Without the skeleton, the flesh cannot stand. It doesn’t matter how good one player in a team is; without a common goal, the talent can waste away.

Where the situation permits, total involvement of everyone in the setting of goals goes a long way in boosting morale. Setting common goals is a good start to rewards and recognition. It is clear what is being measured and rewarded; aligning with the assertion that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. It is a matter of seeing the end from the beginning where each team member knows what they stand to benefit from the contribution they are making to the team’s goal. Common goals cement relations, with each one striving at giving the best they can to the good of all. Continuous engagement emanates from communication of the goals. The individual energies combined into unified synergies becomes a mighty force that produces formidable results. Common goals provide the fuel that points to increased concentration and focus. There is nothing that beats a team that is focused towards the achievement of a set goal.

The big picture thinking is what brings the team members together and keep them unified towards the achievement of great results. The goal should never be small to the point of lacking the inspiration to attract and retain the best of talent. Big picture thinking rallies the forces within a team and galvanizes a certain level of thinking that pushes everyone to give their all towards the realization of the big picture. If the team does not picture it, they will never attain it. Once the goal is fully defined, it kills selfishness and creates a culture of selflessness through the team structures as each individual team member comes to the realization that they are not the entire picture.

Winning by the team comes from placing the big picture in front all, with the goal always taken for what it is – more important that the individual roles played by each member of the team. Great teams have been known to possess players who sacrifice their all for the good of the team. People in a team sacrifice and work together only if they can clearly see what they are working towards. When the end is not known, commitment goes down. When the goal is known by all, everyone can see how far they are from the target, giving them the urge to push, knowing fully well the intensity that is required to emerge victorious.

Picture of Noah Mangwarara

Noah Mangwarara

NOAH MANGWARARA is an international leadership coach and transformational speaker, renowned team building expert and Author with traceable footprints of positive impact and experience of more than 20 years spanning Southern, East and West Africa. He is the author of several books on Leadership, Motivation, Teamwork, Strategy and Public Speaking.

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