What does Bill Gates, Michael Jordan, Oprah and Beyoncé have in common besides the fact that they are crazy rich??? They all have TEAMS that work cohesively to make them shine so brightly that YOU are attracted to them.
We know so much about the value of leadership so much now and everyone wants to become a leader. Apart from leading one’s self, leaders need a team. Behind every successful person is a team of people working hard behind the scenes to make the person truly successful.
John C. Maxwell, author of the 21 irrefutable laws of leadership understands that teams are an essential part of leadership and vice versa, that’s why he has also done a study of teams in his book –
[BOOK REVIEW] THE 17 INDISPUTABLE LAWS OF TEAMWORK/ JOHN C. MAXWELL/ THOMAS NELSON INC. /2001/ 265 PAGES
The book has 17 chapters representing each law of teamwork. Each chapter has a story or research, or sometimes both to buttress the law being discussed. As usual, the author, John C. Maxwell uses easy-to-read English throughout the book and the stories make the laws stick and easy to understand.
Under each law are sub-points that break the concept into smaller bits for better understanding. Each paragraph also ends with two notes – one for becoming a better team member and the other for becoming a better team leader allowing the book to address teamwork from both the team player and the leader’s viewpoints.
The Laws that stood out for me are;
The Law of Mount Everest explains that the bigger the challenge, the more imperative the need for teamwork. Using the story of Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary, the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1953, the author dissects the value of teamwork. Today, only those two names are recognized for being the first to climb Mount Everest but reading this story will easily help you understand that it took almost a village to get just two men up there.
To get just 2 people from the base camp to the summit, the team brought 10 high altitude climbers, including a New Zealander named Edmund Hillary. Altogether, the men will require two and half tons of equipment and food. Those supplies could not be trucked or air-lifted to the base of the mountain. They had to be delivered to Kathmandu and carried on the backs of men and women 180 miles up and down Himalayan ridges and over rivers crossed by narrow rope-and- plank bridges to the base camp. Tenzing would have to hire between two to three hundred people just to get the supplies to the vicinity of the mountain – pg 45
The Law of the Niche expounds on the concept that all team members have their peculiar areas of strength and should be placed in those areas for the team to truly be successful in achieving their goals.
The Law of the Bad Apple stresses the problems that a bad or rotten attitude will cause in a team. It is not enough to have a team or be part of team of people with great talents, their attitude can make or break the team. Rotten attitude also spreads faster than good attitude so should be nipped in the bud as soon as it is noticed.
The Law of the Bench enlightens us about how important it is for a team to have depth. Depth here refers to having lots of equally great team members who indirectly add value to the team and support the superstars in the team. There is a great potential in having people with similar skills, great values and knowledge of your standards take over from other superstars in times of emergencies or succession. You have to prepare them before the need for them arises.
The Law of the Scoreboard reminds us of the need to always check our team against the score board of whatever goal or vision we are working with. Just like the scoreboard in games that shows the scores, teams are meant to check their performance against the their goals, this can be as simple as having a budget, comparing actual expenses with budget or as elaborate as comparing your performance to others in your industry, so you are aware of your team’s scores.
The Law of the Edge reiterates that every great team requires a great leader. The difference between two teams that are great is the quality of their leader. Their leader gives them the edge over the other team.
Tosan’s take: the Law of Significance says that one is too small a number to achieve greatness. I totally agree with it. Getting others to grow and develop in their areas of strength whilst achieving a common goal is wonderful! Now let’s figure how to put that to work.