(In this series of posts offering excerpts from the book, 'The Wisdom of Teams' by Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith (Harvard Business School Press), the excerpts are in bold.) What sets apart high-performance teams, however, is the degree of commitment, particularly how deeply committed the members are to one another. . . . . . . . . As repeatedly and consistently experienced and demonstrated in "CorporateTheatre" workshops, commitment to a shared objective, a collective success, and to each other, are essential characteristics of a 'natural' team.
When everyone in the team has clarity of the same goal and commitment to the same collective success, many exciting possibilities become instantly available. The team invariably finds the necessary and even new competencies, creates the resources, manages deadlines, focuses on quality, and delivers excellence beyond their own initial expectations and the expectations of their 'client'. Without this clarity and commitment, even available competencies and resources do not get utilised.
Creating this clarity, alignment, and resulting commitment is the primary challenge of leadership. This is done not be inspiring or ennobling people, or making them 'drop' their egos. Instead, individual egos must be aligned to the desired objective by ensuring the right team definitions, goal setting, appropriate individual and functional KRAs, and most importantly, through appraisal and reward systems that reward collective and collaborative performance. Once this is in place, there is plenty of scope to recognize and reward individual brilliance or 'star' performance without compromising team culture.