(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.)
there is an important difference between individual commitment and accountability versus mutual accountability. Both are needed for any group to become a real team. . . . . . . . real team leaders honestly believe that success or failure is a team event. No outside obstacle is an excuse for team failure, and no individuals fail. Only the team can fail. . . . . . . .
'Natural' teams are made up of people who have complete clarity and commitment to their own roles, as well as the team's goal and success. Success and Failure are both seen as a collective experience and a collective celebration or responsibility. As described elsewhere in this blog, this does not negate the recognition and rewarding of star performance. However, in 'natural' teams stars are rewarded in a way where the stars as well as the teams get equally motivated.
This obviously means that there is no place in the team for anyone who does not have the necessary clarity or commitment. Such people can end up distracting even those who would otherwise be significant contributors. When a natural team finds such an obstacle in its path towards collective excellence, they have the option of Realigning, Redeploying, or as a last resort, Removing the obstacle.
The 3-R (Realign, Redeploy, Remove) concept is dealt with in greater detail in other posts in this blog.