Last week I was listening to a speak talk about leading teams. He had a very interesting point of view (I paraphrase):

Business is not a family. Families tolerate dysfunctional behaviour.

Business is about being part of a team. You do not get born into a team. You try out for a team. You work hard and practice to get on a team. Teams do not tolerate poor performance, because it brings the entire team down. It is a privilege to be part of a team.

A very interesting point of view.

2 thoughts on “TEAM VERSUS FAMILY

  1. Actually I am never very comfortable with these agressive analogies of business to sport. Yes there needs to be a strong element of competition externally but people are with a company for much longer than a top sports person will be with a team. They are there for many reasons not just glory: to feed and clothe their families, to expand their horizons, to help others and a thousand other reasons.A company is somewhere between a family and a sports team. Like a family decent employers (and never forget that really means, us the managers of the company not some amorphous entitity) show compassion and loyality to their staff when times are tough and can expect loyality and performance back. Ruthless "up or out" polcies don’t engender loyality. The backbone of any company are often people happy in the job they do, who want to do it to their best ability and live a balanced lifestyle. These people will have bad days or even bad weeks or months, decent employers help them through those times and don’t just reach for a "plan" at the first sign of not being at the top of their game. Yes their will be times the best thing is to part company but they are sad and ought not to be the first or even second or third option considered. It might be a priviledge to be part of the team (company) but the company should never forget it’s priviledge to have dedicated talented people working for it too.The old paternalistic practices of enlightened companies in industrial revolution resulted in places like Saltaire not just robber baron industrialists. As we see China and India overtake the US as powerhouses of industry I think we might well see more of a move back to some of those values as both are more communal cultures than the American frontier spirit.

  2. All good points, but your point assumes that a team (sports based analogy) cannot be one of those amazing places where people are successful. As a socialist true and through, I am all for community support (If that were not the case, I would not find myself constantly saying ‘I am fine with our tax levels, or I would move to the US’).I think on my sports experiences, while I was never the top performer, that does not mean that I was not a strong contributor because of effort – practice – and drive, nor that I was not enjoying it. The point is not about ‘up or out’, it is about everyone contributing, would be my take – and in an environment where everyone is contributing, there is loyalty to each other. After all, that is where loyalty lies in todays business world – to team mates.The good thing about a statement like that, it opens debate.

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