What makes a great team


I have always wondered what really is the secret ingredient of great teams. I have seen teams seething with resentment and also ones with amazing camaraderie. Thinking back over the past 7 years, an interesting common trait caught my attention. I struggled thinking about how to write it down so will keep it simple -

Humility

In any team, it is very unlikely that any two people are the same. Different temperaments. Different working styles. Opinions. Skills. Motives. Personal values. I did not list those randomly. Those are significant differentiators I have come across.

Let's pick one that is directly relevant to a work environment - Skills. (Also interchangeable with performance) For any given person, there can be two possibilities. You're either better than someone at something. Or not. Sometimes equal. But there is always room for exchange of ideas. In both cases, awareness of this possibility and how we go about it makes all the difference.

Either you see room for improvement in yourself and take responsibility for bettering yourself. Or you recognize such opportunities in somebody else and make them aware of it out of genuine concern.

Humility does not mean you have to be as meek as a cow. I'll paraphrase Hemingway to explain what I mean -


There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man. True nobility is being superior to your former self.

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