Show me the money! If you’ve ever seen the movie Jerry Maguire, then you’re familiar with this resulting catch phrase that quickly became part of our culture. Rod Tidwell (played by Cuba Gooding, Jr.) is the flamboyant professional football player who demands one simple thing from his slick sports agent (Tom Cruise): more money.
Only because he’s desperate – having lost all his other athlete-clients – Maguire reluctantly continues his business relationship with Tidwell, even though it would have been tempting (and maybe even better), to part ways, given the likelihood of them getting the desired results. Tidwell might have fared better with another agent, and Maguire was forced to put his ego aside in order to make the partnership work. And the final result? A Hollywood ending, of course.
The relationship between the two is actually a good example of healthy teamwork. Ultimately, the two learn to trust each other, manage healthy conflict, commit to each other while also holding each other accountable, and then ultimately enjoy positive, collective results. And that is what I call great teamwork.
Why results are a big deal
Focusing on collective results is the fifth and final behavior that, according to Patrick Lencioni in his book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, makes teams successful. His model, called the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team, starts with trust, conflict and commitment. The final two behaviors are accountability and results.
As I’ve mentioned previously in this blog series, teams must develop each of these behaviors – and in order, beginning with trust – before they can fully develop into a healthy and productive team. And it would seem that achieving results would be a given for most teams, right? As it turns out, the inattention to outcome-based results is actually one of the biggest challenges for most teams. Why? Because sometimes individual status and goals deter collective results.
What gets in the way?
There are two things that can impede positive results when it comes to teams: team status and individual status. The first, team status, is when just being a part of the group is satisfying enough for the individuals involved. Secondly, individual status refers to the familiar tendency of people to focus on enhancing their own positions or career prospects at the expense of the team.
Instead of team or individual status, the emphasis should be on collective results. Awesome teams will ensure that all members, regardless of their individual responsibilities or areas of expertise, are doing whatever they can to help the team accomplish its goals.
In addition, the team must believe that the results are achievable. In other words, according to Lencioni, If the members of the team do not truly believe in the team’s ability to achieve an overarching goal, they will go rogue to save their individual career.
A team that is not focused on results:
- Stagnates and fails to grow
- Rarely defeats competitors
- Loses achievement-oriented employees
- Encourages team members to focus on their own careers and individual goals
- Is easily distracted
Why collective results matter
On the flip side, a team that has learned to trust in each other, and focuses on collective results:
- Retains achievement-oriented employees
- Minimizes individualistic behavior
- Enjoys success and suffers failure acutely
- Benefits from individuals who subjugate their own goals/interests for the good of the team
- Avoids distractions
Ready to see results?
There are lots of ways to get teams focused on collective results, and I can help you with that. Some of them include the process of committing publicly to achieving specific results. Others involve results-based rewards. But, of course, your team must first master the other four behaviors mentioned earlier in order to get to that point.
If you are ready to build great teams within your group or organization, please let me know. I’m ready to help.
Are you ready for a great team?
Learning to hold each other accountable within a team isn’t easy. But the results are well worth it. Do you work in a team environment that embraces positive peer pressure? Have you experienced success, due to this process? Please share your experiences and leave your comments below. And if you and your team are ready to become a highly functional team, give me a call. I’m ready to help.