How Excellent Teams Help Each Other Grow

Do you think your team members are selfless enough to help others improve? If not, then you’re in for a tough ride. Developing the team requires everyone’s participation in improving others.

There was a farmer from Nebraska who grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon…

One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors.

“How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.

“Why sir,” said the farmer, “didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”

He is very much aware of the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbor’s corn also improves.

Carl Jung, a prominent psychologist believed that we are all connected in what he calls “collective unconsciousness”. As social beings, we thrive on relationships. However, it is so ironic that the race towards success is seen as an individual effort. Zig Ziglar could not disagree more when he said, “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” (Secrets of Closing A Sale, 1984)

The decision to improve one’s self includes the commitment to help others improve as well. This is most evident in teams where the strength of the group is determined by its weakest member or the group’s greatest fault. Growing and developing is a task shared among members and whose fruits will benefit all. By being aware of the member’s strengths and weaknesses, we begin to understand each person’s crucial role in the team. Of course this is something difficult to do as many don’t even recognize their own strength and weaknesses. People have a tendency to talk behind the backs of members doing poorly rather than helping them improve. This simply makes matters worse.

Many think that it’s the team leader’s job to improve each member. Though the duty falls on his shoulder, the task actually involves everyone. Coaching, counseling, teaching, training and other strategies can be employed. If you look closely at these words, they’re practically the same – improving performance or competency.

Complacency is a luxury productive teams can not afford especially in times of needed change. Moreover, success is readily within reach if everyone commits to helping each other.

We are blessed with different things – skills, talents, knowledge, disposition, attitudes etc. Furthermore, each uses these skills to his/her own benefit. Wouldn’t it be great to think that we are blessed with so many things so we can become blessings to others? The secret in creating productive teams is to foster every person’s growth. When each shares in the responsibility in developing other team members, growth of the team is inevitable.

To grow good corn, we must help others grow good corn. As such, the easiest way create the best team is to help each one become better by sharing what each has.  Each member is accountable for the other.