Outstanding Teamwork Gets Another “C”

Last week I shared an article with my LinkedIn connections entitled The best teams have 3 things by Douglas Conant. It is a clear, succinct description of what the author says is evident in every outstanding team.

The three Cs in the article grabbed my attention: Competence, Character and Chemistry. Here are my thoughts on them:

  1. Competence – each team member knows what their role is, their skill set is a good match, and they are inspired to achieve the goal. The combination of their individual competences creates a potent force.
  2. Character – every team member is honest, above board, ethical. They do what they say they will do and have each other’s back. Trust strengthens as a result. The leader is part of the team, exhibits the same characteristics, walks his/her talk.
  3. Chemistry – they care about each other, trust each other, can disagree and be OK, accept differences, capitalize on each other’s strengths, see the goal as achievable regardless of how big the stretch, and they are committed to achieving it together.

I would add one more: Communication. It is rooted within each C and binds them together. I have seen teams soar when it is clear, open, reliable, and fail when it is the opposite. Vital in all its forms, communication within outstanding teams flows up, down, sideways, and beyond. It is honest, thoughtful, forward focused.

Team champions (another C!) are the leaders and members who listen well and ensure that the team expresses thoughts, ideas, differences in a safe environment. They remind everyone to keep their eyes on the purpose, the big picture, the end goal.

Every one of us has the opportunity to be a champion with our teams. To contribute to the clarity. Ensure that all the voices are heard, particularly those that don’t say what they’re thinking unless asked. You may find a level of competence, character and chemistry deeper than you expected.

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