Effective teamwork is powerful. We have all seen great sports teams and organizations rise above – not because of their individual skills, but their ability to align those skills in a direction that is superior to their opponent. However, effective teamwork does not come from ‘team building.’

In studying the essentials of producing great teams, we have found that great teams do not focus on team building. They focus on individual building — together. There is a difference. A focus on team building usually results in a temporary “feel good,” but lacks the individual accountability necessary for synergistic results. A commitment to individual building, together creates longer, more sustainable results.

What does this mean? It means that the Golden State Warriors and Chelsea F.C. don’t do team building. They practice the skills that are required for them to be successful together. That is, each person has a motivation to be their best AND to leverage the best from each other. Team building is a by-product of practicing on and off the field.

So what do we need to practice? Achieving great results collectively requires each individual to assess critical skills and then practice like mad. Shoot penalty kicks on repeat, tune up your own listening skills, or intensively train self-confidence, trust, and respect. It is about bringing the whole player to the field.

Odyssey Teams has been at the confluence of learning and giving since 1991. We create, test and refine the best possible team and individual building programs for maximum impact on your team, company, and the world.

Contact us to see how we can help improve each of your team member’s personal accountability to the collective result.


Written by Bill John, CEO of Odyssey Teams