In the next chapter of their book “Extreme Ownership,” Jocko Willink and Leif Babin discuss the ever-important notion of teamwork. I am sure you have heard numerous times the importance of teamwork, but I will re-enforce the idea once again.
Willink and Babin explain that all team members must support one another and work together toward a singular purpose. “Departments and groups within the team must break down silos, depend on each other and understand who depends on them. If they forsake this principle and operate independently or work against each other, the result can be catastrophic to the overall team’s performance.”
Chances are within your larger campus recreation team, there are smaller teams working on different projects, and that is ok. But it is important to remember how everyone depends on each other and in the end, we are all working towards the same ultimate goal — to make our campuses a healthier place.
“Within any team, there are divisions that arise. Often, when smaller teams within the team get so focused on their immediate tasks, they forget about what others are doing or how they depend on other teams. They may start to compete with one another, and when there are obstacles, animosity and blame develops. This creates friction that inhibits the overall team’s performance.”
This is when great leadership comes into play. It is the role of the leader to bring the team together and remind them that everyone is critical to the success of the department.
“It falls on leaders to continually keep perspective on the strategic mission and remind the team that they are part of the greater team and the strategic mission is paramount. If the overall team fails, everyone fails, even if a specific member or an element within the team did their job successfully. Pointing fingers and placing blame on others contributes to further dissension between teams and individuals.”
To create a culture of teamwork within your department, encourage positive thinking, reinforcement, communication and mutually support one another. Your focus should always remain on how you can best work together to achieve your mission.