I sat in a meeting today that resulted in an, "I told you so." It wasn't said out loud but it was felt by all in the room. Being a part of a team can be a wonderful, exhilarating, delightful, excruciating, debilitating, and/or harrowing experience. Navigating the roads to a successful partnership can be dangerous and filled with trepidation that must be cajoled with tenacity. Without the stubbornness that must be honed as business partners/owners, we may become nothing more than corporate doormats; laid out for all to wipe their feet on.


Knowing when to utilize strength in the office or on a team is a difficult line to walk. Too much and you run the risk of ostracizing yourself from the rest of the team, not enough and yep, wipe your feet here. Attaining sufficient self-confidence will enlist some of the gumption required but also, acting on your knowledge and experience may be the right prescription. Sometimes, we fear that we will be wrong or that our own personal assessment of the situation is inaccurate or the dread of ridicule may cause inaction when we know the right course of action.

Teams fail when members refuse to take advantage of or even recognize each other's strengths. One team member may be excellent at providing feedback, another may know the required tech inside and out, and still another may be an organizer and able to quickly identify the right strategy with which to proceed. When each member is strong in their particular arena, it may be difficult to ascertain who the leader it. One may develop merely by default. Some leaders are born in the middle of the project, without much effort or contemplation, they simply emerge.
"None of us is as smart as all of us." ~Ken Blanchard

Reminiscent of the old, "whole is greater than the sum of the parts...," But is the whole greater? Wouldn't it be more accurate to state that the whole is equal to the sum? and vice versa? For without one, you cannot have the other. This isn't to say that teamwork is all hunky-dory for friction is what creates the fire. Why come together at all? To solve a problem or complete a task. Because there are times when it cannot be done efficiently or sufficiently enough individually.

"Synergy is the highest activity of life; it creates new untapped alternatives; it values and exploits the mental, emotional, and psychological differences between people." ~Stephen Covey




Whose side are you on?





by rayannethorn

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The best part of team work is pot stirring. Which means bringing controversy out into the open. But there in lies the challenge. It takes courage to do that and very few of us are really great strategists when working within a team to play the role of the "pot stirrer". And those that are, usually are not the most popular person on the team, but typically have the admiration and respect of the others because they are courageous as a team player. I believe the whole is the sum parts of all of our contributions, but then too, all of us are disposible and at the end of the day someone else can easily come in and play our role just as effectively. So that means "no ego" on the team is most effective. You don't have to be smart in order to check your ego at the door each morning when you arrive at the office. You do have to be humble though. And how many of those types really exist out there? Being humble and effective is what I think being "smart" on the team truly means.
I don't think effective pot-stirrers are easily replaced.
So that means "no ego" on the team is most effective.

Pete, show me someone without the right type of ego and I'll show you a failure. Checking one's ego and succumbing to group think is a lovely concept but when the group is headed towards an iceberg and no one dares to speak of it - perhaps because its not on the agenda, then very bad things can (and usually do) happen.

"Team" doesn't imply a shared passion or that each individual possesses the tested abilities to perform the tasks at hand.

Not all teams are great teams and it often takes a healthy ego or two to right the ship.

Peter Ceccarelli said:
The best part of team work is pot stirring. Which means bringing controversy out into the open. But there in lies the challenge. It takes courage to do that and very few of us are really great strategists when working within a team to play the role of the "pot stirrer". And those that are, usually are not the most popular person on the team, but typically have the admiration and respect of the others because they are courageous as a team player. I believe the whole is the sum parts of all of our contributions, but then too, all of us are disposible and at the end of the day someone else can easily come in and play our role just as effectively. So that means "no ego" on the team is most effective. You don't have to be smart in order to check your ego at the door each morning when you arrive at the office. You do have to be humble though. And how many of those types really exist out there? Being humble and effective is what I think being "smart" on the team truly means.
I'm not inferring "ego" as you believe I am. The type of ego that I'm speaking about that needs to be checked at the door is the ego of the person(s) who thinks they are better than, smarter than, their opinions are more valuable than, their ideas are better than, blah, blah, blah, than everyone elses! There's a difference. I think what you might be referring to is "confidence" and assuredness. At least I hope that you are.

Yes......we all need to be confident and use innovation, creativity and be competitive for the sake of the teams effort to gain an inch on the competition. Right? Right! But out and out ego, that shouts to the rest of the world saying "here I am........notice me............aren't I great!" is just plain destructive and distracting. It serves zero purpose not only in the business world, but in life in general. And if any of us think that living by an ego crede is the only way to stand out and be counted, then I can guarantee you, you have no friends. People will tolerate you, but they will also slam you behind your back as soon as you and your ego turn your back on them.

Make sense?

Steve Levy said:
So that means "no ego" on the team is most effective.

Pete, show me someone without the right type of ego and I'll show you a failure. Checking one's ego and succumbing to group think is a lovely concept but when the group is headed towards an iceberg and no one dares to speak of it - perhaps because its not on the agenda, then very bad things can (and usually do) happen.

"Team" doesn't imply a shared passion or that each individual possesses the tested abilities to perform the tasks at hand.

Not all teams are great teams and it often takes a healthy ego or two to right the ship.

Peter Ceccarelli said:
The best part of team work is pot stirring. Which means bringing controversy out into the open. But there in lies the challenge. It takes courage to do that and very few of us are really great strategists when working within a team to play the role of the "pot stirrer". And those that are, usually are not the most popular person on the team, but typically have the admiration and respect of the others because they are courageous as a team player. I believe the whole is the sum parts of all of our contributions, but then too, all of us are disposible and at the end of the day someone else can easily come in and play our role just as effectively. So that means "no ego" on the team is most effective. You don't have to be smart in order to check your ego at the door each morning when you arrive at the office. You do have to be humble though. And how many of those types really exist out there? Being humble and effective is what I think being "smart" on the team truly means.
This is so true but many people don't understand how important synergies are. They think they can figure out everything by themselves and in the end they always complain.
A community is so important!
Pete, the blah, blah, blah is a very complicated set of interwoven attitudes, traits and values. For the sake of this post, I'm referring to the ego that is of course confident and self assured but also to the ego that is stubborn and IS better than others. Innovation throughout the years HAS been singular (or very small); many leaders will "ego" their way through difficult periods.

While you do make sense, I simply do not believe it is necessary to follow the herd of "make nice" people who believe that ego according to your definition is a bad thing. You don't have to like everyone you work with to achieve personal self-actualization.

Peter Ceccarelli said:
I'm not inferring "ego" as you believe I am. The type of ego that I'm speaking about that needs to be checked at the door is the ego of the person(s) who thinks they are better than, smarter than, their opinions are more valuable than, their ideas are better than, blah, blah, blah, than everyone elses! There's a difference. I think what you might be referring to is "confidence" and assuredness. At least I hope that you are.

Yes......we all need to be confident and use innovation, creativity and be competitive for the sake of the teams effort to gain an inch on the competition. Right? Right! But out and out ego, that shouts to the rest of the world saying "here I am........notice me............aren't I great!" is just plain destructive and distracting. It serves zero purpose not only in the business world, but in life in general. And if any of us think that living by an ego crede is the only way to stand out and be counted, then I can guarantee you, you have no friends. People will tolerate you, but they will also slam you behind your back as soon as you and your ego turn your back on them.

Make sense?

Steve Levy said:
So that means "no ego" on the team is most effective.

Pete, show me someone without the right type of ego and I'll show you a failure. Checking one's ego and succumbing to group think is a lovely concept but when the group is headed towards an iceberg and no one dares to speak of it - perhaps because its not on the agenda, then very bad things can (and usually do) happen.

"Team" doesn't imply a shared passion or that each individual possesses the tested abilities to perform the tasks at hand.

Not all teams are great teams and it often takes a healthy ego or two to right the ship.

Peter Ceccarelli said:
The best part of team work is pot stirring. Which means bringing controversy out into the open. But there in lies the challenge. It takes courage to do that and very few of us are really great strategists when working within a team to play the role of the "pot stirrer". And those that are, usually are not the most popular person on the team, but typically have the admiration and respect of the others because they are courageous as a team player. I believe the whole is the sum parts of all of our contributions, but then too, all of us are disposible and at the end of the day someone else can easily come in and play our role just as effectively. So that means "no ego" on the team is most effective. You don't have to be smart in order to check your ego at the door each morning when you arrive at the office. You do have to be humble though. And how many of those types really exist out there? Being humble and effective is what I think being "smart" on the team truly means.
Um, my name is Peter, not Pete!

We can agree to disagree. West Coast philosophy versus an East Coast philosophy. There is a difference. We're a lot nicer out this way! I've lived on both coasts, so that much is true! And most others agree with me on the W/E differences.

Good day!

Steve Levy said:
Pete, the blah, blah, blah is a very complicated set of interwoven attitudes, traits and values. For the sake of this post, I'm referring to the ego that is of course confident and self assured but also to the ego that is stubborn and IS better than others. Innovation throughout the years HAS been singular (or very small); many leaders will "ego" their way through difficult periods.

While you do make sense, I simply do not believe it is necessary to follow the herd of "make nice" people who believe that ego according to your definition is a bad thing. You don't have to like everyone you work with to achieve personal self-actualization.

Peter Ceccarelli said:
I'm not inferring "ego" as you believe I am. The type of ego that I'm speaking about that needs to be checked at the door is the ego of the person(s) who thinks they are better than, smarter than, their opinions are more valuable than, their ideas are better than, blah, blah, blah, than everyone elses! There's a difference. I think what you might be referring to is "confidence" and assuredness. At least I hope that you are.

Yes......we all need to be confident and use innovation, creativity and be competitive for the sake of the teams effort to gain an inch on the competition. Right? Right! But out and out ego, that shouts to the rest of the world saying "here I am........notice me............aren't I great!" is just plain destructive and distracting. It serves zero purpose not only in the business world, but in life in general. And if any of us think that living by an ego crede is the only way to stand out and be counted, then I can guarantee you, you have no friends. People will tolerate you, but they will also slam you behind your back as soon as you and your ego turn your back on them.

Make sense?

Steve Levy said:
So that means "no ego" on the team is most effective.

Pete, show me someone without the right type of ego and I'll show you a failure. Checking one's ego and succumbing to group think is a lovely concept but when the group is headed towards an iceberg and no one dares to speak of it - perhaps because its not on the agenda, then very bad things can (and usually do) happen.

"Team" doesn't imply a shared passion or that each individual possesses the tested abilities to perform the tasks at hand.

Not all teams are great teams and it often takes a healthy ego or two to right the ship.

Peter Ceccarelli said:
The best part of team work is pot stirring. Which means bringing controversy out into the open. But there in lies the challenge. It takes courage to do that and very few of us are really great strategists when working within a team to play the role of the "pot stirrer". And those that are, usually are not the most popular person on the team, but typically have the admiration and respect of the others because they are courageous as a team player. I believe the whole is the sum parts of all of our contributions, but then too, all of us are disposible and at the end of the day someone else can easily come in and play our role just as effectively. So that means "no ego" on the team is most effective. You don't have to be smart in order to check your ego at the door each morning when you arrive at the office. You do have to be humble though. And how many of those types really exist out there? Being humble and effective is what I think being "smart" on the team truly means.
Awww what the heck...

Karen agrees with Peter so what he wrote must be the Gospel! East coast - West coast differences? Show me a legitimate survey as opposed to anecdotal data and then we can talk bit last I checked California's in the crapper and New York is still trying to deny ever saying mortgage backed securities. Rayanne, am I really a loathsome, loudmouthed meanie???

Ego Karen? Check your college psych textbook for a definition.

Peter, have you ever read Senge?

KarenM said:
Steve,
maybe you should explain your definition of ego.. based upon what Peter is saying, of which I agree, (and don't perceive as blah, blah, blah) there is a difference between Confidence versus Ego

Ego is never ever a good thing in a business team effort.. as it get's in the way.. but on the other hand Confidence is always positive

Think John Wooden (who has the best quotes on confidence and humility) says it best -*- Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.
John Wooden
I've got to disagree. The premise assumes that putting a bunch of people together is somehow additive, it is not. It's been my experience that, sometimes, the people who make breakthroughs do it away from the group. This type of rah rah chant is what sometimes ruins companies. It is conventional wisdom. The problem with conventional wisdom is that it sometimes makes people stop thinking.

What would have happened if Albert Einstein was removed from his solitude at the patent office and made to work with his peers at the time? He would have been silenced. Conversely, after his work it took the whole world to team together to prove piece by piece that he was right.

Now, before someone rants about me being anti-team work, don't, because I am not. I thought it would be fun to bring another perspective.
Interesting interview here about working within a team.
Well stated. And bravo. Sometimes I feel like I'm back in High School on this site. There are a lot of babies just getting started that think ego translates to being "tough" and can "bully" their way around the recruitment process in order to "win". Well, sure that works for awhile. But you can't sustain or maintain that business model for very long because everyone eventually stops working with you because you're an ass/jerk/whatever. I'm all for everyone supporting their opinions, and doing it with tact and respect. I'm not so sure Steve is of that variety and then to ask Rayanee (? is that her name) to back him up is more than a bit childish. There are a few good posts on this blog, but in the long run if I want to play amateur I can go hang out at the Junior High school down the street. Thanks for your backup on this. I certainly do appreciate an adult and well thought out point of view.

KarenM said:
Steve you don't have to ask Rayanne.. to quote you personally on this very site when you said the following about yourself
"Most of all, he allowed me a bully pulpit on which I was free to speak and never, ever censored what I wrote" http://www.recruitingblogs.com/top-100-v107-david-manaster

Regarding your response... there is no need to have scientific research or "legitimate survey" done on opinion... Yes, I shared Peters opinion, and yeah, it is a very Common opinion - and as Peter said, there are many who agreed with him.. I happen to be one of the many :)

Funny how it is that when someone disagrees with you w/opinion or views, your first comment is to request a "legitimate survey" - as many know, there is really no such thing as a legitimate survey.. any survey can be manipulated to display the results that an individual wants that survey to demonstrate.. That too comes from a "legitimate survey"

Rayanne, I find this all so very interesting.. and from my own personal perspective, and from what I have also seen on this site on a personal level, not to mention the "bad boys club" this all seems to be pretty --- what is the word I am looking for here.. hmm.. gee.. so many come to mind

Anyways, without stating the obvious.. there is no need to be An Ass, jerk, or even think more of oneself than is actually there, one can be humble and even confident and still push the envelope.. think outside the box and be ingenious.. without becoming obnoxious -- it is easier to attract flies with honey, than with Piss and vinegar

Maybe though, if it is...

FYI -- I read somewhere that the 12 step program has an interesting analogy of EGO - their acronym is Edging God Out.. Very creative don't you think Steve?

Steve Levy said:
Awww what the heck...
Karen agrees with Peter so what he wrote must be the Gospel! East coast - West coast differences? Show me a legitimate survey as opposed to anecdotal data and then we can talk bit last I checked California's in the crapper and New York is still trying to deny ever saying mortgage backed securities. Rayanne, am I really a loathsome, loudmouthed meanie??? Ego Karen? Check your college psych textbook for a definition. Peter, have you ever read Senge? KarenM said:
Steve,
maybe you should explain your definition of ego.. based upon what Peter is saying, of which I agree, (and don't perceive as blah, blah, blah) there is a difference between Confidence versus Ego
Ego is never ever a good thing in a business team effort.. as it get's in the way.. but on the other hand Confidence is always positive Think John Wooden (who has the best quotes on confidence and humility) says it best -*- Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful. John Wooden
Yes I've read Senge. It's a whole lotta nothing about nothing. Been said/stated before. Just a little differently by him. I think the MIT background got attention. As is typical.

Steve Levy said:
Awww what the heck...

Karen agrees with Peter so what he wrote must be the Gospel! East coast - West coast differences? Show me a legitimate survey as opposed to anecdotal data and then we can talk bit last I checked California's in the crapper and New York is still trying to deny ever saying mortgage backed securities. Rayanne, am I really a loathsome, loudmouthed meanie???

Ego Karen? Check your college psych textbook for a definition.

Peter, have you ever read Senge?

KarenM said:
Steve,
maybe you should explain your definition of ego.. based upon what Peter is saying, of which I agree, (and don't perceive as blah, blah, blah) there is a difference between Confidence versus Ego

Ego is never ever a good thing in a business team effort.. as it get's in the way.. but on the other hand Confidence is always positive

Think John Wooden (who has the best quotes on confidence and humility) says it best -*- Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.
John Wooden

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