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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Awww what the heck...

I suppose common to Pete and Karen means everyone. As far as nothing about nothing, those MIT people sure are a bunch of dumbasses! If you think that way I suppose there's no reason to discuss how in his Fieldbook he offered the types of specific tactics and techniques that could be used by anyone to understand and improve their organizations. Awful, simply awful stuff. If others here have read The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook, please chime in (to Pete's point, The Fifth Discipline - not the Fieldbook - was a bit dry but it was nonetheless a great book on organizations).

Karen, once again you play the "woe is me" card; there are no bad boys here whose purpose in life is to cause you harm or to censor what you say. You come to the same kitchen over and over again yet when it gets too hot you cry everything from censorship to harassment to discrimination.

Pete...You don't have any history in the online recruiting community so you wouldn't know that my question to Rayanne was in jest. Nothing else needs to be said. And if your underwear is still bunched up, why not spend some time reading up on the content that Rayanne and others - including me - have created here on RBC as well as other recruiting sites. You might even like what we've written.

Or is it simply easier to say what Karen tells you to say after her calls to you in which she "detailed" how mean and ignorant the bad boys are?
Karen and I don't "talk" on the phone and coach each other. I don't even know her. My comments are independent of any others when it comes to supporting my point of view. Which is just that. My point of view. Just like yours is your point of view. It does not make me right. Nor do I have the motivation to sway others to believe that I am right. Why would I try and attempt something like that? If that was the case, I'd be in politics! And I have no interest in that arena. Therefore, I really don't have a beef with you. I'm merely stating my thoughts on the topic, just as you are. I'm not right. I'm not wrong. Just as you're not right. And you're not wrong. It's all subjective as it relates to our overall recruiting and business experience and what we have learned, observed, and gleamed from those experiences over time. We see what has worked and what hasn't, and based on that it develops our opinions, of which we freely share on this site.

And regardless if I have "experience" in the internet online recruiting community (whatever that implies, because I have no idea what you mean by that), I'm sure not going to go tit for tat by attempting to defend "how long I've been at this", etc., etc., etc., That too would be an exhausting waste of time. But to make my point about the ego. Both my ego and your ego are wrapped up in this "right versus wrong" point of view argument, because ultimately in the world, when distracted by our egos, we go for the "kill or be killed" mentality that is just a fact of life. I personally and professionally find no value in that, and unfortunately while even being aware of the ego traps, I do get caught up in it myself. But we're human, right! So it's an honest default position. But this just proves my point. Someone has to win the argument, the point. And someone has to lose. That is the truest and best descriptor of ego motivation. And I don't think that makes us "smart". It doesn't make us dumb either. Perhaps arrogant?

I'm also not saying because someone "checks" their ego at the door; their prime "me-me" motivator, does not imply that I'm suggesting as a team member they sit in the corner as a wall flower. Where would that get anyone? No where! But what I am trying to shed some light on, whether we're dependent or independent on the team structure and how we contribute to that structure, we can still make our point, argue our point, stand on a soap box as the voice for reason and provocative thought, all without having to be motivated by a HUGE ego whose voice we believe can only be heard if it's the loudest, or the smartest, or the most innovative, etc., separate and outside the realms of the other team members. I've just never seen that work effectively in my many years in business and that is the ONLY point I've been trying to make.

You are a true East Coast contributer. And there is a difference. But don't worry. I don't think we're better on the West Coast. It's just that we're more subtle in the way we go about interacting. I've lived on both (NY area) and LA, but Seattle is my true home. Perhaps it's just the "frontier" point of view we have out here that sometimes surprises us when we're around scary New Yorkers! I love New Yorkers by the way. Actually, most people when first meeting me think I'm from New York! So what's that tell you.

Nice banter Steve. I have enjoyed it and I do appreciate your point of view. And I still don't think Senge is the "all" there is to the business world in regards to team synergies, etc. He's smart. Sure. I just don't completely by into his philosophies and methods. But that's just my opinion.

Take care!

Steve Levy said:
Awww what the heck...

I suppose common to Pete and Karen means everyone. As far as nothing about nothing, those MIT people sure are a bunch of dumbasses! If you think that way I suppose there's no reason to discuss how in his Fieldbook he offered the types of specific tactics and techniques that could be used by anyone to understand and improve their organizations. Awful, simply awful stuff. If others here have read The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook, please chime in (to Pete's point, The Fifth Discipline - not the Fieldbook - was a bit dry but it was nonetheless a great book on organizations).

Karen, once again you play the "woe is me" card; there are no bad boys here whose purpose in life is to cause you harm or to censor what you say. You come to the same kitchen over and over again yet when it gets too hot you cry everything from censorship to harassment to discrimination.

Pete...You don't have any history in the online recruiting community so you wouldn't know that my question to Rayanne was in jest. Nothing else needs to be said. And if your underwear is still bunched up, why not spend some time reading up on the content that Rayanne and others - including me - have created here on RBC as well as other recruiting sites. You might even like what we've written.

Or is it simply easier to say what Karen tells you to say after her calls to you in which she "detailed" how mean and ignorant the bad boys are?
You should see the stuff that I don't comment on! I state my point of view if I think it's relevant and I also point out comments that I think don't add value. I don't believe I would interpret that as being critical. It's just my right as just another voice out in the world to share my thoughts and comments like the rest of you. So in that sense, I do contribute my part to raising the conscious level of this site, or any other site I might visit and comment on. As do you and all the others. I come here to learn, to see a different point of view, to educate myself, and also for sheer entertainment. This particular post has turned out to be sheer entertainment for me! It's "funny" to see how threads evolve into something not even closely related to the original topic because our "ego's" do get in the way and sway us off course. But on the other hand, perhaps that was the course it was supposed to take. I don't know. Geez......another good example of how the ego can be mostly distracting! And I have one too. We all do. We'd be dead if we didn't have one. The challenge is keeping it in check or at the very least, being aware it's popping its ugly head up in order to be seen. There are better ways to be seen. I'm still working on that part too!

It's alway great to hear from you!

Sandra McCartt said:
Peter,
You seem to be an interesting personality. You mention leaving ego at the door and expressing opinions with tack and respect yet you repeatedly express your opinion that this site has little of value to you because it's full of babies, bullies, reminds you of high school or junior high and for the most part not of any value to you.

My question is , if something posted is not interesting to you or you are past that level or you don't find it amusing why is it necessary to be so bloody critical and above it all? Why not post something yourself and share your experience instead of repeatedly denigrating those who do? Perhaps you could assist in bringing the site up to your standard of relevance.
I agree with your point of view, that we don't all have to be big time team contributers in order to be effective on the team. We all have strengths and we all have weaknessess. I believe it's been pointed out by the others who stayed on topic in this particular post that great leaders know how to utilize each individuals strenghts, gives them duties to accomplish that are based on those strengths and when it's all said and done at the end of the day, when each team member has been defined in that order, you typically get great synergy and success. And NO egos crashing in the way. People tend to get caught up within themselves because they are unsure of either their role, or their security within themselves to actually deliver that role if it's not their strength. And when they are out of their comfort zone because perhaps they are being utilized for their weakness versus their strength, they feel a need to "defend" themselves, or proove themselves', and before you know it, like you stated, it's ego's bouncing off the walls like ping pong balls. That's also not to say that you can't develop a weakness. It's like practicing a sport, or an instrument, etc. You just need more practice and that is best done either alone or with a paid coach. But not in the actual arena. Who wants to go listen to a symphony orchestra as an example, who are just learning how to play their instrument? No one. It's awful. But once mastered, and then brought together as a group, a team; it's usually quite lovely.

Enough said on this topic. Thanks for sharing. I like how you "style" stuff. Your personality, or what I believe to be your personality really comes out. Or rather, it matches your picture. And the fur! I love the South! So charming. It's like the British. They get away with murder because of the accent. Southerners get away with murder because of their charm, grace, and poise. I'm not implying that you're a murderer, but I think you get my general point.

Happy Friday!

Sandra McCartt said:
You are correct the thread has derailed. Why don't you step up as the group leader and take it back to the original topic of a group/team with diverse attitudes and personalities. It might be interesting to pick a topic and work the problem as a group.

Honestly, i am not a team player. I have run teams, been a part of teams, managed teams, organized teams and finally had to decide that I don't function as well in a team environment. That is why i own my own business and work with contract recruiters instead of employees. Finally had to realize that i get more done, enjoy life more and make more money as a race horse than i did as manager or part of a team. My take is that teams may come up with great ideas but they drive me to distraction. Self realization and getting ego in order is sometimes a real relief. Crazies make me crazy and people who talk to hear their head rattle or take everything as a personal insult are tiring. Those exist in most groups. I can be the queen of snark and used to spend a lot of time pointing out to idiots that they were idiots. Finally occured to me that telling an idiot they were one just made them a bigger idiot and wasted my time and emotional energy.

I sat on many charitable boards over the years where due to it being volunteers the egos bounced off the walls like ping pong balls. Finally started introducing myself as not being a team player but my value to the board was best utilized when there was a last minute crash that required someone who could get something done fast at the last minute. Or i might be able to share a little insight on personnel matters but i don't do well or contribute much attending meetings to plan meetings.

Do you think that it is helpful in a team or group to point out that the contribution of an individual has no value or could it to another team member even if it doesn't to me or you?

I have the ability to lead the charge of the Light Brigade but we all know what happened to the Brigade so i will ask you to step up and lead the charge. :) Perhaps the topic might be how can we as a group make more relevant contributions or germane contributions to the site. Your thoughts?

Peter Ceccarelli said:
You should see the stuff that I don't comment on! I state my point of view if I think it's relevant and I also point out comments that I think don't add value. I don't believe I would interpret that as being critical. It's just my right as just another voice out in the world to share my thoughts and comments like the rest of you. So in that sense, I do contribute my part to raising the conscious level of this site, or any other site I might visit and comment on. As do you and all the others. I come here to learn, to see a different point of view, to educate myself, and also for sheer entertainment. This particular post has turned out to be sheer entertainment for me! It's "funny" to see how threads evolve into something not even closely related to the original topic because our "ego's" do get in the way and sway us off course. But on the other hand, perhaps that was the course it was supposed to take. I don't know. Geez......another good example of how the ego can be mostly distracting! And I have one too. We all do. We'd be dead if we didn't have one. The challenge is keeping it in check or at the very least, being aware it's popping its ugly head up in order to be seen. There are better ways to be seen. I'm still working on that part too!

It's alway great to hear from you!

Sandra McCartt said:
Peter,
You seem to be an interesting personality. You mention leaving ego at the door and expressing opinions with tack and respect yet you repeatedly express your opinion that this site has little of value to you because it's full of babies, bullies, reminds you of high school or junior high and for the most part not of any value to you.

My question is , if something posted is not interesting to you or you are past that level or you don't find it amusing why is it necessary to be so bloody critical and above it all? Why not post something yourself and share your experience instead of repeatedly denigrating those who do? Perhaps you could assist in bringing the site up to your standard of relevance.

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