TLS Continuum Part 55: Authenticity and Teamwork

I am still in the process of reading Your Place at the Table by Allan Cox. Throughout the book Allan Cox centers his message on seven signs of authenticity. Considering the events of the last 48 hours a couple of these signs appear to stick out more than others.

The need to belong is a powerful human force that finds expression in teamwork

Abraham Maslow, in his hierarchy of needs stated that the third level was love and belonging. It is that sense of belonging that makes our teams successful. If I switch that focus to society we still have that team focus. We are all part of a unique experiment in nature. When we have individuals who act out against that sense of belonging we endanger our organizations and our civilization. When our organizations forget to foster that sense of belonging our efforts fail. When our organizations and society forget to foster that sense of belonging we get Dallas, Charleston, Newtown and Aurora. Maslow suggested that we all want to feel like we are part of something. When we don’t feel that way we become an outcast and frowned upon. When we don’t feel that way we express our frustration and outrage in potentially anti-team behaviors. When a former US Congressman can proclaim that because of Dallas we are at war with the President and the groups that feel marginalize buy society we are not enabling the sense of belonging.

The authentic state of humanity is union, and ironically, this state enhances one’s uniqueness

In a perfect world the human beings thrive in an environment where we are part of something. It could be a club. It could be a religious group. It could be a neighborhood. Where and when does not matter. What matters is that we understand that the uniqueness of our self is being part of a union. Our teams and society will only thrive when we identify that authentic state. Our teams cannot function at their paramount level without everyone being an integral part of the effort. We each bring unique skills to the table but at the same time we can’t marginalize a team member because they do not agree with someone else’s beliefs and ideas.

Team catalysts are people who take upon themselves the responsibility for modeling actions and attitudes that support shared competence

The champion and/or the project leader must understand their role. They must demonstrate the views and attitudes that we are all part of the effort not a select few. The champion or project leader must walk the walk and talk the talk as far as the way the team is treated as a whole. Society likewise needs to, through our leaders, share that model. We need to demonstrate that we all are in this together to reach our ultimate goals. We are all in this together to enhance the safety and wellbeing of all its members.

You must swallow whole the belief that the first and primary role of vision is understanding

Whether you are a small business, a corporation, a city or a nation we all have a vision as to where we are headed. But the crux of authenticity is that we have an ultimate responsibility to understand all the factors that influence that vision. We need to understand that just because someone disagrees with us does not make them a bad person. Authenticity means that we respect those differences and not use those differences as a reason to exclude them. The organization as a whole must understand where the organization is going and the role we each play in that vision.

In our organizations and society today we need authenticity. We need to have a unique combination, which enhances our ability to expand our operations and society. We need to have this view based on the understanding that we are all in this team effort together. When one part of the equation is left out of the bond we see the results we have seen in the past 48 hours. You need to make the decision whether you are going to be authentic in your improvement efforts or you are going to marginalize others in your organization and society because they might be different then you. In order to be successful in our improvement we need to eliminate our pre-conceived stereotypes of individuals and societal structures to suit our pre-conceived idea of what the world is supposed to like. In order to achieve our goals we need to come to the understanding that we are all a village with critical responsibilities with the success of this entity we call mankind or our business organizations.

I hope I have helped start the conversation towards mutual understanding of where our organizations are headed and likewise where our society is headed. Please help start and continue the conversation of how we bring us all together in a true sense of authenticity. Our teams at work demand it. Our society demands it. I ask again enter the conversation not with threats or violence but with true intent to discuss how we get past this toxic environment we are in currently

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