Why “we” is greater than “me”
The best business results come from teams of people who care about each other, both personally and professionally. And because they care, they set bold goals—and solve difficult problems—together. It’s a “we is greater than me,” win-together philosophy.
Another way to say it: Goodness only comes alive in a business when people thrive together, both personally and professionally. When that happens, anyone trying to be a Superhero sticks out like a weed in a rose garden.
Good leadership is the only firm, anywhere, that’s done the research on how goodness pays in leadership and business. Create a “team-based culture” is #3 of five Goodness Pays factors.
Here’s how the “win together” team-based culture strategy really works: recently we engaged with a client embroiled in a really difficult marketplace shake-up. A Disruptive competitor was offering huge signing bonuses and big titles to lure away A-players from our client’s team. They were operating on the theory that they could buy more business, through hiring Superhero talent.
Long story short: the Disruptor’s strategy didn’t work, because they couldn’t answer these three fundamental goodness pays questions every employee deserves to ask in the midst of disruptive change:
- Where do I fit?
- Why do I matter?
- How do I win together with my colleagues?
It was the “how do I win together” question that was the deal breaker. The Disruptor was building a Superhero culture based on individual goals and incentives. One of their core strategies was to create internal competition between employees, with a survival of the fittest cultural intention.
Less than two years later, the Disruptor was losing ground to our client. Why? Our client use the threat as an opportunity to improve their organizational effectiveness by strengthening their teams. Starting with the team at the top. They created specific win-together incentives to ensure people lifted one another to higher levels of performance as a team. Instead of pitting one against another.
Effective organizations require good leadership
Helping people understand where they fit and why they matter isn’t the job of the Human Resource manager. It is the leader’s job to create the culture and everyone’s job to keep the culture alive.
This week, try engaging your team with an intellectually honest conversation about the core of high performance:
- Do people here care about each other personally and professionally?
- Do people here set bold goals and solve difficult problems together?
- Does everyone see how we “win together?”
If you don’t know the answers, Good Leadership has a simple 24-question survey that will give you data about how your teams are aligned, committed and accountable for winning together. You’ll get good answers fast. https://www.goodleadership.com/team-momentum-survey/