Winning Teams Basics
As Cricket world cup has completed and Australian team won it again (Congratulations to them!), and apart from few people in India. Cricket is religion for most of us. You too – Correct?
“Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” – Vince Lombardi
I know we lost in Semis against Australia – But as Dhoni rightly said “it’s a sport and only one team can win”. And let’s be honest guys and girls too – When Indian team went for World cup all of us, expected that these team won’t reach so far. And here’s when human expectations comes in to the picture, When we started winning, Our expectation raised. And we wanted team to win world cup. But my personal view is that day Australia played good cricket. And we failed to do so. But I’m sure team will take a learning lesson from this and they do better next time! Sorry for taking conversation off track. But it shows, I’m same like you! When it comes to Cricket – We become experts. I personally believe everyone should follow/play at least one sport. It teaches you lot of lessons, which helps you in real life as well! Best lesson is “Match is never end till last ball” – Follow this rule in real life. At last moment (Yes, last moment) there is a chance that things becomes favorable to you. You just need to stay on the pitch! So, whatever the tough situation you are going through. Just be there on pitch! You might be thinking – Why there are few teams, who always keeps winning? And the other one always keeps losing? (In Cricket and in real life too). And I was thinking to apply this logic, in software industry as well. Why few teams always deliver software project successfully and smoothly. And other ones struggle to do so. As per my view there are two types of teams: Type1 : You can identify them using following characteristics:
- People love to be at office
- Whatever project they work – It gets successfully delivered
- No weekend work (If Project needs them, they will be happy to be available)
- Everyone goes at home happily and enjoys his/her personal life
- Enjoying each others in win
- They are always happy and cheerful
- Not Stressed
Typ2 : You can identify them using following characteristics:
- People look forward for way to not be at office
- Whatever project they work – It never gets successfully delivered
- Always in office during weekend (Few people like to be in the office during weekend for some research or something. But I don’t count them here. They belong to first team. I would consider people who don’t like to be in the office during weekend. But have to be, as SOMEONE has ASKED them to do so)
- Not so passionate – Doing something for just sake of doing
- No team bonding
- Always frustrated
- Always stressed
Sounds similar? If you belong to Type1, then you are the luckiest person in this world. But if you don’t know how it works? And would like to understand few reasons behind it. Then this blog post is for you. If you are in Type2, then I’ve an empathy for you. And would suggest that you work out on following points. They will surely help. And if you don’t have that level of control or someone is stopping you from doing so. Would suggest – Get off the bus! http://www.motivation.careers360.com/Hope-and-Motivation/If-you-are-not-enjoying-the-ride-Then-get-off-the-Bus So, let’s see what special Type1 team does to be there:
Disclaimer : This is based on my learnings. I am not expert on this subject. But few basics which I learnt through my journey and have noted it down. Which I am sharing with you. So, if you think something might not work for you. Feel free to ignore it
- Leader: I believe team and team’s leaders makes most difference. Because if leader is not secure. Then he/she won’t let team grow. And then the culture becomes worst and worst. But if leader is confident, technically sound, and smart and get things done person. Then team also follows him/her. So, while making someone a leader, please think twice. “People don’t leave company they leave bad leader/manager” And if you are a leader, then I request you to give your best. Because I believe – The responsibility what our Teachers had at School/College level, Parents had at child level, the same level of responsibility leaders have at professional level. “Good leaders create leaders, and others create followers” https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_why_good_leaders_make_you_feel_safe
- People : If Leader is important, Then People working in the team are also equally important. Because people get things done and NOT Process. It makes me amazed that lot of companies focus on setting up good process. But I believe have good people, the process will be automatically good. Their Hiring Process is very strict. They can identify the talent, and know how to groom them! “Only good leader’s eyes can spot, good candidates/leaders”. While Hiring they keep person’s attitude first and technical skills second. Because it’s easy to impart Technical skills than attitude!
- Culture : Company’s culture also makes difference. Always hire smart people, and let them do what they think is right. Company should just act as a facilitator. See Google’s work culture!
- Timesheets : I agree that time-sheets are good way to track and manage your time. Because based on that we bill to clients. But at times, people just work to fill in their 40 hours. And in this process they lose their creativity and helping nature.
- Team bonding : They not only enjoy and spend time with each other in office. But out of office as well. They do spend lot of time together! Type2 teams works more as individuals
- Communication and Transparency : Communications are very clear in these type of teams. Things are Green/Red. Anyone can speak out. All things are 100% Transparent. Feedback system is also good!
- Training : They have very good training process. So, when someone joins the team. He/she knows what/how these team works. Before he/she gets bombarded with so-called strict deadlines. And lack of training makes it stricter!
- Balanced between experience and fresher : They have good balance between fresher and experience. Because both combination is required. But as good cook knows, the best ingredient to make good food. Same logic applies here as well. Experience people brings the lot of knowledge and best practices in to the team, at the same time. Freshers brings the lot of new perspective in the team. And while working together, they share those things with each others. And at the end of the day – Everyone wins!
- Clear expectations : As I mentioned in #1, Leader is very important. Because Good leaders are always good in communicating expectations clearly. I believe most of the time Type2 are frustrated because of this reason. Leader and Team members are never in sync with their expectations. I think, as a leader if you let people know what is right and what is wrong. And what you expect from them. Then they make sure they do it!
- Allowed to make mistakes : Team is allowed to make mistakes. But yes, they are not allowed to repeat them. But as Type1 team learns from mistakes. They rarely repeat any mistake. How leaders should manage their team success and failure- Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
- Learning from mistakes : As Type2 teams are always busy. They just keep running because they are busy. But they never take a step back, and think what is keeping them busy? What mistakes they are doing? How they can learn from them? And Type1 team always learn from their mistakes and shares it with others. So, they don’t repeat it. And that’s how they get things done faster.
- Ready to help : They are always ready to help each others, and ready to go out-of-the-way for team
- Competition: They don’t compete with each other, they complement each other. If they have competition. That will be healthy completion. Who commits more backlogs/tickets in this release? 🙂 And Competition stuff happens with most of us. Because since school level. We’ve been asked to be first. In Public Transportation (Bus/Train) as well, we always try to be first! But those concepts doesn’t fit while working in a Team
- Helps others in down time : The time is not going to be same for anyone. Sometime X is doing well, at that time, Y is struggling. And when Y is doing well. X is struggling. In all situations they help each other during someone Else’s down time
- Links : You may find few more points from my earlier leadership posts:
Remember TEAM == Together each achieves more! Sounds good? Have I missed something? Would be happy to incorporate your views.
It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership – Nelson Mandela