Are Teams Ruining Your Progress?

Finally, the truth is revealed.

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Mark Zuckerberg recently commented on Facebook, saying that “one great engineer is worth a team of 100 average engineers”. It came as absolutely no surprise, considering his vast Facebook following, that the comment created quite a stir.  But let’s be honest, which of Mark Zuckerberg’s comments don’t create a stir?  The real question is how much weight Zuckerberg’s statement holds?  Is teamwork killing the inspiration of the great individual or not?

So let’s give our million dollar question a little more of a brass tack approach.  Let’s be clear and concise about the issue in hand.  Let’s look at 3 of the most common reasons why teamwork is possibly not always that perfect and an ideal way to work… or is it? 02team

Introverts have the best ideas…  But they think alone

It’s fashionable to be an introvert, unlike ever before, being introverted rocks.  You’ve gone from geek and freak, to attractive and alluring, and you’ve gone there overnight… how did that happen?  It’s now acceptable and positively admired to be the type that takes long and lonely night walks with an iGadget as your only friend!

Let’s revert back a little and take another look at Monsieur Zuckerberg.  We are all aware that he’s undeniably a prime example of a true introvert.  He categorically possesses shy, retiring and aloof tendencies – he’s a classic example of “introvert”, verging on dictionary definition. And not only does he emphatically praise that individualistic approach, he also leads one of the most successful corporations known to man.

We don’t want to detract at all from Zuckerberg’s achievements, but he also has an awesome team.  A team that is led by one of the very brightest of extroverts, Sheryl Sandberg.

This timeless and successful approach appears with ad infinitum, time after time the theme is the same.  Barack Obama is habitually distant yet holds a team of personable, sociable and demonstrative ministers.  Shy Marissa Meyer with Yahoo and it’s modern and forward thinking  members, diligent and bookish Bill Gates with his awesome Microsoft management team – the list is endless.

Not convinced yet? The scientists from the American Psychological Association also didn’t buy the fact that teamwork’s dead in the water, so much so, that they decided to hold an experiment. They gathered 760 students from the University of Illinois, who were glad to skip class, and asked them to solve logical tasks – individually and in groups. The results showed…drumroll… that teams of three, four and five people performed much better than individuals. Scientists consider that teams make less mistakes and have better response rates than the independent introvert. In other words, teams make fewer errors, because team members secure and double-check their work with each other. You might like working on you own, but psychologists assure that you’ll be more productive when working with a couple of buddies by your side.

In essence, it’s clear that it’s great to work alone – the introverts hold some great answers, however, you definitely need that team blend to expand the ideas.  Brilliant ideas are just ideas, they don’t work by themselves.

Too many cooks may spoil the broth

Many people are used to working as a team , introvert or extrovert, often in life there is absolutely no choice in the matter.  Our working lives repeatedly dictate that teamwork is how it is.  Our daily routines are crammed to overflowing with teams and teamwork, it’s the mechanics that we’re familiar with, whether we like them or not.

Teamwork is bestowed upon us because, as studies show, it’s a formula that works.  Whether we like it or not, agree or disagree with the concept,  it’s been proven time over that working in a team is positively the most effective way to achieve success.  Not everyone is great at everything.  Different people bring different talents, alternative solutions to the table. We are all aware that it may get messy at times. However, when you’re sitting around the table, quietly simmering, knowing that the solution you’ve proposed is the only one that works, it’s great to remember that when you’re up against it another member of your team will invariably be there to help you out.  03dream team

It’s not just the dream team that works

Dream teams are everywhere, they’re on each and every corner of the globe, saving lives, shifting boundaries, achieving within the very outer limits possible… Batman & Robin, Clark Kent & Lois Lane – do we need to go on? That list is simply endless.

Yet don’t worry too much if you feel that you haven’t quite reached your dream team Utopia!  Behind every dream team scene there are hiccups and bumpy rides.  Dream teams require positive thoughts and actions, sheer hard work and determination.  It’s the inner strength and productive team building that is going to transform the dream into the reality – don’t quit just yet, you’re nearly there.

Before you know it you’ll be that dynamic lineup that is compelled to succeed with all of the dramatic energy and enthusiasm that is required.spacer_yellowHuman nature thrives and craves for company.  We’re all sociable by nature, albeit some more than others.  It’s only natural to build teams, to work together.  It’s true that some of the very finest achievers in life have worked alone, however, it’s undeniable that it takes a great  team to bring it all together to achieve that ultimate success.