Individuals don’t make great companies, Teams do.

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Individuals don’t make great companies, Teams do.

We are living in an era where starting a business is most easy and most difficult job. Around us we have many capitalists, who start a company on the clouds of self belief, and as a result either the company shuts down or it is sold out. It is good to have self belief but you should also have a team of gardeners to nourish your plant of dreams. This differentiates a company from its competitors and makes it something which is great. Many say that an entrepreneur must present himself before his team by saying “We can do it.” but I think a little different. An entrepreneur must always present his ideas by saying “I believe” since it creates confidence in the team towards their leader. At last he should say “I want your commitment to such an extent that I will be compelled to say ‘We believe’.”

What makes a good team? All qualities to make a successful individual and a successful team are the same. The only difference is that an individual is introvert while a team must be extrovert. Nothing should be hidden. And this quality of a team paves way for co-ordination and co-operation. The relevance of Taylor’s principle “Co-operation, not individualism” is revealed from this very fact. The last time I gave my Management exam, there was a question ‘What is the difference between Co-ordination and Co-operation?’ Not being an outstanding student of the class, I left the question. When I came back home, I took the time back to a few minutes before the exam. We backbenchers were discussing how to tell answers to each other during the exam. Every one of us was willing to help each other, as we had a common objective to achieve the magical mark of 33 out of 100. This willingness to help each other is called Co-operation. But as we entered the room all our plans failed, as the invigilator was too strict. The team effort got a new pace when one of us took charge as a manager. The manager was sitting behind a very meritorious student of the class. He asked answers from that meritorious student and communicated to the team member behind him. Every time he got an answer, the wheel of message was passed on to each member of our team. We built up a virtual chain of communication. This implementation under one leader, who manages the operations of each team member, is called Co-ordination.

Have you ever seen a pack of African wild dogs? The success percentage of a pack of mastiffs is far better than that of Asiatic Lion, which hunts all alone. This example teaches us one more thing apart from C-ordination abilities. At an attempt of hunting, the dogs loose less energy than the Asiatic Lions. If the same principle is applied on a company what does it result to? It results in what all commerce students learn from the very beginning that is Optimum Utilization of Resources, and factually the Human Resource. When a team loses less energy in one task, they are probably to attempt the next hunt soon. They are just waiting to grab the opportunity. On the other hand, an Individual, no matter how much opportunist he may be, he is not someone who will switch over to another task after completing one. Not only the physical and mental energy, a team will divide the risk, capital requirement and all other resources among themselves to contribute. Any one of the members would not be stressed all alone.

There are many things which can ruin a team and ultimately the company. One of major factors is back biting. How can we avoid it? Generally people say more and more transparency is the way out, but people experiencing it know well that how much difficult it is to make the operations transparent to such an extent that everyone is satisfied. I am not someone who has experienced the environment of companies, but I try to understand everything through live examples. When I came to university, I built up a good group of friends but eventually it collapsed. Now I know the reasons why do companies collapse when a team is broken down. Firstly, the egoistic approach of team members makes everything difficult. This makes them a lot introvert. The one who is less egoistic doesn’t share his views openly as he thinks it is a really bad idea. Egoistic approach also gives way conflict between the members, when there are more than one dominating personalities. Secondly, sometimes there are team members who overstress on group cohesiveness. They don’t really back bite; they try to inform others about whom to choose when a task is given. This member is someone who over-communicates with other team members and as results reveals his views about other team members. At last when the company collapses, he is one with greatest losses. Therefore, a team should be communicating among itself to a regulated extent, and focus much on the objective to be achieved keeping the egos apart.

To conclude I would just like to give the example of Team Hoyt, where the father Dick Hoyt pushes the wheelchair of his physically disabled son to complete a marathon race. In this case, father is the body while son is the soul. Some would say it is only the dedication of the father and he will be much better doing it all alone but, if the son had not been there then father would also not have shown so much dedication to compete. Take a look at great companies of today and you will find some difference. Apple is one of them which were started by a team of three, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. If any one of them was not there, we would not have been able to enjoy the taste of that bitten apple.

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