A baseball philosopher and all-star catcher for the New York Yankees was asked, “What makes a great manager?”

He responded, “A great team.”

We’ve been looking at some of the great traits of a great team, hopefully your team.

Great trait No. 5: Great teams value constructive disagreement and healthy tension.

Every team, even the great ones, have disagreement and conflict. It’s a given. If there are no disagreements someone isn’t thinking.

Patrick Lenconi (“The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”) suggests there are real differences between teams that avoid conflict like the plague and those that approach conflict productively.

Teams that fear conflict:

• have boring meetings

• ignore controversial topics that are critical to team success

• fail to tap into all the opinions and perspectives of team members

• play politics outside the team meetings

• take forever to solve problems

Teams that engage in conflict:

• have lively, interesting meetings

• extract and explore the ideas of all team members

• solve real problems quickly

• minimize politics

• put critical topics on the table for discussion

The issue is handling disagreement properly. Disagreement is necessary but it must not

See GREAT, Page 6


grow into division.

Here are some pointers:

Members must be free and feel safe to express opinions even if they disagree with others.

Allow for differences to be expressed.

Don’t avoid differences or make compromises to benefit the short term.

Great trait 67: Great teams believe in shared work/shared glory

On a great team, everyone shares together in the joy and glory of an accomplished task. No soccer player wins a game by himself or herself. All the players are needed to score the goal and all the players share in the victory.

My personal success as a team member is measured by the success of our team.

Not: “Look what I did.”

But: “Look what we accomplished.”

Servant leaders alone don’t make anything great. Servant leadership is a shared responsibility.

The last two traits of a great team next time.

Dr. Fred Campbell is president of Living Grace Ministries, a ministry committed to developing servant leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He can be reached at fred@livinggraceministries.com, www.livingraceministrties.com. He and his wife Carolyn live in Ovilla.

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