It’s a common recommendation for leaders to have a high quality team. But the concept of a team can be quite limiting for leaders who want to really get ahead. While a team can certainly be helpful, the real breakthroughs come when you turn your team into a partnership.
The main shift from a team to a partnership is in the focus. Your personal support team is about you – what you need to achieve and who will help you do it. A partnership is about the objective – the idea or project or results or outcome in which everyone on the team can play a role.
The strongest partnerships have common characteristics.
- Everyone on the team agrees on the goal or outcome.
- Everyone on the team cares about that outcome.
- Everyone on the team gets to use his or her strengths to achieve it.
You can think of the difference between a team and a partnership by comparing individual sports and team sports. In individual sports like tennis, golf, and track, one athlete is encouraged to find his or her personal best with the support of a coach, cheering fans, and fellow athletes they admire. In team sports like football, basketball, and soccer, many team members are all working at the same time together to score.
The benefits of a partnership are noteworthy. You have more ideas, but you need less effort to implement them. You have a greater variety of strengths, so everyone can contribute what they do best. You gain the camaraderie of the group effort, and in the end, you can get more done.
To move from a team to a partnership, spend some time thinking about how to apply what you know of personal support teams to the groups of which you’re a part or the groups you want to form. The questions on the Your Partnerships worksheet in The Extension will guide you.
The ideas in this article are drawn from The Inner Edge: The 10 Practices of Personal Leadership and the accompanying eBook called The Extension. The eBook is designed to give you simple, engaging personal leadership exercises and activities to help you be a better leader, and lead a better life. Get your copy today! Click here for a Preview and to Order.