The Number 1 Team


If I asked you which team is your number 1 team?  It’s likely you would reply “the team I’m responsible for.”  This is the common answer for a few reasons.  

1. You are responsible for the results of that team.
2. It’s likely it’s your area of expertise.
3. You may have hired some or many people in that team.

But Patrick Lencioni, management consultant, author of The Advantage and The Five Dysfunctions of a team, would disagree with you.  

In this very short two minute video (click here), Patrick explains why…

Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.”

– Patrick Lencioni

Some leadership teams remain stuck tolerating each other
for the sole purpose of getting what they need 
for the team they feel most aligned with.

Patrick’s Team Number 1 concept turns a light on for many leaders.  It’s a blind spot they don’t realise is getting in the way of sustainable higher performance.

Remembering that the people reporting to you will copy who you be and what you do, much more than they will do what you say, if you are not…

1. Role modelling personal leadership and self-awareness
2. Initiating courageous conversations, and
3. Finding a way to align to a shared vision with your leadership colleagues…

…then your people aren’t going to either. 

What this means is that rather than initiating productive collaboration and addressing issues directly with their cross-functional colleagues, your people will come to you for a problem to be resolved, to check procedure or to complain about those other teams.

It’s a very costly cultural trait.  Not only does this behaviour erode trust, create reactive employees across the organisation (because everyone’s procrastinating about raising an issue) and ultimately slow business down, it wastes your precious time that could be much better invested.

As Patrick suggests, if you are a leader or manager, then your number 1 team must be the leadership or management team you are a member of. 

Which means…you may need to find a way to work better with some people you’ve been avoiding.