Is the culture of team building in corporate America causing
unseen damage to corporate growth and efficiency? One of
the greatest concepts in today’s corporate America has been
the emphasis on team building, but could it now be causing a
rusting of the individual drive, effort and creativity that is also
important to the free enterprise system?
As a consultant and corporate officer I’ve always been a
proponent of the team concept. The value and contribution of a
well-developed team is not at issue. What I’ve become concerned
about what is, potentially, a mutation of the team culture.
I’ve seen some organizations where the emphasis on teams
was so strong that an imbalance in the creative development
of some employees was sacrificed for the benefit of “team
think.” This group think mentality, while very effective in
some areas, when over emphasized, can stifle that vital
element necessary to furthering corporate goals. Some
companies have mistakenly used the concept of team-
building before they were adequately trained, confusing it
For managers, the key question to ask yourself and explore with
your leaders is this; are we sacrificing creativity and individual
merit in the way we promote team effort? If so, trying a more
balanced approach may be the answer. Stressing individual
assignments on some projects or using teams for only special
projects, at least temporarily, may help your staff to become
more self-reliant and more creative.
My purpose here is to suggest that you take another look at how
your organization manages teams, not whether the concept
works. How can you and your people be even more productive?
Are you too focused on one method? If you work alone, as an
entrepreneur with a 30 second hallway commute to your office
daily, you may be wishing that you had a team to work with, at
least at times. However the odds are, that by necessity, you are
more innovative than your corporate brethren. How both sides
can improve on this will be a subject in the next Justin Times.
What do your e-mails look like? I mean the format, especially in initial business
communications. Recently I saw an e-mail from an experienced
businessperson who has also been a professional writer and editor. It was
written in all lower case, no formatting with very long paragraphs. It was not
only difficult to read, it looked unprofessional.
E-mails to friends and known associates is one thing. How we
present to the world is another.
Have you ever attended a business networking event or been a
member of a weekly networking group? If so, you may have
noticed that there is either a high drop out rate or that many in the
group don’t seen to do well through the contacts they are making.
The next time you’re at one of these events, observe and you’ll
likely find some people who look like a cat about to pounce,
waiting for the person talking to finish so that they can say what
they want to say. This person is usually clueless to other’s needs
or concerns, and it shows. People naturally sense this and will
In any networking affiliation, either personal, group meetings or
through the Internet, be a supporter, a buyer, or provide some-
thing of value through advice, links or introductions to someone
else who you may know who might be able to help the other
person in the group. Listen closely without thinking about what
you are going to say next.
If you are one of the few supporters, and not many will do this,
others will want to know more about you. This, ultimately is the
key to your successful networking experiences.
Tom is the author of the book that is also the title of his most requested
seminar, How To Take ‘No’ For An Answer and Still Succeed (How To Turn
Everyday Rejections Ito Profit and Abundance). “If rejection is like a disease
creeping up, then overcoming us and stopping us cold, then Tom Justin is the
‘Jonas Salk’ of rejection. His How To Take NO For An Answer And Still Succeed
program is the perfect vaccine for every kind of rejection life can throw at us,”
says Jack Canfield, co-author, Chicken Soup For The Soul Series.
He is a strategist and corporate consultant and coach. Tom presents his
audiences with facts, techniques and motivation, laced with humor. His
inspirational talks have brought thousands to laughter and then to tears with
his heart-felt personal stories that have served his audiences throughout the
world with guidelines for succeeding and surviving in our ever-changing world.
Larry King Said of him, “Tom Justin is a terrific story teller. His message will
inspire teach and entertain you!”