The Eleventh Step is to Create Teams that Work

People feel happiest when they feel they belong. A dynamic organization is like a beautiful bracelet. Each jewel in the bracelet may be exquisite, but the strength lies in the connection. A pile of loose, individual gems is actually more of a nuisance than anything else.

Constantly look for ways to make the volunteers feel connected. Almost any group can accomplish more than an individual. When team work is strong, good ideas will bubble up to the surface so the challenge to the leader is connecting individuals into a solid team. The stronger that connection is, the more powerful the group will be.

An Air Force officer told me how he begins building strong teams from the first day of orientation. On a blackboard he draws a diagram of all the jobs on the base. Every position is marked with an X. Then he points out where each person fits in, telling them, "See that X there? That is you and your X is just as big as the Commander's X. If you don't do your job, the Commander can't do his."

The officer says a lot of new recruits to the Air Force do not consider their job to be important unless they are pilots. To them he says, "Your job makes it possible for others to do what they have to do. Every job is essential. For instance, if you are in finance, a pilot can't fly without you. You make sure his family gets a monthly check so when you do your job it eases his mind. If he had to worry, how could he concentrate on flying?"

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