What do you think of when hearing the word team?
Is there a navy seal commando storming a building, two climberes helping each other at the edge of a cliff, or a group of football players finding their way through the opponents defense.
No matter which exact situation you have in mind, in the end it is always a group of people that are working harmoniously hand in hand and do actually function as a TEAM. They have a definite task in mind and reach it through the cooperation of each individual giving their best and put in all the effort combined with the magic power of the so called “mastermind”.
Ok, it is of course important to have a racing team if you want to participate in motorsport. That is for sure, but we already know that.
The question is not if you should have a team or not, but rather how to actually create a “real team” that is acting as one unit.
Being in a formula student racing team, that consists of a lot of people, I can see the daily struggle of having a bad team. That is the reason why I want to think about this topic, in order to make it better in the future with my own racing team I will found.
A chain is always as good as it weakest link. With a team, this is quite the same. In order to work as a real team, the group needs to hold together. Every single member needs to be accepted and welcomed in the community. There is nothing that can destroy the “team work” in a better way, then by having tensions between individual team members. Because they will not think about the upcoming tasks anymore, but rather try to give their best to work against the other dude in the team.
Team building is a new trend that came up as “the secret” to a successful team in the last couple of years. Every “team”, that is by definition declared to be a team has one or two so called team building events during the year to strengthen their cooperation. But this is of course not working when the fundamentals are not existing. Therefore, a team building can be quite useful, but only if the basics are already made.
Act as one
There is not much in life that is worse than having a team that is not acting as one. Seeing this at the moment every single day, I can not stand this anymore. Where is the point of calling ourself a team, if we do not act as one?
The need for leaders
Not having a real team order, this can lead to a total disaster quite frequently. If there are no people around that can actually lead a team, decisions will be made somehow but not in the right way and not with the right seriousness. Decisions will be ignored, changed frequently or simply do not mean anything anymore. In certain situations a decision is just needed, but if nobody is doing them, or they are actually made way too late, this will destroy all the chances to actually have success in the end.
The importance of trust
Trust is another really important point you should consider. Trust is nothing you just have or buy out of the shelf. Trust can not bought, it needs to be build up over time. In order to build up the trust you will have in your team, team events can of course help here a lot. But obviously, it is more like the small and minor things in life, that will really have an impact on this trust building process. Just a nice gesture, a conversation in the lunch break or giving someone a lift after a meeting, Those are the important mini steps you need to be able to build up trust. Day by day. One step at a time.
How to work on this?
If you want to improve on this, the first task should be an analysis of the current team situation you are a part of. How is the general team working? Who are the leaders? Who is agains who? Where are the weaknesses of your team? Why are you not able to change the situation?
You can go on with this for ever but generally speaking a short analysis should be enough to be able to figure out the main topics you should tackle.
Start to change
If you do not start trying to change the situation you are in, it will never actually get better. Therefore just start with the small issues you can easily fix and try to work your way up to the more important topics later on.
Remember, a chain is always as good or as bad as its weakest link. If you start at the weakest link, you will instantly see progress.
In the future we will tackle this in more detail.
See you next time.