Leadership Skills: 5 Secrets to Shared Purpose

I have studied and taught the most effective ways people collaborate for over 20 years.

Here are 5 secrets I want you to know about — they help the best leaders discover common goals that unite people to collaborate “on” purpose.

1. Establish shared clarity.
Discuss the charter, the mission, the deliverables, and the outcome of your team’s work until you can articulate together a common and clear description of your purpose.

2. Select teammates for their motivation first, their skills second.
If teamwork is important to you, then look at skills only after factors like drive, energy, interest, motivation, and enthusiasm — because it’s shared desire, not talent, that creates teamwork.

3. Accept, once and for all, that teammates don’t have to like each other.
Encouraging affinity for a shared task — not for each other — is the fastest and surest way to create strong group cohesion. Instead of using exercises and techniques to promote friendships, get everyone to adopt a common focus so that each team member sees good reason to work with each other.

4. Stop trying to motivate.
Why try motivating other people when it’s nearly impossible? Instead, tap into the motivation that already exists in teammates by asking them about their needs and desires.

5. Determine if your team is “built.”
A “built” team has shared direction and energy. To achieve this status for your team, lay the foundation early by asking yourselves a variety of important questions.

What is the team’s task? What is the benefit to each team member for committing to the team’s work? Are agreements in place that allow the team to operate rapidly and efficiently? Do team members share a common goal that inspires them? Do you know what each member brings to the team?

Look out for my next blog post with 5 additional secrets to achieve a team that operates with a shared purpose.

Get Started With This 5-Minute Practice Tip

Using the 5 secrets above as a guide, assess your most important relationships at work and determine how you can amplify the sense of shared purpose.

Leaders and coaches: Get Christopher’s best team building and leadership strategies collected over two-plus decades of solving teamwork problems for smart people. Attend the acclaimed Creating Results-Based Teams workshop, or get this FREE Special Report while it lasts: The Five Flawless Steps to Building a Strong Executive Leadership Team.

Christopher Avery, PhD, is a recognized authority on how individual and shared responsibility works in the mind and an advisor to leaders worldwide.

Posted in Collaboration, Leadership, Teamwork on 10/14/2013 01:00 am
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