Chapter 9Seeking Soul in Teams

Teams often fall short because they come together rationally but not spiritually. Uncommon spirit—or soul—is often the key ingredient of wildly successful teams or “hot groups.”1 Lockheed’s Skunk Works is one famous example of an autonomous team unhampered by bureaucracy; it built America’s first jet fighter as well as the legendary U-2 surveillance aircraft. Another is Steve Jobs’s band of “Pirates,” swashbucklers and rebels who seceded from the main Apple campus to work on special projects: “It’s better to be a pirate than join the Navy.”2 But there are many others. Breakthroughs in medical research rarely happen without a team of scientists deeply committed to finding a cure for a deadly disease. The sports ...

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