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Leadership by Choice: Increasing Influence and Effectiveness through Self-Management by Eric Papp

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Chapter 5

Building a High-Trust Team

The Power of Teamwork

In 1979, a man gathered a group of young men in a room and said to them: “You're going to make history. What you're going to do is shock the world.”

These young men thought to themselves, “What is this guy talking about, making history, shocking the world?” But on February 22, 1980, in Lake Placid, New York, that's exactly what they did when an announcer asked, “Do you believe in miracles?”

That man was coach Herb Brooks of the 1980 Men's Olympic Gold hockey team, where the average age of the players was 21 years. It was composed of amature hockey players who took on the Soviet team, who was one of the best teams in the world at the time.

They did it with the power of teamwork; when you combine 1 + 1 and it doesn't add up to 2 but to sums greater than that, when you don't work as individuals but as a team, as a unit you can do great things.

We see the importance of teamwork in many companies today, such as 3M, Federal Express, GE, Toyota, and Johnson & Johnson.

Individual commitment to a group effort—that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.

—Vince Lombardi

The Importance of Teamwork

There are two reasons why teamwork is a must in business and in society today: increased competition and limited resources. We are no longer competing only among ourselves in the United States. We are competing with many nations, including  Japan, China, and India—all of which are now making their ...

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