It often strikes me that there is a limited methodology for nurturing teams but an infinite number of ways to destroy them. Just ask around and you'll find this to be true. Some leaders have a personal theory about how to create teamwork, but almost all leaders can cite an example of how to destroy a team—and there is a huge variety of mechanisms to accomplish this.

At a recent leadership summit sponsored by the El Pomar Foundation—a Colorado philanthropy that supports nonprofit organizations working in the arts and humanities, education, health and human services, and civic and community initiatives—I was asked to work with student leaders from around the state on two subjects. A three-hour session in the morning was devoted to helping ...

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