Many of us have been part of a great team at one point or another. If not, perhaps we've witnessed a great team in action. Often, a great team achieves their level of greatness after many hours of working together – the sports team made up primarily of seniors who have played together since freshman year, for instance. Or, your favorite comedy team that has performed together so long they can literally complete one another's thoughts. At work, we may know a small group of competent professionals that can seemingly tackle any problem, working together like a well‐oiled machine.

What happens, however, when a group of people comes together for the first time and they don't have four years of practices and games to learn to work together, or even the luxury of a few months to work out the kinks? Is there any way to be highly productive beginning on Day 1? You may remember Amy Edmondson, who we encountered in Chapter 2 with the important idea of psychological safety. She sees this psychological safety as one of the key aspects of what she calls “teaming.” She contends that when individuals follow the same set of guidelines or rules, they can begin functioning as a highly productive team immediately. She calls this teaming rather than teamwork.

Agile leadership means ensuring that good ideas don't die on the vine, by making sure that each member of a group shares the responsibility for implementation. Each person ...

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