Individual independence is a key ingredient to good teamwork.

The people that I like working with most are the most independent thinkers I know.  Teamwork is essentially a collection of people working toward a common goal.  At times those individuals sit in the same room working together but often it involves individual work that needs to be brought together on some defined increments.

When each team member is strong independently the solo work is that much greater.  It may not exactly fit the defined spec but it is often greater than the spec because they manage it, massage it and understand how it will fit into something bigger.  Team members that just say yes to the boss come back with something exactly on spec but don’t do anything to make things better.  Without independent thinking there are no organizational issues but there is also no excellence – there is no better outcome.

One thing I will never trade is “Excellence” for the sake of “Getting Along.”  I’ve worked with too many that are great with just Getting Along and too many managers that want nothing more than just Getting Along.  Excellence never comes from this mentality.  You may end up with some pretty charts that show how good you’ve done within the defined rules but you will never do anything that changes the direction of the business.

Rules were made to be changed and broken.  Independence is the key to Teamwork.


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