Team Success: the Essential Elements

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What is a team? A team is “a number of persons associated together in work or activity.” (G. & C. Merriam Co., 1975, p. 1196). This definition of a team hasn’t changed since 1975. What has changes in the last 30 plus years is the concept of what makes a team successful. “A working team is a group of people who work and communicate with each other almost seamlessly.” (Schiffman, 2008, p.1). For a team to thrive it needs to have a strong leader but the essential components for a team to succeed are empowerment, communication and trust. These elements encourage commitment and promote accountability among team members, thus improving the productivity of the team. Essential Elements

Empowerment is the new buzz word in the team environment. How is it defined? To empower is “to give official authority.” (G. & C. Merriam Co., 1975, p. 373). This authority is pivotal to the development of a team that functions and operates at its full potential. Empowerment is the most crucial element for a team’s success. When the team members have the ability to set the rules and guidelines for the team they have a greater stake in the outcome. They have been given a license to succeed. “”Empowerment….It presents the concept that if employee are treated as team members, rather than subordinates, the resulting morale and motivation increases will yield a superior product or service for the customer.” (Kinsey, 1995, P. 28). Teams that are given the ability to define their own goals and purpose will flourish. Team leaders and members must share in the responsibility to make decisions and solve problems. In other words, team members need to set their own rules and goals. “Goals are the glue that holds a...
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