Former Butler U. basketball coach, Brad Stevens (now head coach of the Boston Celtics), “gets” teamwork.
Do people in your organization?
They might not if you’ve allowed the Great Teamwork Lie into your culture. Do you know what that lie is? Before I share it, here’s an email I received from Cathy in Indiana:
“Brad Stevens, head coach of the Butler Bulldogs basketball team (in the “Final Four” in 2010 and 2011), spoke at our staff meeting. Part of his message was about personal accountability. He referenced the QBQ! book, required reading for his players. When something goes wrong on the court, like a bad call or a missed pass, the players sometimes come back to the sidelines distracted by what just happened. That’s when the coaches say “QBQ!” The players all know what that means—and they get refocused. Something certainly is working for them, so I was compelled to read the QBQ! book, too!”
That email meant a lot to us here at QBQ, Inc. But then, almost as if to corroborate it, another email came in from a man who said he’d taken his son to a basketball camp at Butler and when he walked into the team’s locker room he saw three huge letters hanging on the wall:
Q B Q
And that’s the truth. Now, that teamwork lie:
“There are no I’s in TEAM.”
Hogwash! Baloney! Balderdash!
I sure hope your organization didn’t pay a consultant to come in and propagate such nonsensical thinking. I also hope you’ve not allowed it to creep into your culture by some other means.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a team—corporate, nonprofit, government, family, church—that wasn’t full of I’s. Those “I’s” are George, Katie, Robert, Frank, Amanda and Seth—and their power lies in this truth:
The team can do great things when the “I’s” take care of themselves.
That’s what the Butler coaches mean when they say “QBQ.” They know the wrong questions are what we call Incorrect Questions (IQs) such as, “When is he going to do his part?” “Why can’t the ref see what’s going on out there?” “Who’s going to fix this?”
And the right questions—called “QBQs”—are:
“How can I elevate my performance?”
“What can I do to move the team forward toward the goal?”
“How can I support those around me?”
Does this mean we never get frustrated with the people we work with or that they never let us down? Of course not. But it does mean that pointing fingers at each other or at outside forces beyond our control—it’s called BLAME—wastes precious time, energy, and talent.
The truth is, when we buy the “there are no I’s in TEAM” lie, what we’re really saying is, “Not my job. Not my department. Not my problem.”
And there’s no accountability in that.
So don’t deny it, just buy it—the teamwork secret is PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY. It’s just as simple as that. Ask Coach Stevens and his fine staff. They know.
If you are part of a team—and almost everyone is today—what is your view? Is team success about others or is it about each team member practicing PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
Share your views below and begin the dialogue!