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Chapter 3. Laying the Foundation for Tea... > The Four C's of Team Success - Pg. 32

Laying the Foundation for Team Success 32 Most of the inventions of the premodern age were developed by one person: a Thomas Edison, a James Watt, an Eli Whitney. In our much more complex age, most of the major inventions and discoveries come from collaborative efforts. The engineers at Bell Labs created the transistor; the unraveling of DNA was a collaborative effort of Francis H. Crick and James D. Watson; the joint work of Steven Jobs and Steven Wozniak led to the Apple computer. When people collaborate in working on a problem, the interaction stimulates the thinking of every member of the team, resulting in a wide range of ideas and many options for resolving problems. The effective leader of a collaborative team encourages each member to take an active role in discussions, to share information and suggestions, and to participate fully in making decisions. Coordination Remember the example of the rocket in Chapter 2? Even if every component of that rocket functions perfectly, in order for it to blast off, everything must be synchronized; in other words, coordinated. The team is like that rocket. Part of the team leader's responsibility is to hone the skills of each team member, but an equally important responsibility is to coordinate the activities of the team. This is the test of true leadership. The ideal team works together seamlessly to achieve its goals. Coordination starts with each member knowing his or her role and how it meshes with the roles of the other members. In a well-coordinated team, members can anticipate every action teammates will take and be prepared to react to it. Look at a championship sports team for an example of perfect coordination. Watch the basketball or the hockey puck pass from player to player on the way toward scoring a goal.