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Chapter 2. The Barriers to Team Success > Poor Rapport Among Team Members - Pg. 20

The Barriers to Team Success 20 Conflicting Agendas The purpose of a team is to work in a coordinated fashion to accomplish the team's objectives. When different team members push their own agendas ahead of the team's, there's no way the team's goals will be achieved. I recently observed a good example of how conflicting agendas destroyed a team project. The company, a small but growing fast food retailer in the New England states, set up a task force to plan how to expand its product line. One of the members, Margo L., had made up her mind that the best approach would be to introduce a breakfast menu. In addition to the operational problems and a major marketing program to attract breakfast customers, this would involve opening the stores at 6 A.M. instead of the current 10 A.M . It would require a major recruiting campaign to get additional help, and store managers would have to put in many more hours. Margo was so sure she was right that she refused to listen to objections and the alternative solutions offered by other members. She pressed so hard for her agenda that the meetings became exercises in futility. After several months of bickering and recriminations, the task force gave up and made no recommendations. Jealousies and Rivalries Starting with Cain and Abel, jealousies and rivalries have been part of the human experience. Of course, you'll find them in your company and in your team. People envy those who are smarter, who are more attractive, who have more money, who they believe have been given better breaks than they have. There's no way a team leader can eliminate this, but an astute team leader can keep it from interfering with the team. It requires a keen under- standing of each team member's personality and attitudes, diplomacy in dealing with rivals, and