People First, Team Second

Watt bikes people first

We need a compelling reason for our actions

In order to build a successful team or organisation, we have to first start with the people. All Super-tribes have their people at their heart. That means putting your people first, team second. Demanding results without first giving the means to achieve them is a hollow request. Put your people first. The word for a collaborative venture is ‘team’ not ‘meat’.

Until someone is physically and mentally ready to do their job, they can’t play a winning part in the team’s success. As individuals, we owe our teams our very best shot. It’s a personal responsibility to get ready to do our jobs. We have to discharge this responsibility ourselves. That’s a job for us. And in the right organisation, everyone wants to. Inside a modern Super-tribe, there is no feeling of burden or sacrifice.

Once we’ve given our individual commitment, our team owes us its support. This is a critical and essential trade, providing a mutual exchange for everyone’s mutual benefit. If we don’t give our full commitment, we shouldn’t expect any of our colleagues to offer theirs. 

Being in a team is just the allocation of a job title. Belonging to a modern tribe requires much more. This involves building mutual trust and respect to the point that there’s a collaborative attitude of ‘one for all and all for one’. Without mutual sacrifice, there is no real team at all.

Getting ourselves mission ready starts a selfless, personal action. It’s putting our team’s purpose to the forefront. It’s the tribal act of moving from a state of independence into one of interdependability. Once ‘we’ means more than ‘me’ you’re getting there.

This said, every organisation has to do its bit too. That means providing the working environment, rewards, resources and time for their people to get themselves win ready. Providing high quality tea, coffee and fruit is a great start. Every happy employee is a more engaged one. Employers need to facilitate the process of tribe building, by encouraging an open and supportive culture. No one develops to their full potential in a blame culture. 

Managers need to provide the guidance and training to underpin a state of interdependability. Only then can a team’s mission, strategy and tactics be layered on top. Without the foundation stones of personal commitment, mutual commitment and organisational commitment, a mission’s goals will be missed. It might feel counter-intuitive, but put your people first. Then they will put your team first.