Creating Effective Teams

Learn about Effective Teams with Coach Carter
Coach Carter 2005


Case breakdown: Movie Coach Carter

The scene that you just saw shows how a player who was asked to leave earlier, comes back to play for the team. The coach of the team orders him to do 2,500 push-ups and 1,000 suicide drills. As he runs short of these drill, the team comes to his support and Lyle (player) says ” We are a team, one person struggles, we all struggle. One person triumphs, we all triumph.” These were Coach Carter words which are repeated by Lyle. Team takes accountability and responsibility of each other.

Similarly in organizations, Managers and team leaders need to create effective teams. Coach Carter does this too. One can take following steps to improve the effectiveness of teams:

Establish a common purpose

A common purpose is one to which the entire team aligns with. This purpose is a vision, it is broader than any specific goal, this purpose provides direction for team members. Similar to the scene that we saw, common purpose is to play good basketball and play their best.

Assess team strength and weaknesses

Team members have different strengths and weaknesses. A leader can build on strengths to compensate on weaknesses.

Develop specific individual goals

Specific individual goals leads to team’s higher performance. Specific goals lead to clear communication and focus in getting desired results.

Get agreement on common approach for achieving goals

Goals are the end results that the team tries to attain. Defining and agreeing on a common approach ensures teams are unified on the means for achieving those ends.

Encourage acceptance of responsibility for both individual and team performance

Successful teams make individuals and teams jointly accountable for the team’s purpose, goals and approach.

Build mutual trust among members

When there is trust, team members believe in integrity and ability of each other. When there is no trust, members are not able to understand each other.

Appropriate mix of team member skills and personalities

Team members come with different skills and personalities. In organizations, people are needed with people skills, decision-making skills and good interpersonal skills and technical expertise.

Provide training and resources

Team leaders need to ensure teams are provided with adequate training and resources to achieve their goal.

Create opportunities for small achievements

Building an effective team takes time and efforts. To work and think like a team, members need to diligently practice. Team leaders should divide a bigger goal into small goals that gives opportunity for the team to be effective.



Organizational Behavior: Stephen P Robbins

Movie: Coach Carter

Written by: Gitika Chandra


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