The ‘I’ in Team

Because I’m a career mentor, I often get review copies of business and career success book. The other day, my friends at Walk the Talk Company sent me a copy of a new book by John J. Murphy and Michael McMillan called The I in Team.

This is a clever little book that takes on the oft repeated notion of “There is no ‘I’ in Team.” The authors say, “There is an I in team. In fact, there are many I’s in team. They are the very stitching that holds high performing teams together…These essential I’s – often hidden from view – are exactly what many low performing teams are painfully missing…Subtle as they may be, the I’s in team must be identified, understood, honored and put to good use.

Here are the I’s in team that Murphy and McMillan say are necessary for success, and a summary of each of them.

  • Inspiration

o   Inspiration is our awakening to Spirit.

o   Inspiration has no limits. It is timeless. Spirit sees no bounds.

o   Inspiration is meant to flow. Use it to fuel the team. Eliminate the constraints.

  • Interdependence

o   Interdependence means finding win-win solutions to every problem.

o   Interdependence means exercising “we-optic” vision – asking “What’s in it for we?”

o   Interdependence means putting the team first and generating synergy, the power of teamwork.

  • Intelligence

o   Intelligence means knowing how to achieve your goals.

o   Intelligence is what gives a team clear direction without unnecessary risk.

o   Great team leaders use intelligence to direct their teams wisely.

  • Intuition

o   Intuition is our “sixth sense.”

o   Intuition is our ability to think creatively, to see the big picture.

o   Intuition links tactics with strategy.

o   Great team leaders use intuition to focus on what really matters.

  • Ingenuity

o   Ingenuity is available to all of us. It does not take an individual genius.

o   Ingenuity can be tapped and cultivated through teamwork.

o   Great team leaders foster ingenuity by listening, empathizing and trusting the team.

  • Individuals

o   Individuals matter to the team. Everyone has something to offer.

o   Individuals make things interesting.

o   Without individual, there can be no team.

o   Great team leaders understand, position and align individuals to strengthen the team.

  • Interaction

o   Interaction is what connects individual team members.

o   Interaction is about building trusting, respectful relaitonships.

o   Great team leaders stimulate interaction to build healthy relationships and empower higher performance.

  • Innovation

o   Innovation is the expression of inspiration.

o   Innovation has come to be expected.

o   Innovation is required to “wow” people.

o   Without proactive innovation, teams are at risk.

  • Information

o   Information is critical to team success.

o   Information must focus the team on what really matters.

o   Information must be timely, specific and visible

o   Information must be used to gain knowledge and intelligence.

  • Integrity

o   Integrity breeds trust, the bedrock of healthy relationships.

o   Integrity defines character from the inside out.

o   Integrity sets us free; there is no hiding from the truth.

o   Integrity unites us, giving us authentic power and strength.

  • Influence

o   We are always influencing others and being influenced.

o   Wise leaders remain cognizant of the team’s pulse and its influences.

o   Attitudes are like contagious viruses – they can spread fast and influence the team.

o   Is your attitude worth catching?

  • Investment

o   Investment requires time, presence, discipline and money.

o   Investment fuels growth and prosperity.

o   We reap what we sow.

o   Great leaders think in terms of ROI – return on investment.

These days most work is done in teams. As your career mentor, I suggest you pay attention to these 12 I’s that are an important part of any successful team – especially when you get the chance to lead a team.

Your career mentor,


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