10 Team Characteristics for Effective Teamwork

I hear, I forget. I see, I remember. I do, I understand.

- Confucius

Effective teamwork is what makes organizations succeed. Whether it’s a band, a baseball team, or a Fortune 500 company, chemistry is at the heart of what makes teams great. Much of modern business thinking is centered on understanding the chemistry of what makes effective teamwork tick. And the best way to learn … is by doing, as Confucius says.

An important leadership competency for any size organization, the ability to build and lead high performing teams is especially critical in small-to-midsize businesses. Here, people must work closely together, wear many hats and work effectively across the organization to get tasks accomplished quickly enough to remain competitive.

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In order to understand the competencies needed to build and lead high performance teams, it is helpful to first define a team. Here is a simple but effective description from The Wisdom of Teams (Harvard Business School Press, 1993.)