Great Teams Deal with the PROBLEM!

Great teams or collaborative results are critical for most organizations. if you haven't read The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, please do. He provides excellent insight into the 5 mistakes that hurt teams and teamwork. Here is his list altered slightly.

  • - Lack of trust
  • - Unclear or wrong goals
  • - Lack of accountability
  • - Lack of commitment
  • - Inappropriate conflict
Great Teams Deal with the PROBLEM


Each of those "dysfunctions" reduce teamwork, because they are all symptoms of the PROBLEM! And, great teams deal with the problem, which reduces or removes the symptoms. Okay then, what is the problem? The PROBLEM is when...

...each person makes everything about ME!

Yes, even great teams have the PROBLEM. Each person on the team has a "path of least resistance" to making everything about themselves. When "ME" rears its ugly head, all of the mistakes follow, one at a time or all at once.

And, leaders do the same thing. Leaders have a constant battle in their mind to think of ME or WE. The "Battling Structures" are explained in course 1. Consequently, GR8 Leaders choose a different structure - "Serve WE - Committed to INFLUENCE others to get THERE!"

From personal experience and watching others, making everything about ME is common to everyone. Obviously, some people are worse than others, but we all do it. An easy place to see your ME flashing moment is when you complain about others. Specifically, look for those times you are irritated, upset, discouraged, angry, disappointed, etc. those are what we call "elevated negative emotions." Please trust me, when you see those emotions, you are probably on the wrong path. 

On the other hand, GR8 leaders build great teams and find ways to reduce the PROBLEM. The quickest way is encourage team members to SERVE others. That solution works for business, teams, and 1-on-1 relationships.

And, next time you are into "elevated negative emotions", ask yourself, "How am I making this about ME right now?" Of course, if you aren't objective you will not see it. But, when you are objective and see it, then slow your emotions down. Finally, go serve someone rather than complain about them.

Making Everything About ME

It's sad, but true, we spend a lot of energy to get our own way. Now some people think this disease of the "I" is more about extroverts than introverts. While I don't have any research like that, it is easy to state that a focus on yourself - ME - is more likely a common trait for everyone. Yes, extroverts may show their "ME" moments more, but introverts still are focused on ME even if it isn't really showing.

Everyone makes life about "ME", everyday in multiple ways. In contrast, GR8 Leaders help create great teams with the antidote of humility and serving others! They help create great teams when they teach and coach the 6 great values of GR8 Leaders. Additionally, they help build great teams by helping them become aware of "ME" moments.

Now some people want you to believe this is a complex issue. So, they put some psychological name on it calling it narcissism, a dysfunction, or syndrome. But, it is plain and simple SELFISHNESS.

A few years back, in a few minutes, I created a list of 22 ways that I can, and do, make everything about ME. Here are just 5 of them.

  • - Be defensive don't be teachable
  • - Be impatient don't suffer long
  • - Always be right don't learn
  • - Seek revenge don't forgive
  • - Be a quitter don't persevere

Obviously, if I spent more than a few minutes, the list would be much longer. 

This ME issue is THE PROBLEM for everyone on the face of the earth. It cripples relationships and teams. As a result, when you make life about ME, you live your life in the LEFT CIRCLE - become a perceived victim of life, circumstances, and people. Please don't do that, move the RIGHT CIRCLE. 

If you do not remember the 2 Circles, you can find them in course 6 - just click here to see what course 6 has to offer you. And, click here to read Complaining is Just Another Time "It's All About ME".

The Power of Nice

Another option is the simplicity of being nice. You might think it is trivial, but it is actually a profound cure to making life about ME. If you want a fun and insightful read, pick up The Power of Nice by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval. They offer simple principles and great stories that are insightful and uplifting, because it is all about serving others.

So, try it. Start simple, smile more at people. Say "thank you" to everyone who serves you, and treat strangers with respect. Try it for a full week. Say it to everyone who serves you, and you will start the journey away from the constant ME thoughts.

Or, if you want to approach it from the opposite side, I heard about a "Complaint Fast." The goal is do not complain for 7 days straight. If you complain in your thoughts or speech during any day, the 7 days starts again.

Making it about ME is THE PROBLEM for great teams and any relationship. Time to recognize it and do something about it.

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