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Why being part of a winning team is important.

By Ruth Tearle

Why should you care about the team you work in?

Working for a losing rather than a winning team is career limiting.

Leading teams at work is one of those ‘softer’ subjects that often appear on leadership training courses. Whether you learn about ‘high performance teams’ or ‘winning teams’, you leave a course feeling that this is all nice to know, but not really important to the business or to you right now.

Yet the type of team you are associated with, will affect your pocket and career – both as a leader and a team member.

This article shows the benefits of working in a winning team, and why it is career limiting to continue working in a losing team.

10 reasons why you need to work for a winning team.

1. People are attracted to winning teams.

Just like at school, where kids used to like to befriend attractive and popular kids, so in the adult world of business, people like to be associated with winning teams. This is because who you associate with reflects back on you. Being associated with winners makes people look and feel good about themselves.

winning-team2. Winning teams get more political support from executives.

Key sponsors and executives are more likely to support winning teams than teams who don’t perform, make excuses for non performance or constantly blame one another.

3. Winning teams get support from other teams in the organization.

People in other departments are more likely to lend support to teams that excel, than to teams that have a poor reputation.

4. Winning teams get support from their customers.

Winning teams can count on support from their customers when they need it. They find it easy to get positive testimonials from their customers. When they have a problem, they can easily talk to their customers about it, and find solutions together.

5. Winning teams find it easier to succeed.

They get more political support from executives, they get bigger budgets, and their customers go out of their way to support them. They therefore face far fewer frustrations, or barriers to success, compared to losing teams.

6. Winning teams become more confident.

Because they find it much easier to be successful, team members in winning teams become more and more confident about their ability to succeed.

7. Leaders in other areas communicate more with winning teams.

Winning teams are often the first to hear about new projects in the organization – as other teams often want to hook into the political clout that winning teams have. They have more time to plan to take advantage of new organizational initiatives.

8. Winning team members get offered better career opportunities.

People in winning teams get noticed by people with power. When new opportunities arise outside of their team, they are the first to be considered for new projects or promotions.

9. Winning teams get better rewards.

Leaders of winning teams get bigger budgets. They therefore have more scope to reward team members with bonuses or increases.

10. Winning teams enter into a vicious cycle of success.

The more the teams achieve, the more support they get. The more support they get, the easier it is for them to succeed. Their customers and other departments talk positively about them. This increases both their confidence and their power as teams and as individuals.

10 reasons why working for a losing team can harm you.

1. People avoid losing teams.

Like a bad smell, people avoid being associated in any way with losing teams.

losing-team2. People who work in losing teams are, by association, seen as losers.

It doesn't matter that the reason you are in an ineffective team, is not your fault. Blaming your boss, or the lack of support your team gets from others won't change other's perceptions of you. People who work in ineffective teams are seen as ineffective themselves.

3. Losing teams get left out.

When important changes occur in the organization, leaders and other departments don't see the losing team as important. So they often don’t bother to communicate with them or keep them in the picture.

4. Losing team's members have limited career options.

When leaders in other parts of the organization are looking for people for promotions or new positions, they don't consider members of losing teams. They often feel that the team cannot handle their current role, they won't be able to handle bigger challenges.

5. Losing teams don’t get political support they need.

Key sponsors and executives don’t make time to talk to people who work in losing teams. It is very difficult for people in losing teams to get political support from sponsors or executives.

6. It is much harder to work in a losing team than a winning team.

Customers and other departments get into a habit of complaining about your team, rather than helping your team or smoothing the way. When you ask them for help, they often have an attitude“Why should I help your team now, when your team failed to meet its commitments?

7. Team members lose confidence in themselves.

When failure becomes a habit, and a team is receiving complaints rather than compliments, team members lose confidence in their ability to succeed. This affects their self esteem. Their future looks hopeless - because without self confidence, it becomes emotionally impossible to plan for the future, or look for a better job.

8. Being part of a losing team is bad for your health.

Constant complaints from customers and other departments cause stress. Failing to meet deadlines or quality standards means the team is often put under immense pressure to rectify issues urgently. This causes even more stress. Continual stress is bad for health.

9. Losing teams earn less.

Without a track record of success, the team leader is less confident about asking for increased budgets and rewards for his/her team. And he/she is more likely to have his/her budget cut - or his team merged into other teams.

10. Losing teams get caught up in a vicious cycle of losing.

Failing. Losing confidence. Losing support. Failing again. Feeling frustrated. Feeling stressed. Losing more confidence. Getting less support. Feeling demotivated. Doing less. Failing again.

What to do if you suspect you are not working for a winning team.

What should you do, if you suspect you are not working for a winning team.

  1. Begin by rating the effectiveness of your team. Discover where your team is effective, and where it needs to improve. Use our

    to rate the effectiveness of your team.

  2. If you suspect you are working for a losing team, take some action now. Use our to find the cause of your team problem. Then follow the solutions provided by the tool.

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