A recent Stanford University study noted that one critically important trait successful executives share is the ability to work productively in a team.
In tracking the career paths of highly successful administrators and executives, researchers found that the ability to get things done through cooperation was a quality that was most sought after and rewarded.
In planning your career trajectory, you should seek out opportunities that allow you to lead a team or work in a team. If you’re a team member, you will be expected to get along with and contribute to the success of your peers. Your team members will bring different skill sets to your work group. This synergistic application of talents, properly focused is what it takes to get a job done in most organizations.
Today, being a team player is mandatory. If you want to get a certain job done, you’ll need to enroll people in the cause. But it takes more than just assembling a group. Everyone on the team must be clear as to timelines and objectives. If these elements are not resolved and tightly focused, the team will fail or produce mediocre results. This team objective can come from senior management, a written agreement by all team players or simply by corporate dictum.
As a member of a team, you must be helpful and supportive. Avoid being confrontational, or challenging, and criticize constructively. The best team players simply suggest and back up their suggestions with factual, reasoned arguments.
If you expect to rise in an administrative organization, be on the lookout for opportunities to join teams and to make meaningful, visible contributions. Volunteer for high-priority tasks and finish what you start on time. And play nice.