When you have a goose or duck in nature that falls out of the flock while flying it feels the extra effort needed to fly alone. When this happens, they will often have to land more frequently. The full flock in flight together means that their team mates take up some of the extra effort that flying requires. They help to pull along those who are weaker or slower.
This is also what we see happen when we have a glory hound or a hot dog trying to play in a sporting event. There are some great examples of this in basketball and football recently, when teams that had stronger players did not prevail due to their inability to function as a cohesive unit.
When ducks and geese fly, they often take turns taking the headwind. When one of them tires, another moves forward to take the wind while the tired member of the flock drops back where it is able to rest a little.
When a duck or goose tires or is sick, it lands assisted by two of the other flock mates who stay with it until it is either rested and better, or dies, at which time they will join another flock or try to catch up with their flock.
Are you allowing those who are better at a given task to take the lead? Are you and others practicing good team player behavior by supporting those who are able to do less in a given area, but can do more in another? Are you helping them to develop better skills as well as learning from them?
The moral here is that no single member of the team can take all of the headwind. There is no one out there who isn’t going to tire in the face of doing all the work and there is not a member of the team who is not going to balk at being the backup for a hot dog all of the time.
The single biggest detriment to any team is the person who lacks the humility or the strength of ego that it takes to know when to step back and allow someone else to lead. It’s difficult at best to accept that you’re not able to do or accomplish everything and that someone else may be better at something than you are, but that is what it takes to lead or to be part of a team. Allowing your team mates the means to shine, stepping back and using the strengths that another brings to the table is imperative.
All of us need to learn to rotate to the back of the formation every now and again and let those with greater expertise do the job in order to promote the good of the entire flock–as it were.
The single biggest detriment to any team is not trusting each other and not knowing when to drop back and support the other players, allowing them a moment in the sun.
In the third and final part of this series on building teams in the hospital, we’ll explore how we can generate more trust, help the other players and boost our own overall bottom line by using our teams wisely and well.
Mitch Robbins is an expert as it relates to Interim and Direct Hire Nursing Leadership Recruitment for hospitals and clinics, helping organizations build best in class clinical leadership teams in the USA.
Learn to how to STOP losing your best nurses, IMPROVE your patient outcomes and DECREASE your staffing costs with special guest LeAnn Thieman. Download the free webinar transcript with LeAnn, Hall of Fame Speaker, Nurse, and Co-Author of the book Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul. Download your free copy here.