The Power of Teams

By Steve Garber

What do we really do on our own? Very little, if anything, at all!

Your family is a team. Your medical care is a team. Your business is a team, even if you are a sole practitioner. Indeed, you are likely teeming with teams in your life. Managing these teams can be really challenging, but it is the secret sauce to success in every area of our lives, particularly at work.

Think of this saying, supposedly a Japanese proverb: “None of us is as smart as all of us.” As successful as you are, you’ve probably enjoyed some really wonderful teams in your life; and some, shall we say, “not-so-good” teams. The divorce rate is well over 40 percent – and for second marriages, it is north of 60 percent. The failure rate of startup businesses is over 70 percent in the first two years, while Forbes actually says over 90 percent of them will fail. And families? Well, for most of us, they are hard work and chaotic – but they are worth every minute and ounce of energy we devote to them. This is true at work as well.

I’m often told that tennis stars or golf champions are not on teams. “Look at their solo success!” I did. He or she IS a team. They travel with coaches, trainers, chefs and all sorts of assistants and, often, with their families as well. It’s their team that keeps them going, succeeding and winning.

Even in computing, we use “teams” of computers, some sitting in the room on racks, visible for us all to see, and some connected through the Cloud. All of them together are so much more powerful than any one of them alone. It’s the same with people. We need teams. We need to communicate, collaborate and co-create in order to be successful. No business can be fruitful for very long if there is not a solid team in place.

Susie Kim Riley, a serial entrepreneur who has started several successful companies, says, “My colleagues would be jet-lagged, food-deprived and sleep-deprived – and they would have a meeting. Imagine you’re a Marine… You’re on a mission and a lot of times it’s like a battle, but with the right team and the right beliefs, you are going to get through it.”

Helping people work well together successfully and passionately is my mission in life, and it is my team’s – my business’ – purpose. Think of your team as an amazing orchestra functioning with a clear and abiding sense of common purpose, a deep and instinctive trust, an open and powerful communication, and confronting issues fully and effectively. That’s harmony. That’s sustainable. That’s the power of teams. ¿

Steve Garber is director of Third Level Ltd. Contact him at 561.752.5505 or

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