Friday reflection v. 9 - The self for the team


A few weeks ago I listened to a webinar with Svante Randlert, arranged by Almi Mälardalen. He said many good things but something I have been reflecting a bit about was "the team before the self". Randlert talked about what it meant and what the effects have been. Without directly quoting Randlert, I can only agree.

We've talked so much about "team before self" that it's stuck with us all, but what does it mean really mean? That we should fight for the team, together? But does it really say anything about who should take responsibility for which part? Should everyone run on the same ball? Does "team before self" mean that we all need to contribute individually to make things happen, or has it really led to everyone thinking that it's someone else on the team who should be taking charge?

Allow me to go back to last week's reflection, where I reflected on how to do in the world of sport, more specifically in team sports. There, each player has his own unique position and you get clear feedback on your performance. Each one knows what they have to do in order for us to succeed as a team, together. Have we lost that in the world of work? I think so much time, effort and money is spent on developing nice values. But does everyone in the team know them and most importantly - do they know their purpose and what their role is in the team for us to achieve our goals?

I often see that leadership happens mostly in teams. You don't have time to do more as a leader because you are too occupied with being part of the business and the delivery. If we go back to sport: does the leader run on the pitch and score the goal himself or is it the striker who does it while the defender is ready to defend in case of a counter attack? Then we come to Mr Randlert and his point - what if we replace "team before self" with "self for the team". We should still perform for the sake of the team, but EVERYONE'S CONTRIBUTION IS IMPORTANT!

This means that you, as a leader, have a big and important task to make everyone understand their purpose and why their effort is so important for the team to perform. You need to look at each individual's development and performance linked to the common goal. What does each individual need to develop in order for the team to take the next step together?

For this to happen, these conversations must take place more frequently than once every six months. I know it can feel difficult, overwhelming and like you don't have the time. But are you going to play the game and be the man of the match or are you going to get everyone on the pitch to perform? Which will give the best results in the long run? What happens if you can't score anymore and get injured? Who will attack then? The person in question may have already grown tired of you scoring the goals and is now looking for a new team.

If you want help sorting this out, there is fantastic support in Rolf, which offers the opportunity to start at its simplest level and then take it one step at a time. All to help you become a coach who cheers on and brings out the best in the players on the pitch rather than making the goals yourself.


Pia Nilsson,