“The Best Team on Paper or Purpose?”

by Lakecia Carter, PMP

Teamwork. Teamplayer. Teambuilding. All are positive terms that we hear everyday. The one word they all have in common is “TEAM”. Team is one of the most overused words in the Teamwork. Teamplayer. Teambuilding.workplace, yet the most misunderstood. Some teams are the best on paper, meaning the organization chart, with boxes, lines, names and job titles define them. Other teams are the best on purpose. By purpose, I mean they have core values, a vision and mission, a “real” team. Which one are you part of? Here are 3 things to consider:


Being a real team takes intentionality and real work. Work is not defined as keeping up with birthdays, anniversaries, and potluck luncheons. While these are all great team activities, they have very little to do with being a team. Teams that work maximize the talents of each individual to form a collective powerhouse. Teams leverage each other’s unique talents and abilities to get things done.


Real teams have fun. They laugh and enjoy the work they do. Humor in the workplace is a survival mechanism. It helps us keep things in perspective. While there is a time and a place for fun, it should be valued to cultivate a healthy team environment.


Every building begins with a foundation. The team’s foundation is framed by its core values, vision and mission. Teambuilding is a journey, not an event. It takes time to cultivate a healthy team environment.

You can be the best team on paper, but paper teams fail. Paper teams create and perpetuate low morale and become stagnant over time. Why not be the best team on purpose? What about your team? Is your team the best team on paper or on purpose?

If you found these tips from Lakecia Carter, PMP of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in her self-paced, downloadable courses at PDUs2Go.com.


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