Moving From Me To We BlogMoving From Me To We Blog

Build Strong Teams the Obama Way

We can be stakeholders in the future of the U.S., not free-riders.  We are called to participate in its renewal. Not only can we do what is asked but we’re being asked what should be done. 

In true  Me2We style Obama keeps assuming that you and I can

 recruit teams of rivals (and participate in other teams) to get greater things done better – together.  Why not try these team-building behaviors in your social, civic or work life now? 

Here’s six keys to cultivating thriving teams like the thousands launched during the fast-growing, “no drama” Obama campaign:

1. Be specific about the top, actionable goal of the group.

2. Identify what needs to be done to reach the goal, then recruit individuals who have the specific talents or other resources to get those tasks done.

3. Approach each person by describing the goal, the specific way each one can help achieve it and why it would benefit that person; then describe the Sweet Spot of mutual benefit for all teammates to participate. 

4. Review above 3 items with everyone when first meeting together; ask for improvements in the goal and if others should be recruited to accomplish it; then agree on who should facilitate the group. 

5. Seek agreement on the Rules of Engagement by which your group will operate and on the timetable.

6. When the goal is met, de-brief on what worked and what didn’t, then discuss other possible goals for which some or all team mates may want to work together again. Why not start now where you face a problem or an opportunity?  

Speaking of a new kind of teamwork, Patrick May predicts that tomorrow will be the “most socially networked moment in history.” Ironically those out and about in D.C. may not be participating because their mobile phones (talking, texting and sending videos and photos) have already overloaded the networks. The rest of us can join in at several sites.



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  1. Posted January 20, 2009 at 1:42 pm | Permalink


    Excellent post. Great comments on finding ways to work together where you have similarities or a common interest rather than arguing over your differences. Thanks for the thoughts.


  2. Posted January 21, 2009 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    This is an insightful post. It’s amazing to me how easy candidate Obama made teamwork look. And yet the rest of us continue to struggle! Let’s hope President Obama can bring the fractious pieces of this country together and move us forward to a better place.

  3. Posted January 28, 2009 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Hi Kare

    I like this post. I can see how this could work on an individual goal-setting level as well as with teams in business or civic life. On an individual level a lot of the times we forget that in order to achieve something it’s useful for us to ask for help from others who may be more experienced. And, as you say, understanding the reason why we want to achieve a goal can help.



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