What is it that is happening in our workplaces that is causing the need for us to take a new look at leadership styles, and even a new look at the very role of leadership? I believe the primary driver of this new look is how work is being performed. Work is being performed more and more by teams, not by individual contributors, not by individual departments, not by individual companies, and not even by individual countries. Whether we are speaking of the smallest of businesses or massive global companies or even of world powers, our work is being completed and our goals are being accomplished by teams. The ability to collaborate has become the key to the success of an enterprise (Excerpt from the 12th International Conference on Work Teams, http://www.boeing.com/news/speeches/2001/koellner_010911.html.
There is probably no better example of individuals using teamwork to accomplish a task, than those individuals responsible for the building of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Although the other six wonders are gone, the great pyramid of Giza was probably the most impressive wonder of them all. One reason why the Giza pyramid was so fascinating was that it was one of the earliest buildings ever to be made by precisely cutting and putting together great blocks of stone. Imagine the planning, architectural prowess, and the operational management of all the individuals involved with the construction! .
Another outstanding example of teamwork was the American bomber crews of World War II. Both the B-17 and B-24 bombers carried ten men, each with a specialty and each vital to team performance. The team had an official mission each day they flew (bomb a specific target). They also had an unofficial goal (Survive for 25 missions). These dual missions were powerful motivators for all aboard the aircraft. The Army Air Force recognized the value of teamwork, so before combat, bomber teams trained together for more than a year.