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Key to a Winning Team - Rules of the Game
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The third key for winning is to know the rules of the game. Can you imagine trying to win a game if you didn't know the rules? Often employees lack motivation and productivity because the expectations are unclear. Do your employees know the company core values? Have you invested time in defining core values and communicating the company culture to every team member?

Once you have a strong leader that has the respect of the team, and a common goal to shoot for, then it is time to define the playing field.

Most people have an inherent resistance to rules. Basically, no one likes to be told by someone else what they can and cannot do. It feels like an infringement on their personal identity and freedom. So with that challenge in mind, let's talk rules of the game.
If you put rules in the context of a game, they take on a different feel and value. The rules in a game define the game. A game with no rules is mayhem, and certainly not too much fun. The rules in a game define how you win, how you succeed, and communicate the appropriate relationship between the team members - their roles and functions defined.

For a winning team to embrace and love the rules, the leader must communicate the function of the rules. It is not to squelch creativity or to control and smother, but rather to clearly define the structure and means to winning. Once the team knows the rules, they are actually freed to innovate and play the game the best it can be played. If a player clearly knows the boundaries, then he is free to play the game. If he is unsure, he will move very slowly and tentatively.

As the leader, it is your responsibility to work with your team to define your culture and your rules. This will bring a security and effectiveness to the team. It removes guesswork and distractions that come from trying to hit a moving target.

So clearly defined rules of the game need to be known and followed if you are going to have a winning team.

Added: 17th May 2011

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