Teamwork Sucks Because Most Managers Suck

Why teams? Do we accomplish more and reduce costs, or is it just wishful thinking? Working in teams makes for a great sound bite, but in the real world, your world, do they produce the results you want, or do they create more problems than they’re worth? Every semester – in at least one of my college business classes, I would have a team assignment worth a significant portion of the student’s final grade; I picked the teams – they chose their team leader. If you asked them about their challenges and experiences working on a team, most would tell you that teamwork sucks.

Worth Remembering – “It is not the individual but the team that is the instrument of sustained and enduring success in management.” – Anthony Jay.

Teamwork sucks because some team members are slackers and don’t fully participate and pull their weight. These “Social Loafers” count on blending into the background where their lack of effort isn’t easily spotted. And if spotted, they know that most team members are reluctant to do anything about it. Teamwork sucks because not everyone on the team shows up to meetings on time, if at all, and seldom replies to emails or text messages. Teamwork sucks because the quality of some team members’ work often falls short of expectations, so the team leader has to redo their portion of the project. Teamwork sucks because most managers suck.

Worth Remembering – “Coming together is a beginning – keeping together is progress – working together is a success.” – Henry Ford

Having team members work together is a challenging undertaking at the best of times. You can’t expect to throw a bunch of people together, call them a team, and expect them to perform like one without carefully setting team goals and priorities and how team members are selected and trained. Everyone on the team needs to work harmoniously and coordinate their efforts with the other team members to accomplish the overall team objective.

Teamwork sucks, and what managers can do about it.

  • Managers must monitor individual performances so social loafers can’t go undetected. You must hold everyone accountable.
  • Managers can improve team performance by selecting individuals based on their soft skills and not just their technical abilities. Choose people who like being around people and working with others.
  • Managers must be tuned in to the “Unofficial Grapevine” to know what is happening. No news is not good news.
  • Managers must keep their lines of communication open – so everyone on the team is in the loop. Everyone on the team must be able to express their opinions and concerns.
  • Managers must be fair and consistent with everyone on the team when imposing group standards, policies and procedures. Even their superstars need to be held accountable.

What training are you providing to help yourself and your team members to communicate and interact more effectively, resolve conflict or motivate others to perform at their best? It is not the individual but the team that will determine the outcome. Everyone achieves more together, but only if all team members row in the same direction.

Copyright (c) 2023. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. Training doesn’t have to be expensive to be good – it just has to be the right kind of training. All of Brian’s programs can be delivered virtually or in person. To learn more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization, visit or email Brian – at

How To Get Along With People Even If You Don’t Like Them

Rarely can you accomplish all that you set out to do without help from someone else. You don’t have to like the people you work with, but you must learn how to get along with them. Daniel Goleman believes that soft skills – often called emotional intelligence – are a common core of personal and social abilities that have proven critical to people’s success.

Worth Remembering – “One of the most important things about being a good manager is to rule with a heart. You have to know the business, but you also have to know what is at the heart of the business, and that’s people.” – Oprah.

A better understanding of yourself and understanding others’ behaviours allows you to improve your performance in relationships at home and work. Your technical abilities alone no longer guarantee success in working with others. Results of a study conducted by the HayGroup, a leading authority on emotional intelligence, show that EQ (emotional intelligence) is twice as important for most jobs involving working with people than IQ. You don’t have to be the most intelligent person in the room to be the most effective. Sixty-seven percent of the competencies needed to work with others are emotionally based. You can learn to be more empathetic, open-minded, and flexible and communicate and interact more effectively with others.

Worth Remembering – “In organizations where people trust and believe in each other, they don’t get into regulating and coercing behaviours. They don’t need a policy for every mistake. People in trusting environments respond with enormous commitment and creativity.’ – Walter Wriston.

Establishing a relationship based on mutual respect and trust is a learned behaviour. It is a process that all humans go through when meeting someone for the very first time. We take direction and like to hang out with people we like. Trust and respect don’t come automatically. You must earn it one person at a time. You must learn to get along with people even if you don’t like them. Working with others is a team sport. Just like it takes a village to raise a child – it takes a team to manage and lead an organization.

Take the 3-R Challenge and learn how to get along with people even if you don’t like them.

Think of someone you are having difficulty working with. For whatever reason, you two are not getting along. It can be someone at work or in your social circles. Please take on this Challenge and turn that situation around. I want you to apply a 3-step process known as the 3-Rs. (Rapport, Relationship, Respect) I promise you will be amazed at how effective it is to establish those all-important relationships.

Step One: Establish Rapport. Find out something about them other than the work they do. Do they have hobbies? Are they married? Do they have children? What do they like to do in their spare time? The easiest way to establish rapport is to get them talking about themselves. Ask questions, and show interest in them. If you show interest in them – they will be interested in you.

Step Two: Develop a Relationship. You cannot develop a relationship with anyone unless you have established rapport first. The more you converse with them on subjects they are interested in – the more likely you are to develop a relationship with them. You are beginning to break down the barriers between you and them. You are starting to like each other or at least tolerate each other.

Step Three: Mutual Respect. You will not respect anyone until you first develop a relationship with them. Respect is reciprocal, but you have to give it before you get it back. The more you treat someone how you want to be treated, the more likely they will respond in kind. You get back what you send out.

Build Trust; You will never build trust with anyone you don’t respect first. If you establish mutual respect in your relationships with the other person, they will trust you. They may not always agree with you, and you may not always agree with them, but they will respect that you have a right to express your opinion.

Take the 3-R Challenge.

Take the 3-R Challenge and establish those all-important relationships. Contact me at – and let me know how you made out. I am here to help you succeed. Remember – You don’t have to like them, but you do need to learn how to get along with them.

Copyright (c) 2023. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. Are you looking for a corporate training provider, a keynote speaker for your next conference or planning an in-person or virtual workshop? Contact Brian – he will customize a program for you and your organization. To learn more about Brian and what he can do for you, visit – All four of Brian’s published books are available on Amazon –

It’s Time Leaders Got FOCUSED On People

People like to work with and socialize with people they like. Building relationships at work is just as meaningful as building relationships with those you interact with outside of work. The newest generation to enter the workforce – Gen Z – prefers to work for an organization that allows fun, friendships and life-enriching activities. How much fun are you and your leadership team to be around?

Worth Remembering – “Good coaching is about leadership and instilling respect in your players. Dictators lead through fear – good coaches like good leaders don’t.” – Unknown

It’s time leaders got FOCUSED on People.

F – Friendly – Smile, say hello, and develop those all-important relationships. You need to expand your circle of influence. Lead by walking around and getting to know everyone on your team.

O – Organized – My Dad told me you’re late if you don’t show up 15 minutes before you said you would. You’re sending the wrong message if you don’t arrive on time – you’re telling everyone that your time is more valuable than theirs.

C – Courteous – Treat people respectfully, even if you don’t like them. It costs you nothing to be respectful of others. But it pays dividends.

U – Understanding – You need to see things from another person’s point of view. You only know what you know – and you can’t know everything. Be empathetic, open-minded and flexible.

S – Sincere – What you say and do must be congruent. If you genuinely want to build relationships with others, how you treat them will be evident.

E – Energized – Be passionate and enthusiastic about what you are doing and the direction the organization is headed.; others will want to follow.

D – Dependable – Whatever you say you will do – do it. People must be able to depend on you. Your word must be your bond. If others can’t trust your word – they won’t trust you.

Worth Remembering – “Show respect to others even when they don’t deserve it. Showing respect to others reflects your character – not theirs.” – Unknown.

People won’t care about you or your organization unless they know how much you care about them. People won’t respect you or your leadership team – unless they know you respect them. Respect is reciprocal – you have to give it to get it. You can’t demand respect – you must earn it.

Copyright (c) 2023. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To learn more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization, visit: All four of Brian’s books are available on Amazon in print and e-reader editions.

The Key To Stress-Free Goal Setting For 2023

Well, that’s a wrap. You can say goodbye to 2022. It’s another year in the books. How did you make out? Did you accomplish everything you set out to do? What’s left on the to-do list that you didn’t accomplish and want to carry over to 2023? The key to stress-free goal setting is to plan them the way you plan your vacation. Like a great vacation, a great plan always starts with the end in mind. You need to decide what goal you want to accomplish – write down all the things that need to fall into place to reach your goal and then put together your itinerary so you end up where you want to go.

Worth Remembering … “Our goals can only be reached through the vehicle of a plan. There is no other route to success.” – Pablo Picasso.

1. Specific: You’ve got to name it to claim it. You need to decide where you want to go. If it is Florida – where in Florida? What city, town, hotel or resort? Are you flying there, taking a bus or driving your vehicle? If you are driving, do you have a map? If you fail to plan your route of travel – then don’t be surprised where you end up. Be specific; don’t generalize.

2. Measurable: You need to decide how long it will take you to get there. Are you going to stop along the way – or drive straight through? If you are going to stop along the way – how many miles a day are you going to drive, and where will you stay for the night? You need to measure your progress to know you have the right plan to get you to your final destination at the allotted time.

3. Attainable: Have you put together a budget? Your goal isn’t attainable if you don’t have all the resources you’ll need to vacation in Florida. You might have to put that goal on your wish list and revisit it later. If you decide your goal isn’t feasible, don’t waste time planning it.

4. Realistic: You need to decide how long you will stay in Florida so you know when you need to leave to get back home. You have to be honest with yourself. Can you do everything you want to do in the time you have? Your goal needs a realistic timeline, so you aren’t setting yourself up to fail.

5. Time-Based: You need to decide when is the best time to take a vacation? Do you have a specific date in mind? Time-based goals give you a sense of urgency. They can motivate you to take action. They can keep you on track and help you manage your time. Don’t spend your free time working on something that won’t help you accomplish your goal. Every minute you spend putting your plan together will save you time implementing it.

Worth Remembering … “Personal excellence can be achieved by a visionary goal, through planning, dedicated execution, and total follow-through.” – Gerald Ford

Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect plan. Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain caused by adverse circumstances. Adverse circumstances are issues that are beyond your control. Be prepared to roll with the punches if you hit a roadblock or something unexpected happens. You may have to adjust your plan on the fly. The key to stress-free goal setting is to plan them like you are planning your vacation, but have a plan B just in case plan A doesn’t work out as you hoped.

Copyright (c) 2022. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To learn more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization, visit – All four of Brian’s books are available on Amazon in print and e-reader formats. https;//