10/09/2014 06:11 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Super Teams, not Superstars

Sometimes you can feel it immediately. This "something" that is hard to explain, but so easy to feel. A "something" which is part of the culture, and the basis for how we behave. For the good and the bad.

We've been in New York City for a few days. And the hotel where we stayed had this "something". Luckily, it was the good one. A warm and welcoming energy, a feeling that surrounded us and made us feel at home. And it was not because of one or two remarkable persons. It was because of everyone. The entire staff. But it did not stop there. The love and care was also in the food, in the way they made coffee, the furnitures, the shampoo, and the way the beds were made.

Since we work with helping companies and executive teams to unleash their inner strengths and focus on how the culture define the potential for a successful strategy, we soon started asking: "Do you like working here?" we asked. "Yes! I love it.", "Not only because it is a great place, but also because of my colleagues.", "No matter what has happened before I arrive at work, I always get really happy when we work together.", "I look forward to meet the people in my team, we're like best friends" they said. Everyone we asked said this. The. Same. Thing. That they loved working with their team-mates. And we could see it in their eyes. They were shining. They were genuinely happy. And that's kind of interesting...

We have no idea what the strategic fundament this chain of hotels is built upon. And we do not know how conscious their approach of focusing on a positive work life environment is. But whatever they do, it for sure works. What we met was a super team, who had focus not only on their individual behavior, but on how they collectively could help every guest shine like a star.

It reminds us of a major program Cisco started implementing in their team a decade or so ago. For them "the shift from focusing on super stars to super teams generated millions of dollars in savings and billions of dollars in new business opportunities." According to the article "Cisco Creates a New Generation of Collaborative Leaders".

We love collaboration. And if you can do it in a way that help you shine like a super team - it will get noticed. From people around, from clients, from the bosses.

You can do it, too. It starts with defining "how can we be a super team - not only super stars?" How can we work together to support this? What behavior enhances this way of working, and what does not? What consequences does this have on all different levels in the organization? And ultimately - what does it mean for me?

Look around - who's in your superteam? How can you contribute making your team stronger? How can you make sure that your collaborative efforts are stronger than your competition?

What are your thoughts on this? And remember, it all starts on the top. As a leader you are the guiding light in matters like this.