For years, experts have known that establishing role clarity is essential to performing well as a team. “Here’s what she does. This is what he’s responsible for,” says the manager. “This is why we’ll succeed.”
Not so fast. Establishing who does what and when is the simple step. But if it’s all that’s done, the team is in trouble. Because a consistent focus on what separates us will surely divide us. (This is when role clarity sets a team up for failure.)
Equally important: determining what unites us as a team.
After establishing role clarity, the teams that eventually succeed take the next step to establish their shared and unifying reality. It’s only when we understand and focus on what we have in common that we establish an identity that unites us. This is when we can truly leverage our differences.
Individually, our work matters. Together, our efforts matter more.
It’s worth asking the team: Does our understanding of the roles we each play divide us or enable us to make a greater difference together?