Written by

Bernard Marr

Bernard Marr is a world-renowned futurist, influencer and thought leader in the fields of business and technology, with a passion for using technology for the good of humanity. He is a best-selling author of 20 books, writes a regular column for Forbes and advises and coaches many of the world’s best-known organisations. He has over 2 million social media followers, 1 million newsletter subscribers and was ranked by LinkedIn as one of the top 5 business influencers in the world and the No 1 influencer in the UK.

Bernard’s latest book is ‘Business Trends in Practice: The 25+ Trends That Are Redefining Organisations’

View Latest Book

Follow Me

Bernard Marr ist ein weltbekannter Futurist, Influencer und Vordenker in den Bereichen Wirtschaft und Technologie mit einer Leidenschaft für den Einsatz von Technologie zum Wohle der Menschheit. Er ist Bestsellerautor von 20 Büchern, schreibt eine regelmäßige Kolumne für Forbes und berät und coacht viele der weltweit bekanntesten Organisationen. Er hat über 2 Millionen Social-Media-Follower, 1 Million Newsletter-Abonnenten und wurde von LinkedIn als einer der Top-5-Business-Influencer der Welt und von Xing als Top Mind 2021 ausgezeichnet.

Bernards neueste Bücher sind ‘Künstliche Intelligenz im Unternehmen: Innovative Anwendungen in 50 Erfolgreichen Unternehmen’

View Latest Book

Follow Me

9 Things That Destroy Successful Teams

2 July 2021

It’s happened to all of us at one time or another — from grammar school all the way up through to our careers: we’re placed into a new team to complete a project, and something just doesn’t click. 





Suddenly, a group of people who are ordinarily competent and diligent can’t seem to get anything done. Deadlines whiz past like the scenery outside a high speed train and projects sink toward failure.

Why is that?  What is it that turns teams into dysfunctional groups of people?  I’ve identified nine key factors that can turn an otherwise competent team into a sinking mess:

Ego. 

When someone’s ego is more important than the team, the project, or the goal, things break down quickly. This can happen when one person is more interested in “looking good” for the boss than getting the work done, when someone is always placing blame, or when someone feels and acts like they are too good to do the necessary work.

Negative competition. 

Lighthearted competition can be a good thing, especially for certain kinds of teams. In a sales team, for example, individual members can be motivated by gamifying their work with a leaderboard or bonuses for high performance. But when competition goes too far, it can destroy a sense of teamwork and create a “you versus me” atmosphere that isn’t good for anyone.

Poor communication. 

When the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, it causes all sorts of problems: duplicate work, forgotten work, missed deadlines, etc. Communication is absolutely key to a team that works.

Micromanagement. 

When employees have to get approval or sign-off on every single thing they do, it slows down the workflow considerably. Team leaders need to be able to trust employees to make the right choices, and employees need to feel comfortable asking for help when they need it. The right balance here is key.

Criticism without praise. 

I’ve known managers in my career whose entire management philosophy was to criticise everything and rarely if ever dole out praise.  I think you can imagine how well that went over with their team. Constructive criticism (keyword: constructive) is vital to helping employees grow, but generous and well timed praise is also important for maintaining enthusiasm and morale.

Unreasonable expectations. 

As a member of a team, nothing feels worse than the sinking feeling of knowing that you will never reach your targets, no matter how hard you work.  Goals that are a stretch and require a lot of the team are good, but goals that are way out of reach are depressing. It won’t make employees work harder; it will make them want to give up.

Half-hearted work. 

Having one or more member of the team who only puts in half an effort — showing up late, leaving early, checking email all day, etc. — has a decidedly negative impact on the whole team. It’s important that everyone is putting in a full, equal effort.

Stubbornness. 

When members of a team adopt a “my way or the highway” approach, no one benefits. When working in a team, everyone needs to be open to new ideas, new approaches, and experimentation — even, and perhaps especially, the leader. Just because you’ve always done it that way doesn’t mean that’s the best way to do it.

Leading with emotions. 

Instinct, emotions, and gut feelings all have their place, but bringing emotions too much into the team can have a deleterious effect. A team member who always feels spurned when his idea isn’t chosen, who sees slights (real and imagined) in every interaction, or who takes home the stress and anxiety about a project may be bringing too many emotions into the workplace.

Business Trends In Practice | Bernard Marr
Business Trends In Practice | Bernard Marr

Related Articles

Developing The Most In-Demand Skills For The Future Of Work

Artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, automation – as well as less technologically-driven disruptions such as pandemics[...]

Why Authenticity Matters And Every Organization And Business Leader Must Keep It Real | Bernard Marr

Why Authenticity Matters And Every Organization And Business Leader Must Keep It Real

It’s kind of a woolly term, isn’t it, authenticity? No doubt it means slightly different things to different people. But broadly speaking, authenticity[...]

Google’s New Performance Management Update

American companies are in the midst of dealing with what has been dubbed “The Great Resignation,” an exodus of employees seeking higher pay[...]

Why Every Business Needs To Prepare For The Shifting Talent Pool

As swiftly became clear during the pandemic, technology is enabling new ways of working, with many organizations adopting remote or hybrid working practices.[...]

Why Every Business Should Consider Switching To A Flatter, More Agile Organizational Structure

Whether you work for a startup, a giant multinational, or something in between, organizational structure is so embedded in the notion of work and business that we hardly notice it.[...]

The Future Of Work: 4-Day Week And Pioneering Ideas At Virgin Money

Work has changed immeasurably over the decades that I have been in the workforce, and I am sure that 20 years from now, it will be unrecognizable from how it is today.[...]

Stay up-to-date

  • Get updates straight to your inbox
  • Join my 1 million newsletter subscribers
  • Never miss any new content

Social Media

0
Followers
0
Followers
0
Followers
0
Subscribers
0
Followers
0
Subscribers
0
Yearly Views
0
Readers

Podcasts

View Podcasts