Team Management Systems

There is No 'I' in Team, But What About 'ME'?

By Fay Niewiadomski
Copyright © International Consulting and Training Network (ICTN). All rights reserved.

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This article was originally published in Attitude Magazine Middle East Issue 3, July-August 2011 and is reproduced here with the kind permission of both the author and Attitude Magazine.

Let us listen for a moment to the dialogs that we so often hear in business meetings:

Tom: I think we should pursue our goals with determination. There is no other way. We just have to focus on the results we want no matter what the cost!
Dick: I am not so sure that we can accomplish what you want with such disregard to the impact of your plan on people. We need to bring them along with us and that is not going to happen by simply giving them directives!
Harry: Both of you have a point but I think you have overlooked way too many details. Where is the project plan? How will people know exactly what is expected of them and when it should be completed? You guys have assumed that people know what you want from them but they don't and you haven't really mapped out the 'who, when, what, where, why and how' of this project.
Harriet: I am not sure we need to have everything planned in advance. Some PR and goodwill with the stakeholders will go a long way to ensuring that we achieve all our goals. This opportunity is so ripe that we cannot afford to wait around till all the details are in place. We need to seize the opportunity now!

If you listened carefully you have just met four people with four significantly different approaches to teamwork. This diversity can be annoying to those with preferences for one particular approach. However, if we ignore or dismiss the importance of any one of these different ways of working, we do so to our detriment.

Have you ever wondered why some groups of people succeed with spectacular results and others fail as spectacularly - even though the persons in each group are equally qualified from a technical perspective? I am sure that you also know people who are really very intelligent and gifted and yet they do not seem to achieve the success we expect for them. Have you considered why this happens?

If you look closely at the dialogs above you will notice that there are four distinct approaches in the sequence:

  • Tom is a very results-oriented person. He is interested in accomplish the TASK at hand at any cost. He will certainly drive and organize his resources relentlessly until the goal is achieved.

  • Dick is a far more people-oriented person. He wants to ensure that he achieves harmony among the members of the group to ensure that all the stakeholders have bought-into the project. For him relationships are paramount.

  • Harry is a 'perfectionist' and a person for whom the technical details are all-important. He wants a complete roadmap with timelines and clearly defined responsibilities before he embarks on any project. It is a source of stress and worry for him to see people embark on a project without a detailed plan.

  • Harriet is really different. She is spontaneous and believes that she can make things work through persuasion, networking and enlisting the help of others as she goes along. She certainly does not feel she needs a detailed plan because she is confident that she can improvise and solve problems through creative and resourceful thinking as she goes along.

At the risk of oversimplifying - the secret of successful team working is based on two principles. According to the research work of Drs. Charles Margerison and Dick McCann across the five continents of the world the two critical success factors are:

  1. Balance - meaning that Tom, Dick, Harry and Harriet are all working in one team and are making valuable contributions and they are being encouraged not only by one another but by the team leader who recognizes the importance of linking the contribution of each of them to successful team working.

  2. There is an effective Linker or team leader who masters the 13 skills of management and leadership:

    • People management: Active Listening, Communication, Team Relationships, Problem Solving & Counseling, Participative Decision Making, and Interface Management.

    • Task management: Objectives Setting, Quality Standards, Work Allocation, Team Development and Delegation.

    • Leadership: Motivation and Strategy.

You can "Take the Guess Work Out of Team Work" (TMSDI) by using scientific diagnostic tools to find the Toms, Dicks, Harrys and Harriets who belong together in a team. You can also ensure their success by selecting the leader who knows how to weld them together into a formidable force.


  • energies are focused,
  • the goal is crystal clear,
  • members value and respect the contribution of one another,
  • the path is clear,
  • and the leader is an inspiration to the group,

you have a High-Performance Team second to none.

'I' is replaced with 'WE' and every member of the team knows why he or she is in that team and the role they need to play to succeed as 'ME' and 'WE'.

The concepts and ideas discussed in this article are based on the work of Drs. Charles Margerison and Dick McCann and represent decades of research.

Copyright © International Consulting and Training Network (ICTN). All rights reserved.

Fay Niewiadomski left a successful academic career to found ICTN (International Consulting and Training Network) in 1993. ICTN. ICTN provides complete management services to the leading regional and multinational players in the Middle East and Africa. For over fifteen years Fay has been working with Team Management Systems Development International and is authorized by TMSDI, UK to accredit and support other professionals to use these psychometric tools. Fay is also a master facilitator in Emotional Intelligence and is certified to deliver and coach executives with the EBW-Emotions and Behaviours at Work Profile. Fay is a certified 5-PATH® Clinical Hypnotherapist, Master Hypnotist and 7th Path Self-Hypnosis® Teacher. She is well versed in the use of NLP and trained as a Strategic Interventionist with Anthony Robbins and psychologist, Cloe Madanes. Fay has presented nearly 2000 workshops, published close to 300 articles on the business culture of the Middle East, training manuals and case studies. In addition, she has worked with business and government leaders to help them meet the challenges of change within their organizations through creative problem solving, management interventions and powerful communication strategies.

For more information visit or contact Fay at