Leadership and Teamwork to Ensure Success

Later this week I will be trudging through the snow to get to an exit point in the Swiss mountains before moving to the Dolomites in Italy for more wingsuit BASE jumping.  Making this happen involves planning, teamwork and leadership.  It is vital to understand how to operate as either the leader or a team member to ensure success.

Alastair Macartney flies his wingsuit in Switzerland.

Fortunately for me, I have planned expeditions and jumped in both of these locations before.  This makes the process infinitely easier.  This training expedition that I’m going on is also smaller in comparison to previous ventures when we produce movies such as this Flying The Eiger, The Making Of and Proximity Flying.  Despite, this there is still a strong requirement for teamwork and leadership to achieve the successful execution of my plan.  Failure, in the environment that I operate in, can be catastrophic- an outcome that I must mitigate against and avoid (this is covered in another blog post here).

Teamwork and Leadership

The successful planning and execution of the task will revolve around the leadership and teamwork that directs, coordinates and monitors the process.

  • Leading.  If there are more people than just you involved in the task then make the most of teamwork.  Are you leading this task?  Stand up and take charge.  You don’t have to be the expert – draw on the experiences of others.  You need to direct, not do it all yourself.
  • Team member.  If you’re not leading this task, are you leading any elements of it?  If the answer is no then step forward.  Take some responsibility and find an area where you can offer strength and take ownership.  Supporting the leader in this forth right manner is exactly what is required of a good team player.
  • Delegation.  If you’re the leader then delegate.  What are the strengths of your team members and what can you effectively delegate?  If it’s a new team and you don’t know, then ask them.  Understanding their strengths and weaknesses is key and smart delegation will ensure smart outputs.  Develop an outline framework to start planning from – having a basic structure to follow will make the delegation of tasks easier while retaining control.  Once delegated ensure you receive regular reports on progress – this will allow you to trust that the work is being done without needing to micro-manage the task.
  • Leaderless.  If you’re in a team that has no leader then that’s fine.  Take the first step and volunteer to take on some of the work.  Your demonstration of action will provide the leadership to kick start the process and others should follow suit.
  • Teamwork.  As you get more experienced in this process as a team you will automatically develop processes that work and flow.  If you have spreadsheet skills then you know that the associated tasks will be yours and you will automatically start preparing for that.  Perhaps you will even develop templates and systems to aid the process.  The more we work together as a team, the more we can understand each others strengths and weaknesses, develop our own internal systems and bring strength to our unity.

Solo Planning

Of course, in simpler forms,  we might be planning a basic task on our own.  We may have no need for teamwork and have no leader.

But, consider this differently.  The leader is set – it is you.  As for teamwork, consider your strengths and weaknesses and make these your team members.  Doing so, and viewing it like this, will allow you to develop your own, personal system that you can use time and again to ensure successful results during similar activities.

Set yourself goals in achieving your tasks and commit to achieving them – report to yourself.  Making yourself responsible and reporting to yourself can provide that extra accountability and motivation required to make it happen.

As a leader you need to direct and command, not do the work yourself.  As a team member you need to add value to the team and, in doing so, the leader.  Make sure you learn during the process and develop your own systems to aid future teamwork and collaboration.

Question:  What techniques do you use, as a leader or team member, to ensure a successful result?

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