One of the most challenging aspects of being a leader is making decisions that affect people’s lives. There are times when the best decision for the team causes difficulty and pain for some of the team members. The fulfillment of the mission drives such decisions. Effective leaders make decisions that first serve the mission, then the individual members.
Synergy is the interaction of a team that creates a greater effect than the sum of each individual member contribution. For high levels of team synergy to occur, every team member must be fully engaged and accept the organizational mission as greater than their personal needs and wants. A synergistic team member foregoes personal gratification when necessary for the good of the whole.
If a team member begins placing their individual needs and wants above the mission of the organization, they undermine team synergy. It is the leader’s responsibility to confront that team member, help them recognize their dysfunction, and invite them to realign with the mission. If the team member is unwilling or unable to put the mission first, they must leave the team.
Effective leaders understand the importance of full team engagement with the mission and proactively confront straying members. Great leaders care for individuals while realizing that no single member is more important than the whole. The mission of the organization is the top priority which drives decisions.