Take a moment and recall Aesop’s tale of the hare and the tortoise. The hare was once boasting of his speed before the other animals. “I have never yet been beaten,” said he, “when I put forth my full speed. I challenge any one here to race with me.”
The tortoise said quietly, “I accept your challenge.”
“That is a good joke,” said the hare. “I could dance round you all the way.”
“Keep your boasting till you’ve been beaten,” answered the tortoise. “Shall we race?”
So a course was fixed and a start was made. The hare darted almost out of sight at once, but soon stopped and, to show his contempt for the tortoise, lay down to have a nap. The tortoise plodded on, and when the hare awoke from his nap, he saw the tortoise jus near the winning post and he could not run fast enough to pass the tortoise and win the race.
Then said the tortoise, “Plodding wins the race!”
Plodding does indeed win the race, and so does persistence. Teams that perform and teams that are persistent display a discipline towards the small actions that produce measurable results. It is only with exercising discipline for the small actions can an individual or a team expect to have the discipline needed to perform the larger actions.
And even small steps require a defined strategy. (We know that the tortoise’s goal was to win; his strategy was also well defined, if somewhat unconventional.) Therefore it is incumbent upon a team to develop a defined strategy, or strategies, for meeting both individual and team goals.
The team must have a shared vision. They need to be a team of tortoises with a common winning post in their future. If they cannot reach a consensus on a shared vision and a common goal, they cannot and will not be able to perform as a team.
Now a word of caution. Teams should not be surprised to discover that it can be difficult for them to reach a consensus about their team’s goals and strategies, and deciding upon that is still easier than implementing them.