Its about the team, not the Individual

Who's accountable?
Photo by Eric Ziegler (@ericzigus)
When I first joined my latest team, I specifically went and met with each team that reported up to me. As I did my introductions, I let my teams all know that I am a big fan of soccer, so much so that I even play.

Because I am who I am, I read many different blogs and listen to many different podcasts that cover topics that span topics such as leadership, soccer, and technology. I read and listen to podcasts to stay up on the latest trends and to keep abreast of the latest things happening on things I am passionate about.

Recently, I was listening to the soccer podcast, Men in Blazers (@meninblazers +Men In Blazers) .(btw, I highly recommend listening to these gentlemen if you like soccer. Not only are they informative, they are rather funny). During a recent podcast, they were interviewing Jose Mourinho, the current manager of Chelsea. As I listened to the interview, he provided insights that I believe apply to any team anywhere, especially teams that in companies.

These insights were about how the team is the most important thing, and that individuals are important as part of the team. This sentiment is absolutely important for any long running successful teams.
"It's about the team, not the individual"
"The manager is no more or less important than the individuals on the team"
Why would he say these statements? He hints at holding the individuals accountable for their actions, even the manager.

He uses an example in the podcast to get his point across, There is a section in the podcast where he talks about the bus leaving on time. You could take it as a control from the top, but listen carefully on how he talks about the situation. He says that the team has agreed that at 9 am the bus will leave. And if you are not on the bus at 9 am, the bus leaves without you, because the team agreed it would leave at 9am. And if the manager is not on the bus at 9am? the bus leaves without the manager.

While you might think this is a power game for Jose, I look at it differently. What he is saying is that the team is important, and to hold the team back because someone was not holding themselves accountable to being on time is not acceptable. Hence, each person is accountable for their actions and accountable for making sure the team meets the team goals.