The whole is GREATER-THAN the sum of its parts. Successful Team Building requires us to BOTH Unleash the Masterpiece in each team member AND Unleash the GREATER-THAN of the whole team, regardless of our particular role or position within the team.

  • Our real influence over our team and the members of the team does NOT depend on our positional authority over the team or our roles on the team.
  • We have a responsibility to help Unleash the Masterpiece in every team member, regardless of what we have in common or how well we get along.
  • Everyone needs to invest in the team at full capacity to Unleash the maximum GREATER-THAN potential of the team.
  • Unleashing the GREATER-THAN Masterpiece of the Team as a whole requires creating and maintaining the transformational rhythms of Team Building


These Team Building Skills are being described in Foundation Order. This means, we list them from the bottom of the foundation to the top. The first Team Building Skill we list is the base of the foundation, and every successive Team Building Skill is built upon the ones that are underneath it.

  • Full Engagement:Unleashing every individual's full, creative capacity in every context of the team.
  • Psychological Safety: Effectively managing the negative speech and behaviors that restrict engagement.
  • Structure & Clarity: Formal roles, policies, mission, vision, values, purposes and goals.
  • Self Direction: Informally defined whitespace to facilitate individual and collaborative innovation.
  • Short-term Drive: The internal drive to push through short-term pain and complete tasks.
  • Long-term Pace: Intentionally prioritizing what it takes to make sustainable, strategic contributions over time.
  • Accountability: Assessment of alignment with formal roles, policies, mission, values, purposes and goals.
  • Motivation: Purposeful investment in the internal and external factors that drive engagement.
  • Personal Meaning: Growing a culture of individual purpose and fulfillment within the team context.
  • External Impact: Growing a culture of collective purpose and fulfillment outside of the team context.


In this section each of the Five Practices will be defined. Two synergistic yet seemingly contradictory Team Building Skills are defined under each of the Five Practices. Each Practice description will conclude with a description of how to create rhythm in the tensions between the two Team Building Skills.

    Cooperative Collaboration:Full Engagement is only possible when all of the obstacles and barriers to it, both individual and systemic, are being intentionally and consistently addressed.

      • Team Building Skill: Full Engagement
        • This occurs when every person on a team, regardless of role or hierarchical position, is willing AND able to contribute their FULL Masterpiece to the team's formal and informal objectives.
      • Synergistic Team Building Skill: Psychological Safety
        • Individuals bring BOTH positive, Masterpiece qualities AND negative, reactive qualities to their team environments. Psychological safety represents strategic and tactical efforts to efficiently and effectively manage the negative, reactive qualities and greatly reduce or eliminate their impact.
      • Transformational Rhythm: Everyone Wins
        • Individual and team wins must be MUTUALLY INCLUSIVE not mutually exclusive.
        • Structures and systems need to both strategically and tactically encourage and reward cooperative collaboration in attitudes, speech and behavior that serve the best interests of the team. At the same time, attitudes, speech and behaviors that are self-serving and at the expense of the team need to be intentionally and directly mitigated by the same structures and systems.

    Lean / Agile Thinking: Lean refers to the virtuous cycle of continuous improvement and innovation as the primary responsibilities of every team member. Agile refers to efficient and effective response to internal and external environments that are constantly changing.

      • Team Building Skill: Structure and Clarity
        • Team authorities need to provide guardrails in terms of values, mission and vision AND externally measured, objective goals that can hold us accountable to both personal and collective thriving. WHAT needs to be done, WHEN, WHERE and WHY need to be clearly communicated, well understood AND subject to continual improvement and innovation.
      • Synergistic Team Building Skill: Self Direction
        • All team members, regardless of role or position in the team hierarchy need to be empowered to:
          • Ask questions, innovate, improve and make decisions to accomplish the team's goals and live out the team's values.
          • Fully unleash their one-of-a-kind, authentic Masterpiece, both inside AND outside of the team's contexts.
      • Transformational Rhythm: Everyone is a Primary Stakeholder
        • Empowering everyone to innovate and improve by asking questions, making decisions and experimenting and in all roles and in every position generates significantly more collective value, despite deeply entrenched biases to the contrary.
        • Policies clarify VALUES. VALUES drive attitudes, speech and behaviors. Effective roles, policies, mission, vision, values, purposes and goals NEVER dictate the HOW.

    Sustainable Initiative: Roles, values, policies and goals that allow team members to both START strong and FINISH strong. Equip and empower team members to slow down when necessary, sprint when required and ask for help proactively.

      • Team Building Skill: Short-term Drive
        • Equipping, empowering and expecting team members to generate their own internal drive for success and excellence, while at the same time providing recognition and reward structures for external motivation.
      • Synergistic Team Building Skill: Long-term Pace
        • Equipping, empowering and expecting team members to prioritize and invest in their long-term physical, emotional, intellectual, relational and spiritual health. This will require some internal and external stakeholders to take short-term hits from time to time.
      • Transformational Rhythm: Everyone has Equal Value
        • The team members are the first priority, and developing team members is the first mission. This is real, felt and experienced by every single team member.

    Relentless Visibility: Policy enforcement, assignments, salaries, bonuses, rewards, recognitions and consequences for violating values / policies are uniformly and consistently applied across all roles, responsibilities and contexts with the team environment. Exceptions are clearly communicated and well understood by everyone.

      • Team Building Skill: Accountability
        • Every team member is held accountable for their contribution to the team mission, vision, goals, innovation and continuous improvement, as well as their compliance with and expressions of team roles, policies, values and purposes.
        • Excellence is consistently rewarded and recognized.
        • Areas needing improvement are corroborated and improvement plans developed and executed with feedback communicated.
      • Synergistic Team Building Skill: Motivation
        • Team members experience the reality that the team is investing in them at an equal or greater level of intensity that as a team member is investing in the team.
        • Team members see clear evidence that they are cared for and respected as whole persons, and that both effort and results are properly recognized and rewarded.
      • Transformational Rhythm: Transparency with Proper Boundaries
        • Accountability is balanced with proper boundaries and respect for the individuals and their privacy.
        • Positional authorities lead the way as role models for transparency, vulnerability and accountability.
        • Special care is taken to ensure ethical lapses are dealt with consistently and concisely while at the same time respecting proper boundaries.

    Common Purpose: Equipping, empowering and expecting individuals to thrive BOTH individually AND collectively, in every individual, team and community context.

      • Team Building Skill: Personal Meaning
        • Intentionally investing in each team member so they have the best opportunity to thrive emotionally, mentally, spiritually, relationally, physically and financially.
      • Synergistic Team Building Skill: External Impact
        • Collectively, consistently and completely accomplishing the mission, vision, purposes and goals of the team.
        • Equipping and empowering our communities to thrive BOTH collectively and as the individuals that comprise the community.
      • Transformational Rhythm:Holistic Investment and ROI
        • Multiple purposes exist at personal and collective levels.
        • Meaning comes from serving multiple noble purposes, BOTH privately AND publicly, individually and collectively, internal and external.
        • Team Building has maximum impact when it invests in the WHOLE PERSON for EVERY team member, and the WHOLE COMMUNITY in every context the team or its members intersect.