A reading club with a view to the future

389 Scott Tannenbaum, Eduardo Salas: Teams that work

Unveiling the key drivers that contribute to team effectiveness and providing practical guidance for building and sustaining high-performing teams.



In "Teams That Work," Scott Tannenbaum and Eduardo Salas delve into the intricacies of team dynamics and reveal the seven essential drivers that lead to team effectiveness. Drawing from extensive research and real-world examples, the authors offer insights and strategies to help individuals, leaders, and organizations enhance teamwork, collaboration, and performance.


Title: "Teams That Work: The Seven Drivers of Team Effectiveness"

Authors: Scott Tannenbaum and Eduardo Salas

Publishing Year: 2021

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Length in Hours: 8 hours and 35 minutes

5 main ideas

  1. Shared Goals and Objectives: Aligning team members around a common purpose, fostering clarity, and promoting a sense of collective mission.
  2. Mutual Trust and Cooperation: Establishing a foundation of trust, psychological safety, and interpersonal respect to enable open communication and collaboration.
  3. Task Skills and Role Clarity: Equipping team members with the necessary competencies and clarifying roles and responsibilities to enhance individual and team performance.
  4. Team Processes and Dynamics: Optimizing communication, decision-making, conflict management, and coordination to enhance team effectiveness.
  5. Leadership and Support: Cultivating effective team leadership that fosters a supportive environment, empowers team members, and facilitates progress toward shared goals.

5 funny quotes

  1. "Teamwork: where individual talents meet and high-five for a job well done." - Scott Tannenbaum and Eduardo Salas
  2. "Remember, there's no 'I' in team, but there's an 'M' and an 'E,' which can stand for 'Make Everyone Awesome'." - Scott Tannenbaum and Eduardo Salas
  3. "Teamwork makes the dream work, as long as the dream involves coffee breaks and occasional team-building activities." - Scott Tannenbaum and Eduardo Salas
  4. "In the game of teamwork, the only MVPs are 'Most Valuable Participants.' Everyone's contribution matters." - Scott Tannenbaum and Eduardo Salas
  5. "Teamwork: where 'we' is greater than 'me,' and the collective power of shared effort produces extraordinary outcomes." - Scott Tannenbaum and Eduardo Salas

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "Trust is the currency of high-performing teams. Without it, collaboration and innovation suffer, and success becomes elusive." - Scott Tannenbaum and Eduardo Salas
  2. "Teamwork is not just about getting along; it's about leveraging diversity, challenging assumptions, and collectively achieving more than what individuals could accomplish alone." - Scott Tannenbaum and Eduardo Salas
  3. "Clarity in roles and expectations is the cornerstone of effective teamwork. Ambiguity leads to confusion, conflict, and suboptimal performance." - Scott Tannenbaum and Eduardo Salas
  4. "Team processes are the invisible glue that holds a team together. Effective communication, decision-making, and coordination are essential for seamless collaboration and goal attainment." - Scott Tannenbaum and Eduardo Salas
  5. "Leadership sets the tone for team effectiveness. Effective leaders foster a culture of trust, support, and empowerment, enabling teams to flourish and achieve exceptional results." - Scott Tannenbaum and Eduardo Salas

5 dilemmas

  1. Balancing individual autonomy and collective decision-making within a team to ensure both ownership and alignment.
  2. Managing conflicts and disagreements constructively to foster a healthy team environment and leverage diverse perspectives.
  3. Addressing the challenges of remote and virtual teams to maintain strong communication, collaboration, and cohesion.
  4. Nurturing a culture of psychological safety where team members feel comfortable taking risks and expressing their opinions without fear of negative consequences.
  5. Balancing task-focused activities with relationship-building and social interactions to create a well-rounded and cohesive team dynamic.

5 examples

  1. Google's cross-functional teams exemplify the power of shared goals and objectives, fostering innovation and collaboration across diverse domains.
  2. The Mayo Clinic's success in delivering exceptional healthcare is attributed to their emphasis on mutual trust and cooperation among interdisciplinary teams.
  3. Southwest Airlines' focus on role clarity and task skills ensures that each team member understands their responsibilities, contributing to smooth operations and customer satisfaction.
  4. Pixar Animation Studios' emphasis on team processes and dynamics, such as their famous "braintrust" meetings, enables creative collaboration and elevates the quality of their films.
  5. The United Nations' peacekeeping missions rely on effective team leadership and support to navigate complex international challenges and achieve peace and stability.

Referenced books

  1. "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" by Patrick Lencioni
  2. "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us" by Daniel H. Pink
  3. "Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High" by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler
  4. "The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups" by Daniel Coyle
  5. "Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World" by General Stanley McChrystal

Share a quote

"Teamwork: where individual talents meet and high-five for a job well done."

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