Crossing Over From Team to Family

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“Crossing Over” from one place to another in life creates many emotions. You can probably think about more than one occasion when you crossed over……from single to married, non-parent to parent; renter to homeowner; young to old, etc. Teams focus on the Project, Families focus on  the People. When we are not focused on the what, then we began to care about the who. 

The bridge from team to family is challenging, but many successfully make the journey. What is the graetest challenge along the bridge… Fear. As long as we can focus on the “what” we are gathered to do, there is a sense of safety, it is all about the project.  When CEOs describe their company as being “like family,” we think they mean well. They’re searching for a model that represents the kind of relationships they want to have with their employees—a lifetime relationship with a sense of belonging. But using the term family makes it easy for misunderstandings to arise. (Your Company Is Not a Family by Reid Hoffman Ben Casnocha Chris Yeh  JUNE 17, 2014). 

After working together for some time, friendships, relationships or acquaintances form while we are on the bridge. These began happening unconsciously and unplanned. We talk with and listen to each other, seeking to understand how we all “got here”.  Are we now becoming more TRUSTING of each other?

TRUST, the bridge we are crossing, that will bring us from Team to Family. We approach carefully and walk gingerly, uncertain about the coarse terrain, unfamiliar turns and little or no covering overhead. Where is the safety zone… in quitting. turning back or shutting down and refusing to participate to protect ourselves from something we fear but cannot identify in becoming a Family.  A team mindset understands that having a person in the wrong role affects the entire business. It may develop distrust in accountability from leadership internally, or externally client relationships may suffer. A ship cannot sail properly in the right direction if the crew members don’t each perform their assigned role. (Mark Miller, Great Leaders Serve (

What if “the only thing to fear is fear itself” ? (Winston Churchill)  Family Loving each other, holding each other accountable and making each other better makes you a better family and team. (J0n Gordon). At a time when organizations are looking for new ways to build high-performance teams, perhaps they should be considering a family approach to business that emphasizes trust and values.  A team work environment where camaraderie means having each other’s back and not judging one another.   A workplace culture that celebrates opportunities, transparency, and  the opinions of all to enrich conversations and diversity of thought. (5 Ways Leaders Must Build a Family Environment to Achieve Excellence, Glen Llopis). 

Becoming part of a FAMILY is to be desired, not feared!