The Benefits of Sharing Power and Working with Teams

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By Barbara Wallace

Working as a team is something almost every one of us will have to do at some point in our careers, but all too often there are roadblocks– ranging from lack of communication to clashing personalities — that get in the way of the many benefits of teamwork.

It falls to leaders to get things back on track and create an environment and atmosphere where positive results can be achieved. Help is at hand from an insightful new book, Leading Teams which highlights the ten most common obstacles teams face, and provides simple, effective strategies to enable leaders to overcome them.

The authors, Elisabet Vinberg Hearn and Mandy Flint, are both highly sought-after leadership consultants who work with top brands like MasterCard, American Express, Virgin Atlantic, Reuters, and IKEA to help them increase employee engagement, transform organizational culture and improve efficiency.

Obstacles to Effective Teamwork

Why is an effective teamwork strategy so difficult to create and manage? The top reasons for this, the authors suggest, are some organizations don’t encourage it; personality differences exist; some people don’t see the relevance of sharing and just want to focus on their job; negative first impressions have been formed and can’t be overcome; and egos get in the way of people connecting with one another.

A lack of teamwork can result in significant consequences within an organization When people don’t know or trust each other, it leads to a hesitance or unwillingness to work together, which makes it hard to perform even the simplest of tasks, the authors argue.

Sharing Power Strengthens an Employee’s Power

Among the authors’ more interesting observations is that individuals should be aware that sharing of power doesn’t weaken their position but actually strengthens it.

The value of transparency is a key theme running through the book. Transparency is quickly becoming the norm in business and the expectations of transparency are growing, the authors note.

Even if you think you have a reasonable level of openness in your organization, you need to strive for more, the authors note.

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