There is no ‘I’ in team, but in a perfect team there is a big ‘R’

Feb 16, 2022

How one of our clients transformed her struggling career to now become Chief Operating Officer.

The old saying is that “there is no ‘I’ in team”. That teams are a group of people who move forward, together.

More than 30 years of experience working with individuals and teams, and over a decade of practical research into the formation of perfect teams, has helped us to build on that premise.

While there is no ‘I’ in team, one of the key aspects within perfect teams is a big ‘R’- responsibility.

A few months ago, we wrote an article commenting on the importance of it within teams, and in this article we outline how one of our clients transformed her struggling career by taking responsibility. We also identify what that means for your teams.


When our founder was first introduced to this client more than a decade ago, she lacked confidence and was in a very dependent space. She was struggling, particularly in her career, had very little direction, and was blaming external factors for her challenges.


If we think back to our article comparing ice, water and steam, we highlighted that without taking responsibility, individuals and teams are dependent on others.

In one of their first interactions, our founder explained that by blaming the external factors, being dependent, she was ‘at the effect of things’. He explained that, in contrast, the independent space is where people make things happen- where things start to change.

He told her that for her to move to that independent space, she would need to make one key change, but would not tell her what that was. He kept her focussed on answering the question for herself until the penny dropped after a full twenty-five minutes.

When the answer finally came out of her mouth, she had a profound life lesson. Once she had identified that it was all about taking responsibility- in all areas of her life, including her career, things quickly progressed.


Soon after her work with our founder, she secured an interview for a finance role in the City of London, which she had been yearning for in the months previous. Although it was a junior role, she has since been promoted. She is now a divisional Chief Operating Officer (COO) for a large City organisation.

Investing in, and understanding, herself ensured that she took responsibility for her career- without that action she would still be struggling.

Importantly, the investment she made in herself is now impacting others at her company. The role of COO impacts hundreds, if not thousands, of team members within her organisation- whether that be directly or indirectly.

So, her responsibilities and approach towards her present role will have been directly impacted by her decision over a decade ago to take responsibility for her life and career.


In short, it is the same for any business or team. Just as with an individual going from dependence to independence, an organisation has to collectively take responsibility and have a vision.

To provide context for this, in one of our recent articles we compared three different teams – one made up of dependent people, one with a mix of dependent and independent people, and one made up of independent people.

We explained that the latter team generally provides the foundations for a perfect team because everyone contributes towards the growth and direction of the group- and this is interdependence.


We have also previously highlighted the link between motivation and vision. We identified that a clear vision will help to focus the attention of your teams, which will provide the basis for motivating them.

How are you motivating your team members, so they can take responsibility and support your growth plans?

Over recent months we have been asked about how to build and motivate teams in the present environment. Many teams seem to be lacking motivation, and we have been advising business leaders about how to get their teams back to ‘match fitness’.

Each team member will have different motivations though, and understanding those will help create world class teams that take your business to the next level.

During our next workshop, we identify how to motivate the characters within your teams. To find out more, and book your complimentary ticket, please click here.

Article by:

Neil Tuson

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