Leadership – Difference Between Groups and Teams

Thanks to all personal meetings, I realized that my team members share the same fears. That was the great starting point. However, the way they see our everyday activities was completely different. More importantly, they were not aligned around the same goal.

That was the moment when I started to discuss with them a difference between groups and teams.


I love to observe the world by thinking about Mathematics. And when I talk about a difference between a team work and a work performed by a group of individuals, I use the example of vectors. Here are two pictures which may describe it.

Team vs Individuals

As you can see, in the first case both team members work a lot. However, the product of their work is equal or even smaller than the product of a single of them.

In the second case, each member works less than members from the first case. However, the product of their work is bigger than the product from the first case, as they are both working towards the same goal.

What is the result of these analogies:

  • In the first case, people are not satisfied, everyone thinks that others are not working well (as they are not striving for the same goal), and during time people lose motivation and become completely unsatisfied.
  • In the second case, even though people work less, they are more satisfied, because they feel support and work towards the same goal, as well the result of their work is much better.

That is all cool, but what makes a team?

In one of my previous posts, “All about leadership“, I described how important it is to create a vision, completely align yourself with it and make others care about that vision as much as you care.

Beside sharing the same vision and the same goals, for every team it is important to share the same values.

Imagine a football team, even though all of us want to win (which means that we share the same goal), I wouldn’t be able to play with someone who is completely fine with injuring player from another squad (which means that we don’t share the same values).

All of that helped me to structure our first team meeting and in the following post, I will talk more about that meeting.

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