On Leadership, Teamwork and Following a Common Vision


A team isn’t a few people that just work on the same thing together. A team is a group that trusts one another. And a small, passionate team can achieve anything they want with the right approach!

Great Teams

Great teams are not just happenstance. They are special because they:

  • Are unified by a common vision, a destination that is a point to which all effort is focused
  • Deploy a specific strategy which is nothing more than an adaptable route to get where they want to go
  • All believe in the same thing

When a group of people believe in the same thing, trust emerges. When trust is in place, ideas are shared, mistakes are forgiven, and passion is created. When a team is fueled by passion, anything can be accomplished.

Case in Point: Navy Seals

Take for example one of the most elite fighting organization on the planet: the US Navy Seals. Members of that organization are fused by the belief in a common purpose.

This is illustrated in the Navy Seals creed.

“My loyalty to Country and Team is beyond reproach. I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. My Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.  We demand discipline. My teammates depend on me – my technical skill, tactical proficiency, and attention to detail. My training is never complete.”

The Navy Seal’s unified common belief in these elements is the foundation by which their teams’ excellence is built.  Navy Seals execute a critical aspects of successful team building starting with recruitment.  BUD/S [Basic Underwater Demolition/Seals] training is in its essence a Navy Seal’s training, qualification, and initiation; for six months, candidates are put through some of the most mentally challenging and physically demanding training in the world, capped off by an ending known as Hell Week.

The dropout rate for BUD/S is on average 90%, as aspiring Seals break under the challenging training; they ring a loud bell on their way out, letting all know that another candidate has fallen.

So who are these men that make it through BUD/S’ notorious Hell Week?

No one can predict with certainty who will make it or who will ring the bell; however, a unique character trait of men that become Seals is their benevolence for one another.  During training, even in moments when they are far beyond exhaustion, no matter what, they still muster the strength to help the man next to them get to the finish.

Leveraging Real Power

When team members have true benevolence for one another, this force is leveraged to endure and persevere through the extreme lows encountered in any challenging endeavor.  A large organization may have strength because of the scale of their numbers; however, a small exceptional team possesses real power and remarkable effectiveness to achieve an objective because of their unifying beliefs. This has been proved many times in combat when a small elite team was sent in to accomplish what a 400 man battalion could not.

These elements do not align with out a strong leader in place.  Effective, inspiring leaders are not motivated to want be the leader of men, they are driven to serve them.   The leader of a powerful small team must put his people before himself. “Officers Eat Last,” he does not know the meaning of “it’s lonely at the top” because he is along side his people every step of the mission.

Accomplishing the Objective

A weak leader or boss will bend to pay for short-term results; conversely, a skilled team leader will inspire his team in the purpose of the mission.  Weak leaders push towards the goal. Great leaders will guide their team through the journey.  A small team with trust, passion, benevolence, guided by a strong leader who understands these dynamics can and will accomplish any objective.

Whether a small startup company or a small faction within a large organization, small passionate teams will always be relied on to accomplish the impossible. Lead by dynamic, selfless leaders, these powerful small groups solve challenging problems by delivering innovation with tactical proficiency; accomplishing their objectives while defeating their competition.


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Bryan Clayton
Bryan Clayton is Co-founder of GreenPal
He helps consumers source lawn care providers via an online marketplace
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web

Image Sources: 25.media.tumblr.com

6 responses to “On Leadership, Teamwork and Following a Common Vision

  1. Bryan, I really enjoyed the article. As others have said, it was a nice analogy. Most articles like yours tend to only have a flat, motivational spin. When an author can relate their theme to another non-business concept (in your case, the Navy Seals), it makes for a more-permanent takeaway, and an educational opportunity for readers. Good stuff—please keep writing!


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