As I was leaving Starbucks last week the word TEAMWORK  on the front of some guy’s T-shirt caught my attention.

Wanting to know the rest of the saying, which was in smaller print, I turned back to read the whole phrase.  

It read:  “TEAMWORK: a lot of people doing things my way!” 

I laughed out loud and the  T-shirt guy beamed, apparently glad that I enjoyed his shirt. 

I figure that he either had some cynicism about teamwork or that he got a good deal on the shirt at the Goodwill Store. 

I suspect the former and understand such cynicism.  

After all, lots of  team leaders and team members have done just what the T-shirt implies.  They’ve announced, “We are a team!”  but only behaved well when the team is doing what they want.  

Let’s call it announcement smoke and mirrors  or announcement hypocrisy… and beware!

In his book, “Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team: a Field Guide,” Patrick Lencioni defines team as, “a relatively small number of people (around 12 or less) that shares common goals as well as the rewards and responsibilities for achieving them. Team members readily set aside their individual or personal needs for the greater good of the group.”

If your small group isn’t behaving this way Lencioni suggests it be called something other than a team.  While that may be disappointing at least confusion will be avoided and office cynicism may diminish.