The Makings of a Conscious Team


“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” 

– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Conscious Leadership causes Conscious Teams.  Conscious Teams empower Conscious Leadership.

Together they provide the makings for a truly Conscious Organization, committed to The Back Forty™ organizational future of vision and purpose.

In a truly Conscious Organization, there are no boundaries between leadership and teams.

What then, are the makings of a truly Conscious Team?

Sports provide a wealth of great examples for studying teamwork.  

We’ve seen numerous examples of tremendous talent brought together in a sports team, yet they perform poorly.

On the other hand, in 1980 the US Olympic Hockey team made up of amateur and collegiate players defeated the Soviet team, who were considered to be the best hockey team in the world at the time.  No one could name the individual players of that team.  Why did they win?  Clearly, not because the team was made up of stars.

Also, what was missing for the other team, which happened to be made up of big names and famous players?

Your guess is as good as mine…but one thing is clear: getting a group of highly talented people together will not necessarily lead them to produce extraordinary results.

Scientific discoveries about geese flying in V-formation provide many insights into the study of teams.  

According to Dr. Robert McNeish:

  • By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% more flying range than possible if each bird flew on its own.
  • When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone… and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the uplifting power of the bird in front.
  • When the head goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.
  • Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

“Remember: upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all.”

– Alexander the Great

Here are the 9 most important elements I found that contribute to the formation of Conscious Teams.

  • Raison d’etre.  A powerful team shares a common vision, direction, and sense of community.  It is clearly stated and is the team’s raison d’etre.
  • Trust. The team can travel with velocity and ease when it is traveling on the thrust of one another.
  • Leadership.  Great teams produce and empower great leaders, and if needed, another member of the team will step up and take a leadership role.
  • Alignment.  Everyone on the team may not always agree, however, the team is aligned and acts as one, regardless of individual opinions or disagreements.
  • Listening.  Team members listen to each other powerfully, without judgment or blaming, and with a commitment to truly understand.
  • Straight Talk. Direct and honest communication is essential for teamwork and everyone on the team is committed to working out any and all differences through communication.
  • Commitment. Teammates relate to each other based on their commitment to the team’s vision and future, not as their individual personality, temperament, or opinions, and they support each other in becoming the best versions of themselves.
  • Integrity.  Everyone does what they said they were going to do when they were going to do it
  • Responsibility.  Everyone on the team has “the buck stops here” attitude.  Period.  And if they make a mistake, they fess up, clean up, and move on.

What will take to create Conscious Teams right where you are – in your organization, family, and community?


Alexandra Levin

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