We Are a Team – Everybody Agree?

A team had four members called Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done.

Everybody was sure that somebody would do it.

Anybody could have done it, but nobody did it.

Somebody got angry about that because it was everybody’s job.

Everybody thought anybody could do it, but nobody realized that everybody wouldn’t do it.

It ended up that everybody blamed somebody when nobody did what anybody could have done.


The story reminds me of the behaviours we quite often see in the boardroom scenes in the TV show The Apprentice, notice how the teams react when someone is about to get fired. Nobody wants to take responsibility for their actions or their collective failure. Of course the accusations, bickering and rivalry make great TV ratings, and these snapshots of team behaviours contain essential learning for team leaders and managers.

Role Clarity

Role clarity is essential to enable clarity and fair distribution of work amongst team members. Lack of clarity can mean that not all goals are achieved. It may be advisable to encourage collective responsibility and teach team members how to manage teamwork effectively. Avoid the following: “Everybody was sure that somebody would do it”.

Clear Goals

Does your team know where it’s going? Insufficient direction can lead to misguided focus and a failure to prioritise activities relevant to the task.

Poor Time Management

Allow adequate time for key activities including brainstorming, strategizing, decision making and implementation. Ensure sufficient awareness of constraints and timescales, failure to provide this information will impact efficiency in managing and implementing the task   

The end rewritten

It ended up that everybody somebody & nobody did what anybody could not have done alone – Terrific Team Work!

Read about our terrific team development courses here: http://www.spectrain.co.uk/Managing-Others


2 responses to “We Are a Team – Everybody Agree?

  1. Andrew Rea - The Ten Minute Trainer

    This is so true, Joy – thanks for sharing.

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