Choose 4 Team Qualities

Published: January 22, 2018

If you could only choose four, what ingredients would you include in a recipe for a thriving team? Begin with the broadest range of history, experience, and perspective. Add a commitment to a common goal. Sprinkle in the energy of new ideas. Finish with resilience in the face of change. Diversity, cohesion, creativity, and adaptability. Together, they keep the team moving forward.


Differences are strengths. Whether by background or bias, clashing viewpoints lead to solutions when conflict is managed with respect and professionalism. There are many paths to the same destination.


Trust is the natural consequence of accountability and connection. Over time, teammates embrace interdependence. We rise, fall, and get back up together.


Solutions follow problems. The struggle resulting from an unmet need generates growth. Dissonance seeks harmony. The payoff for embracing diversity is innovation.


In the end, it’s all about making change and adjusting to new conditions. How long you mourn a loss determines how quickly you figure out what to do about it. Moving forward following a setback takes courage. Staying stuck stops the team’s evolution. Reboot and reinvest.

Diversity, cohesion, creativity, and adaptability are the qualities of sustainability. Teams with these traits reinvent themselves over and over again. Challenge becomes opportunity and obstacles become fuel. Each cycle of growth renews the team’s mission while, fortunately, nothing stays the same.

Photo of Steve Ritter, the co-founder of The Center for Team Excellence

Steve Ritter

Steve Ritter is an internationally recognized expert on team dynamics whose clients include Fortune 500 companies, professional sports teams, and many educational organizations. He is on the faculty of the Center for Professional Excellence at Elmhurst University where he earned the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Steve is the former Senior Vice President, Director of Human Resources at Leaders Bank, named the #1 Best Place to Work in Illinois in 2006 and winner of the American Psychological Association's Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award in 2010. Steve provides ongoing workplace culture consultation to many thriving companies including Kraft Foods, Advocate Health Care, Kellogg's, the Chicago White Sox, AthletiCo, and Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.