Episode 80 – The Fastest Way To Destroy A Team


First off, I don’t like to write negative posts.


This is an article to help you build a better, stronger team by understanding what elements are the fastest way to destroy a team.


It’s important to touch on why teams fall apart because many people don’t understand why their teams aren’t effective. You want to know the fastest way to destroy a team?! I’d say the six quickest ways to destroy a team are:

  • Poor Leadership
  • Disruption to the flow of communication
  • Broken trust
  • Broken culture
  • Poor talent
  • Bad Apples.


Let’s go through them in more detail!


Poor Leadership

Stick in a poor leader and you’ll destroy a team quickly. Poor leadership leads to a broken team because of the following:

  • No belief in the vision
  • No belief in the person giving the vision
  • Poor ability to execute the vision
  • Poor communication of the vision
  • Poor selection of team members


Disrupt the flow of communication

Disrupted communication will fade a team quickly. Change these variables and you will clearly see how disruptive communication destroys a team:

  • Change the message multiple times
  • Make the message complex or difficult to understand
  • Change the emotional state of the communicator or the receiver
  • Make communication one way only – not give and take


Break trust

Break trust and your team will be destroyed. Without trust within and around the team, there is no team. Trust can be broken through:

  • Inconsistency
  • Displays of irregular or no progress
  • Not taking risks and
  • Hoarding rewards in selfish acts.



What is the fastest way to destroy a team? Educate yourself more and prevent it from happening in your team. Read on below.



Broken culture

Culture sets the unwritten rules and norms of the team. Culture is so important in the team, without good culture, the team will destroy itself.

Poor culture is established by:

  • Implementation of vague and ambiguous rules to operate
  • Not setting foundational modes of interaction
  • Poor leadership
  • Weak leadership-team ties
  • Allowing outlaws and bad apples to ruin the day
  • Poor talent selection
  • No team bonding


Poor talent 

This one relates to a few areas I’ve covered but it essentially means if you have poor talent you not going to go too far as a team. Funnily enough, if the better individuals in the team can sense they can move faster and further alone (or in another team) than with your team, the good individuals will leave. The others that stay will stagnate, as with the rest of the team. Nothing turns a team off more than continually losing, or other team members that zap the energy out of the good team members. This happens when you have poor talent and a self-destructing team.


Bad Apples – “Don’t let one bad apple spoil the rest”

A lot of teams get them – the outlaw, the virus, the rogue. They weren’t always a bad apple, it just comes with the passage of time. The important thing to note here is to remove the bad apple from the bunch as soon as possible. They may leave a skills gap in the short term, but it’s nothing you can’t replace with later on. Bad apples just do whatever they want to do, they see what they want to see and interject on the leadership vision and communication lines. They aren’t team players and have let their ego blind them.


To be fair:

Bad apples were once good under a previous leadership culture. They usually convert to their bad apple way in circumstances such as, when new leadership arrives or when they are no longer challenged within the team environment or team direction. The best solution is to remove the bad apple and let them move on.


Regroup the troops!

As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. While these six factors are the fastest way to destroy a team it doesn’t mean it has to end that way. Eliminate these factors – poor leadership, disruption to the flow of communication, broken trust, broken culture, poor talent and bad apples – and you will have an effective team in your organisation! Regroup your troops!


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Chris Everingham lives and breathes health & fitness.

Chris Everingham lives and breathes health & fitness. International Athlete, Elite Performance Manager for the Philippine Volcanoes rugby teams, qualified Dietitian / Nutritionist and qualified educator. Chris Everingham combines more than 10 years of experience and education together to deliver the best strategies to grow your mindset, rewire your habits and transform your life.


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