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Teamwork: The Best Way to Conduct Business


CIANJOn May 7, 1824 in Vienna, the largest symphony orchestra ever assembled by Ludwig von Beethoven gathered for the premier of his Ninth Symphony, which was both a work of musical mastery and a triumph of teamwork.

“Team efforts of 100 or more people are not unusual in business, but it is rather rare that the moment of truth encompasses the whole team, and as transparently as it does on the musical stage,” according to the blog, Rakuten Today. “Conductors must be constantly aware of the end result and leverage all of the strengths of individual orchestra members to achieve—as a group—a shared purpose.”

The result is the amazing rhythms and harmonies that connect as if they were meant to be together. If you have ever been to an orchestra rehearsal, you know that it takes a lot of practice and teamwork to achieve that quality sound that does justice to a master composer such as Beethoven.

“The conductor of an orchestra is the leader of the team and yet they don’t make any sound. The success of their role depends on their ability to make other people powerful. Their job, like that of any leader, is to awaken possibility in other people.”

The late Army General Norman Schwarzkopf, in an interview with COMMERCE, offered this lesson in listening: “You can get a tremendous amount of corporate intelligence by talking to the troops—by listening to them. That doesn’t mean they are always right, but you owe it to them to listen.”

Many great partnerships have become business success stories because of teamwork and listening to everyone’s ideas. Google, Amazon and Apple are great examples of bringing people together for innovation, new product ideas and pioneering technologies. They recruit talent that includes diverse groups of employees in terms of talent, culture, etc. These businesses have become wildly successful by encouraging and incentivizing these groups to express their talents in a cohesive and mutually beneficial way.

Indeed, diversity in age, gender, culture and talent is the key to any great team. That’s because different people bring different skills and strengths to the business. Once the needs of a team are identified and the team is assembled, the challenge is to have members work together so that their strengths blend and enhance one another.

At the core of team-building is the development of a strong relationship built upon trust and other key elements, including shared values, experiences and common goals. Great coaches and effective business leaders identify these areas of common experience or set the stage to develop them.

People are competitive creatures by nature who seek success in every aspect of their lives. That’s why it’s easy to see why—over time—teamwork and its benefits become an integral part of virtually any endeavor where a group of people is involved. That’s because when teams come together in the right way, superior outcomes result. It’s obvious that members of successful teams benefit and are rewarded in many ways, including salary, bonuses and other recognition.

What may not be so obvious is that others benefit from a team’s successes as well: in sports, it’s the fans; in politics, it’s the constituents; and in business, it’s the customers.

CIANJ is a team in its own right, as we deliver the collective gravitas of the New Jersey business community in writing, in testimony before the state legislature, in conversations with the lieutenant governor and the governor, and among peers in corporate leadership positions.

From small business forums to business growth opportunities, we are a voice for the entrepreneur, a defender of the free market and a supporter of business-friendly policies in Trenton. It is without question a team effort that would not be possible without our members.

To get more involved in CIANJ, visit or e-mail me at

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