Rumi said, “Because you understand ‘one,’ you think that you also understand ‘two,’ because ‘one’ and ‘one’ make ‘two,’ but you must also understand the ‘and.’”

The goal of a team is to be more effective by working together and achieve synergy—to ensure that our interactive efforts have a greater impact than the sum of our individual efforts.

How do we build teams and create this synergy?

In this issue, Traci Fenton talks about the “collective wisdom” that gets released once people work together towards a common goal. She warns that to help people realize their full potential, we need to move away from a fear-based to a freedom-centered environment.

Brad Sugars speaks of a “very different and far more inspirational kind of leadership” than we are used to in the corporate model—where we are told what to do. In network marketing, there is no boss and no one can get fired. If you want to have a team, he points out, you’d better inspire, motivate and teach people.

A team is a living system where everything—and everyone—is interrelated. In order to operate in this system, we can’t see others as separate beings we get to manipulate and control. The only way to change someone else is by changing the way we view them.

This brings up a story I read in Ode, a Dutch publication “For Intelligent Optimists.” After years of failed attempts at enforcing traffic rules, several European cities are getting rid of traffic lights and stop signs. The idea came as a result of prior findings indicating that if you increase the number of don'ts, people’s sense of personal responsibility dwindles.

You’d think the results of this experiment might be chaos. Not so. Accidents became far fewer and were much less serious. Residents of these cities learned to nod, look, wave and gesture as friends. They report that the lack of traffic signs enhanced the quality of their lives: they felt more peaceful while being more attentive.

Teams that flourish are organizations where everyone is valued and takes on leadership; where people work together from purpose and are not hemmed in by any rigid structure or anyone at the top. We become creative and productive when we have a common vision, enjoy working together and see results.

When building a team, ask yourself, how can I empower people without impeding their freedom? Realizing that every person has unique qualities and talents to contribute, begin relating to people from that perspective. When we operate in alignment of purpose and learn the meaning of “and,” things get accomplished in unforeseen ways.

DR. JOSEPHINE GROSS is Cofounder and Editor in Chief of Networking Times.