5 Points for Building Successful Teams
Where often asked how to build a great team. It is one of those tough questions and is difficult, because it begins with the character of the leader.
We explain to senior executives and business owners how amazing the right people coming together can transform an organization. It’s one of the key ingredients that are critical to success. History is replete with incredible leaders, yet as you dig deeper, it becomes apparent that they had built great teams that together were unstoppable.
So what lessons can we learn from these historical great leaders. It takes great leadership to build great teams. Leaders who are not afraid to course correct, make the difficult decisions and establish standards of performance that are constantly being met – and improving at all times.
Team building is both an art and a science and the leader who can consistently build high performance teams is worth their weight in gold.
Building companies requires the know-how to build long-lasting teams. This is why most managers never become leaders and why most leaders never reach the highest pinnacle of leadership success. It requires the ability to master the “art of people” and knowing how to maneuver hundreds (if not thousands) of people at the right place and at the right time. It means knowing how each person thinks and how to best utilize their competencies rightly at all times. It’s playing a continuous chess match – knowing that every wrong move that is made can cost the company hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars.
As you evaluate the sustainability of the team(s) you lead and its real impact on the organization you serve, we’re pleased to give you 5 points to absorb, that we’ve found from studying history and seeing them applied into today’s organizations.
- What is your leadership style?
As the leader of the team, you must be extremely aware of your leadership style and techniques. Are they as effective as you think? How well are they accepted by the team you are attempting to lead? Evaluate yourself and be critical about where you can improve, especially in areas that will benefit those whom you are a leading.
You may have good intentions, but make sure you hold yourself accountable to course-correct and modify your approach if necessary to assure that you’re leading from a position of strength and respectability.
Be your own boss. Be flexible. Know who you are as a leader.
- Know your team members
Much like you need to hold yourself accountable for your actions to assure you maximize performance and results, you must make the time to get to know your team and encourage camaraderie. It is important to care and understand the needs of your team. Learn and UNDERSTAND the strengths and capabilities of your team – the real assets that each member brings to the table, those they leave behind and those yet to be developed.
A great leader knows how to activate the talent that surrounds them. They are equally as effective at matching unique areas of subject matter expertise/competencies to solve problems and seek new solutions.
Fully knowing your team means that you have invested the time to understand how they are wired to think and what is required to motivate them to excel beyond what is expected from them.
- Clearly Define Roles & Responsibilities
An Effective leader enables the team to be successful by clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of those on your team.
Each of your team member’s responsibilities must be interconnected and dependent upon one another.
A team should operate as a mosaic whose unique strengths and differences convert into a powerful united force.
- Be Proactive with Feedback
Feedback is the key to assuring any team is staying on track, but more importantly that it is improving each day. Feedback should be proactive and constant. Do not wait until a problem occurs before giving feedback.
Feedback is simply the art of great communication. It should be something that is part of one’s natural dialogue. Feedback can be both formal and informal. In fact, if it becomes too structured and stiff, it becomes difficult for the feedback to be authentic and impactful.
Remember that every team is different, with its own unique nuances and dynamics. Treat them as such.. Allow proactive feedback to serve as your team’s greatest enabler for continuous improvement.
Take the time to remind someone of how and what they can be doing better. Learn from them. Don’t complicate the process of constructive feedback. Feedback is two-way communication.
- Acknowledge and Reward
With proactive feedback comes acknowledgement and reward. People love recognition, but are most appreciative of respect. Take the time to give your teammates the proper accolades they have earned and deserve. I have seen too many leaders take performance for granted because they don’t believe that one should be rewarded for “doing their job.”
At a time when people want to feel as if they are making a difference, be a thoughtful leader and reassure your team that you are paying attention to their efforts. Being genuine in your recognition and respect goes a long way towards building loyalty and trust. It organically ignites extra effort!
When people are acknowledged, their work brings them greater satisfaction and becomes more purposeful.
Applying these principles will go a long way to aiding you create a successful team. Oh and it will also impact you and your leadership skills for the positive.
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