Your team can propel you to success or, if you are not careful, they can bring your business down, so knowing how you build your team is critical.
Think about the Apple brand. Steve Jobs was a great leader, but the dominance of the Apple brand would not be a reality today if a winning team was not able to implement the ideas. There are many instances throughout history where brands have become great because of the strength of the team. So, how do you build a great team? Read on and I will share some simple and effective insights with you.
1. Become a Better Leader
No team can become great without a winning leader. Every team needs a strong leader who is clear on the company values and communicates them regularly to the team. Self-development is essential and it’s something that a leader should prioritise. It’s not just a one-off occurrence. A leader must be constantly growing, developing and feeding his or her mind with the best information. A leader must be coachable and humble, willing to listen to the needs of the team, but also assertive enough to make strong decisions when necessary. Every leader must also be a follower at times by listening to and following the advice of an experienced coach or a mentor. Become a better leader by allowing yourself to be guided and led by the right calibre of leader. This will give you an edge and enable you to lead your team to success.
2. Cut Out the Bad Apples
It sounds harsh, but there should be no place in any winning team for negative people who are working for self-gain rather than the good of the project. Sometimes, this means taking people out of the team completely. When I coach leaders, I start with the mindset and then I look at who is in the team. It’s normally easy to spot the less enthusiastic members. Negativity often has a ripple effect and if one person is griping and constantly seeing the glass half empty, it can make other team members negative and stunt their passion and creativity. The best way to deal with this behaviour is to give a clear and firm warning. If the perpetrator does not listen, you may need to consider letting them go. Creating a winning team is about creating a high energy and enthusiastic environment where people want to come to work. Don’t let one negative person drain the energy of the team and hinder its progress.
3. Coach Your Team Regularly
Coaching is beneficial because it addresses mindsets. If team members are not performing as they should be it might be because there is something deeper going on in their lives which is distracting them. Relationship issues, for example, are deeply personal, and they can stop the best team member from performing as they should, so you should build enough rapport with your team to be able to discuss matters that might be troubling them. Coach your team as individuals and coach them as a team. Give positive encouragement. Reward them for tasks and projects done well. Praise in public and correct in private in order to keep their self-esteem intact. Why do some sports teams perform better? It’s because they have a great coach. As a leader, strive to become a great coach.
4. Hire Based on Character First, and Talent Second
This might be slightly controversial, but the attitude is everything. You could be very skilled and talented, but If you lack people skills it can undermine your talent. The right character is essential for creating a winning team, especially if the team is customer facing. People often reject HOW we say things, not WHAT we say. So always check the character of the people you are thinking of hiring and assess whether they are the right fit for your company. Whenever I am looking to hire someone, one of my first questions is “can I work with them?” You should look for any potential character clashes, and you should ask yourself if you can work with them. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell from an interview, but trust your instincts.
5. Measure the Results
It is the results that are the measure of any team. Set KPI’s and measure them to see if your team is performing well. KPI’s keep the team on track and provide it with clear goals to work towards. Winning is ultimately about getting the job done. The right team will not only get the job done, they will get the job done well! I use KPI’s a lot in my business, and I have done a lot over the years. Numbers never lie. People sometimes do, but numbers don’t.
6. Think the Best of Team Members
This is important! Always think the best of your team members, unless they give you a reason to think otherwise. Start from this premise rather than the other way around.