“Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.” – Booker T. Washington
Great leaders recognize that nothing is complete within isolation, and focus on building great teams. In business, we often talk about the importance of teams, but rarely take the time to truly plan out our effective teams. There are five traits necessary to building a great team.
How to build a world-class team
1. Focus on building the team before you need to accomplish the big task. By getting the right team in place before the main task is executed, people will feel that they are part of the bigger picture and be more committed.
2. Attract top people to you by building a superior company. The best will come to you, rather than you going to them. This saves time, money, and they tend to bring their top colleagues with them.
3. Build a team with the right people with the right skill sets that complement one another, and are necessary to achieve the task. Not a team that has skill sets that you like or your own personality traits, but have the skills and traits necessary to achieve the critical task.
4. Build a team that truly supports and trusts one another, so it’s not a group of individuals but is a team with a common purpose. This process takes some time, since it requires the formation of the team, a period of time for them to get to know one another, for that knowing to turn into trust, and ultimately for that trust to turn into action.
5. Assure that each person on the team knows what their areas of responsibility and accountability. Like a sports team each person plays a particular role. They are supported by one another, but at the end of the day, each person has a position. As a leader it is your responsibility to assure those roles and responsibility are clearly defined, articulated, agreed to, measured and appropriately resourced over time.
6. A team needs to be rewarded for their actions. No team no person will work on any activity without some measure of reward, and I’m not necessarily talking solely about financial compensation. Because most of us are focused on doing something important something with purpose, so your reward should be consistent with a purpose for the team.
Eamonn has a B. Eng. (Electrical) from Lakehead University, MBA (Finance) from University of Toronto, and has completed Executive Education at Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He lives in Vancouver, Canada. Follow him on twitter @EamonnPercy