The word “team” has become the catch-all word to define people who work together. In reality, it’s a different story. Building a high performing team is an alchemy of the science of human behavior and the art of communication. Just like anything else worthwhile, it’s challenging and at times arduous work. Like a Porsche Carrera, a high-performance team requires maintenance.
A grossly dysfunctional team is obvious. A mediocre team that’s okay but can and should be better is less obvious. Simple solutions to complex problems are seldom reality and there is no digital diagnostic and AI fix for teams who are driving with the brakes on.
Interview for a leadership role and regardless of the organization, you will be asked about experience, skill, and success at creating and leading teams that get positive results. The right perspective and skills have become a baseline expectation of leaders.
Eating, drinking and having fun together is a good thing but if a few beers, burgers and a ropes course were all that’s required, top-notch teams would be prolific.
If you want to do better, consider these perspectives:
Go slow to go fast. Like a road race team, all team members must share a common knowledge of the car, the course, the strategy for winning, the role of each team member, the expected behaviors. This is team chartering. Do it collaboratively rather than by fiat and the results will be stronger. Get help if you don’t know how. Use the charter as a reference point and guide in decision making.
There are a bunch of “I” s in team. Every team member is an individual with ideas, capability, potential, desire, and needs. An effective team leader inspires, facilitates, and coaches in a way that extracts and assimilates the best thinking of all. She serves in a way that connects individual capabilities, desires and needs with the vision of the organization. That person is gold. Pay her what she wants and serve her as she serves her team. She converts the linear math of a team into exponential results.
Conflict is a seed of improvement. Teams of talented high achievers disagree. Diversity of ideas and perspectives leads to better outcomes. Robust argument, raised voices, manifest passion are positive paths to improvement. Teams must learn to do this one-on-one and in a group without demeaning the dignity of each other. Conflict is good, healthy disagreement until …
- Winning is all that matters
Issues become personal
Positions are solidified
Logic is gone
Objectivity is lost
Original difference is forgotten
Ego is your driver
Trust is essential for effectiveness. A community of trust creates the foundation of high performance. This is a basic requirement of a leader as is building more leaders. Trust is confidence in our relationships and it is based on shared confidence that team members will meet commitments, have the capability to fulfill the role, are not narcissistic jerks. Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO is known for the values that guide Netflix. He says, “we do not hire brilliant jerks.”
High performing teams do not allow a team member to fail. When commitment to the business, the team and relationships within the team are solid, success and failure are owned collectively by the team.
Having fun together as a team is important but this is team maintenance and it does not replace the hard, deliberate work of building a high performing team. This takes time, follows a process, requires courage, consistency and practice.
To learn more about Randy Boek and Route Two Inc, visit our website today!
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