What causes the difference between a high performing team and one that is dysfunctional and full of performance issues? There could be a number of causes but one cause for sure would be poor leadership.
An organization is only as good as its people. Your first role as leader is to select the right people. After you have hired the right people your challenge as a leader is to keep them engaged and producing results. Engaged employees will lead to loyal customers and loyal customers will lead to a sustainable business. In our business climate it is not enough to be good, you must exceed customers’ expectations. This takes a coordinated effort of individuals that work together toward a common goal. You may have heard it said that there is no “I” in team. This is true and it means that individuals who are qualified and intelligent but do not work well with others will lead to failure. The responsibility for that failure ultimately rests with the leadership.
Creating a winning team begins with creating a culture that allows your employees to challenge, to question, and to create. Get to know all of your team and not just the people with whom you are comfortable or those with seniority and experience. You should have a diversity of talent. Some may have talent for big picture systematic thinking and planning. Others may have superb attention to detail and getting things done right. And yet others may be great consensus builders with keen understanding of interpersonal relationships. What is each person’s strength? Encourage each team member to leverage his or her strengths.
Building a high performing team depends on the leader’s ability to construct relationships within the team. As the leader you must establish very clear goals and demonstrate full commitment to their achievement.
Trust is essential to success of the team. People must feel free to ask questions with the confidence that they will receive support and the information that they need. There must be honest, complete and open communication throughout the group.
Competency is important when creating highly effective teams. The personal competencies necessary for teamwork are technical and interpersonal skills, possibility attitudes, and the desire and ability to achieve goals. Technical competency is a thorough understanding of how to do the job and the skills required to fulfill the job requirements. Interpersonal skills are those skills required to successfully interact with others. Possibility attitudes include “All Hands On” confidence and a belief in one’s ability to positively influence outcomes. Each individual team member must bring high levels of personal and technical competencies. Every individual has a personal responsibility to make a positive contribution to overall team performance. Every team member knows his/her job, but they collectively have the attitude that each person on that team will do whatever it takes to get the job done.
A skillful leader empowers an engaged team which creates loyal customers and business success.
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