An organization is only as good as its people. Great people and great teams do not happen by accident. Creating a successful team requires right actions by the leadership. There are two very important actions that must be taken by team leaders. First, you must start with the right people and these people must share your values. But then leadership has the challenge of retaining those high performers by keeping 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, we must exceed our customers’ expectations. That is not going to happen if you have a lot of highly qualified but individual performers who don’t share vision, values, and goals. You need cohesive and effective teams to make it happen, not people in individual silos. Everyone has different talents and it is important to leverage those talents. The power of your team is only as effective as your weakest link.
Creating a winning team begins with creating a culture that allows your employees to challenge, to question, and to create. Get to know your entire team. Don’t just spend time with people with whom you are comfortable or those with seniority and experience. For example, some may be selected for their big picture systematic thinking and planning. Some may be selected for their attention to detail and getting things done right. Some may be selected for their consensus building and understanding of relationships. By the way, you must look at that person that you perceive to be your weakest link. What is that person’s strength? Encourage him or her to leverage that strength.
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. This means that 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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