Team building and leadership are two hot topics in today’s business world.

Imagine I asked you and your team the following questions:

  • ‘Would you like to reduce your stress’?
  • ‘What would it feel like to look forward to coming to work every day’?
  • ‘How would you like to lead a team that goes the extra mile — and loves it’?

Would you respond with, ‘No, we are good, thank you! Our team has all the motivation and engagement we need. We are strong and effective and deliver our product or service with passion and accountability’?

If you could not quite answer with that level of enthusiasm, not to worry — I can help you.

We Need Buy-In

We know that there is a limit to what we can achieve on our own. In order to have a winning team, we need a ‘buy-in’ from our team. Having a strong effective team creates engagement and excitement, empowers everyone with a can-do attitude and leads to great momentum for success.

The problem is that many leaders look around and say, ‘I have no idea how to build this’.

Maybe you inherited someone else’s team. Maybe the people on your team have been in a rut, or are overworked or are even looking for other employment.

If you apply some proven leadership principles, you can propel your team to new heights of morale, motivation and productivity to be a truly winning team.

Four Steps to Successful Team Building

It seems like when I talk about leading a winning team, someone inevitably looks at me and says, ‘I do not know where to start!’ As Fraulein Maria said in The Sound of Music: ‘Let’s start at the beginning. It’s a very good place to start’.

1. Replace ‘hiring’ with ‘inspiring’.

The process of building a winning team actually starts at the hiring stage. First you must attract the best team for your organisation. Spend time in an interview procedure to discuss the vision and culture of the organisation. Look out for the 6 Cs: character, commitment, courage, chemistry, competency and compassion.

At the very beginning of your search for a new team member, keep this in mind: You are not just filling a position.  If you look for a team member who shares the values, vision and culture of your team, you are less likely to run into motivation or morale problems down the road.You can either hire the hands and feet of people to perform a role – or you can hire their brains, vision and commitment For more on this, see my blog, “What Makes a Winning Team.”

2. Replace a ‘job’ with ‘a vision’.

With great leadership, talent does not come and go, rather it ‘comes and grows’. Your team members will be much more likely to stay with you long-term, if you can give them a long-term vision for their growth.

Every employee wants to feel secure as well as knowing there is growth opportunity not just for the company, but for themselves. Leaders need to display and communicate clearly about growth opportunities that are possible for their team. They then need to identify and work with those that want to grow with these opportunities.

When employees understand that their superiors are not just wanting them to fulfill a role, but are committed in developing them to be the very best they can be – this is where teamwork grows and a winning team is birthed. 

Keys to Casting a Vision to Your Team

Ensure that you have a clear idea of where you want to get to.  If you haven’t already, begin to work on it now.

  • Have your vision documented – others should be able to read and understand it.
  • Ask others in your inner circle and a business coach to help you shape and define your vision. Allow these trusted folks to help you make it even greater. Click here to read an earlier blog about the importance of an inner circle.
  • Live with your vision, dream into it, think big, don’t think small. Often what differentiates average and good leaders is the way they choose to think.
  • Take time to prepare, don’t rush into it. There is an art to casting it to your team. Preparation and presentation are vital.

3. Replace a team that ‘works for you’ with a team that ‘works with you’.

We want our team members to be loyal, passionate and accountable to one another, and to desire and deliver the best.  How can we develop that in our team members, if we do not develop that in ourselves?  Here are a few places you can start:
• Look for opportunities to be loyal to your team.
• Let them see your passion.
• Desire and deliver the best to them at every opportunity.
• Be accountable to your own standards, and to your team.

To do this, it’s important to develop a coaching style to your leadership. As a leader, don’t try to control your team, but instead coach them toward success. Find out more on coaching vs. controlling.

4. Replace criticism with engagement.

If everyone on your team is focused on a vision, accountable to one another, loyal to the team, committed to excellence, and prepared for growth, personal criticism will not be necessary. We will not need to engage in the tug-of-war that can happen between employer and employee. Instead, the team can engage one another in searching for solutions.

When I train leaders, I often say ‘Don’t criticise what you allow to happen’. It can be too easy for a leader to criticise a team member, often behind their back, without actually ever addressing the situation or person. They therefore ‘allow’ things to happen which ultimately affects productivity. Leaders will engage or disengage a team and will reap the rewards accordingly!

One of the best ways to create engagement for success is for the leader to engage with their team. When this happens the team is engaged with the leader. Success and engagement is then part of the culture of the team.

Find out more on how to engage with your team here.

Developing the talent in your team is the best way to develop a WINNING team. Most of all, commit yourself to becoming an effective leader, and before long, you will find yourself leading an effective team.