Build and Keep a High Performance Team

Employers, entrepreneurs and some managers often think they have to “do it all themselves.” They may say things such as:

“No one can do this as well as I can.”
“It’s easier to just do it myself than to explain how to someone else.”
“I don’t have time to train anybody.”

When you think this way you are overlooking a critical component for success in building or managing a business. That is, building the right team.

What is a Team?
In the book, The Wisdom of Teams (Harvard Business School Press, 1993), they describe a team as:
“… a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.”

Highly Effective Teams…

See the big picture. Each team member understands the relevance of their role and how it impacts the effectiveness of others and the overall team efforts. A lot of times people are asked to work on a part of a project but not understand the overall picture. If they understand the big picture, they then have a better understanding of their role within the project.

Have common goalsHighly effective teams have agreed upon goals and metrics.  They know when they have met the goals and can determine their overall effectiveness.

Collaborate. Effective teams know how to work together. Collaboration reduces the need for blaming behavior and encourages the opportunities for learning and improvement.

An Effective Team Leader…
* Must provide structure and support to the team
* Ensure the team has all the resources and training to do their jobs
* Provide clear goals and timelines
* Provide a culture that promotes problem solving and learning opportunities within the team
* Must over communicate and provide feedback, early and often

There is no such thing as the perfect team. Look for the right team members to complement each other then give them ongoing feedback and support.  Ideally, you’ll have people that are both independent and interdependent. If you nurture them you will achieve better performance and better results.