As a leader, there’s nothing more satisfying than watching your team just flat out “get it done”. The flywheel spins at breakneck speed, and milestones and business plan targets get met and surpassed with workmanlike regularity.
It’s fun to watch once all the pieces are in place, and I’ve been fortunate to have been in that position during my career. I’ve also been fortunate to have seen what it took to produce a team that could truly be called awesome.
There is a lot of time and effort involved, and on the leader’s part it requires commitment, persistence, focus, a positive attitude – and a heck of a lot of patience.
For the Awesome Team is not built overnight.
However, if the savvy leader can tap into what I believe are the 5 secrets to Awesome Team building, that process will go a lot faster – and get the desired results.
Just remember 5 words:
RESPECT the work. Remember, it’s about the people you lead. It’s the realization that every single role in a company or organization is important to the mission of that company or organization. No matter what it is. And this realization must be put in to practice words AND deeds. A leader cannot “look down” on any person or task. Respecting the work puts the person behind the work in a much better position to succeed.
DELIVER on your promises to your team. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can poison the culture of an organization than a leader that says one thing, and then does another. I’ve seen it happen countless times. On the contrary, when a leader is known for being a straight shooter – someone who can be believed when he or she says “we are going to to this” – it builds a huge reserve of respect that puts a lot of gas into the Awesome Team engine.
VALUE the work and the quality of the work appropriately. Praise and honor extraordinary effort, and DO NOT ignore substandard effort. Create compensation plans that feature common sense, and are not “regressions to the mean” in design and execution. And construct a 360 degree real time feedback loop that highlights strengths and puts people in the best positions to succeed.
MEASURE your successes smartly by creating metrics that are truly meaningful and actionable for every team member. Having such metrics is a critical element to employee satisfaction. As noted by Patrick Lencioni in his great book “The Three Signs of a Miserable Job”, “Employees that can measure their own progress or contribution is going to develop a greater sense of personal responsibility and satisfaction than those who cannot”.
CONNECT the respected, valued, and measured work of the individuals to the greater goals of the enterprise, which I like to call “the cause”. A leader MUST be able to answer the questions “Why does this job matter?’, and “How does what I do make a difference?“ By establishing a solid connection the team member feels like a valuable part of a greater whole, TOGETHER going after the cause. If promise-keeping is the gas, connecting to the cause is the glue that holds it all together.
Now that you know the secrets, build an Awesome Team of your own. And then sit back and enjoy the ride.
(Photo via Bigstock)