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The success of your team depends on you!

When a team works well together it can achieve far more than the sum of its parts - BUT much of how a team gels is down to you as the leader.

I am sure we can all remember being part of a great team – and, we all likely have horror stories we could share of teams we have been a part of that didn’t work out. The truth is that being a part of a team can be very rewarding when they work well OR a complete nightmare when they don’t – but I remain a passionate believer in teams!!

When a team works well together it can achieve far more than the “sum of its parts” That is why teams are essential for organisational growth and are worth the investment it will take to get them right. This is a lesson I have learnt many times over the years.

There are many barriers you will have to overcome to have your team work well: different personalities; different goals and agendas; different skills and knowledge levels; different commitment levels – to name a few.

This is where YOUR Leadership comes in – the success of your team will depend on how you lead them. Real leadership happens when you can get everyone working in their “sweet spot” and working together towards a single goal.

There are 2 main aims for a successful leader when it comes to teams:

  1. Communicating vision and helping everyone understand that vision – including keeping it at the forefront of your team’s minds and as the motivation for what they do.
  2. Finding out how best an individual’s skills and talents “mesh” with the vision and allowing them to “flow” in those gifts and talents to see the vision fulfilled.

The other thing as a leader you will need to be good at is dealing with conflict. It is critical that any conflict within your team is dealt with in a way that resolves the conflict rather than growing the conflict. One thing as a leader you can do is invest in training in the area of conflict resolution

You will soon discover that the currency of good team work is trust. Without trust teams don’t succeed BUT, with trust at the centre, any team can overcome whatever gets thrown at them to achieve their ultimate goals.

This is an area that needs your leadership attention. Trust is something you build, it rarely happens overnight. 

Here are some ways you can build trust in a team:

  • Encouragement – give good and regular feedback to people when they do things well and also give constructive criticism when they come up short.
  • Have relationships that are not focused only on getting the job done – socialise with your teams, get to know them and their lives and allow them to get to know you.
  • Have one-on-one meetings with each team member to give them feedback on their performance AND invest in training and helping them where you can to develop their skills.

You will also find though that Trust (sadly) is destroyed much quicker than it is built. Here are some pitfalls to avoid:

  • Bursts of anger – be self-controlled AND consistent in the way you communicate to your team – no one likes a “Jekyll and Hyde” leader.
  • Undermining – allow people the freedom to fail and deal with these failures in private NOT in public – don’t publicly expose people who fail. Holding your tongue and choosing your moment will be of great benefit – and IF (and when) you blow it – apologise in public too.
  • Multi delegating – this is one of my personal pet hates – asking a number of people to do the same thing – it shows you don’t trust the first person asked and will not only erode trust but also cause confusion.

    Teams function as well as the leader leads and, as the leader of your team, you set the culture your team will experience, and that culture will determine your team’s success or failure.

    When a team does well there is no stopping them!

    Do you have a good team, what do you need to add to make it better?

    Categories: Foundation, Leadership, Servant, Strategy, Team

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