You can do everything you want to do, live your dreams, reach your goals, fulfill your call or simply attain success, faster, more effectively, with less stress and more peace with an effective team!
If this is true, why aren’t more people building teams, you ask? Team building seems to be among the most difficult of human feats! Team building is like starting a savings account. Even though it ensures a great tomorrow, the need for instant gratification drives us to fulfill the immediate and ignore the long range!
People would rather buy on credit than layaway. On layaway, there is no interest; there is no real debt or risk. You just have to wait for the gratification. On credit, the interest makes the product cost more. In fact, leadership that does not build teams is like paying the minimum payment on a credit card; you never get it paid off! Plus, when you build/buy on credit you could lose it all at any time.
In the beginning of team building, the common cry is, “I could get this done faster if I did it myself!” And that is true! On the other hand, the person who doesn’t train and develop a team is also the person that continually complains because no one will take initiative, no one knows how to do anything!
The end for the leader who does not build teams is always BURN OUT! And be sure there are no exceptions! No matter where you are in your journey to success, you can shift your paradigm and begin to build incredible teams. If you have a plan, if you know where you are going it is time to start building the team.
In the Critical Factors for Success, after creating a plan, the most important factor is staffing. You are not ready to do anything else, until you have determined who you need on your staff. Staffing is where you build the team that can build and sustain the success.
We call this The Dream Team. Your Dream Team may not be the people who are the very best at what they do. But they have to be the people who have the skills to bring your dream to pass.
The Dream Team is not really the “who” as much as it is the “what”! The question is not, “Who do I need?” The question is “what” skills do I need on my team!
This is usually where you need the input from a consultant or someone who has effectively done what you are trying to do! When you need an expert, don’t try to be one, hire one! Remember, you’ve never done this before. You’re going where you’ve never been. Get good advice!
Teams thrive on several things. The following may be the most important guiding factors for team building:
1. A Common Goal – This is a deal breaker. There is no room on a team for secret or hidden agendas. Anyone not fully committed to the common goal will eventually cost you more than they bring you.
2. Symbiotic Relationships – The relationship cannot be one sided. Everyone must benefit and everyone must fulfill his or her personal goals. If you work on my team, your personal goals must be fulfilled in the process of fulfilling the goal of the team.
3. Comparable Professional Skills – If professionalism is not comparable, you will realize what the saying means; a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. It is demoralizing when one or two team members are constantly the cause of reduced results. Over the long haul, the professionalism of a team always settles in at the lowest common denominator.
4. Healthy Communication Skills – Teams thrive on positive, open, honest communication. When people do not talk, dissension is close at hand. When people do not talk honestly, chaos abounds.
5. Mutual Respect – You cannot lead a person you do not respect. Likewise, you will not follow a person you do not respect. When a team member loses respect, a concentrated deliberate effort must be launched to heal the breach. If not, the team member must leave.
6. Congruent Philosophies – Our philosophies of life and business must mesh. They may not be identical but they have to be compatible. When speaking in terms of mathematics congruence means: Coinciding exactly when superimposed. That is exactly what must happen when we superimpose our philosophies one upon the other. While not identical, one will always support the other.
7. Shared Values – Values are the make-and-break point for most relationships whether personal or professional. If all else is in agreement but values are in conflict, it is only a matter of time before destructive disagreement emerges.
Values tend to define our sense of right and wrong. Right and wrong touches one of the deepest motivations for conflict in the human psyche. People cannot violate their values without a deep internal conflict that eventually erupts into relational conflict
8. An Understanding and Commitment to Systems – Apart from well-defined systems, every effort is a guessing game. Systems say this is how we do it. every time! Teams cannot interconnect; there can be no integration of effort, there can be no consistency without systems. Without systems, every project is harder, more costly, and is bound with more conflict.
Ask your team members questions. Determine if your teams are built on the eight guiding factors. You may find the hidden cause for low productivity and high conflict. But most importantly, you will find solutions!