Individual commitment to a group effort; that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. – Vince Lombardi
Teamwork. A principle we have been exposed to since grade school; but yet, one that is often overlooked. After helping lead my own organization this quality proves to be one of the most influential and applicable values that I have learned upon entering my profession. But what makes a good team? How can we most effectively help foster an environment around us that promotes this characteristic?
Building a Dream Team
A healthy team is first formed with a strong leader that unites others around a central goal or theme. Anyone can be a leader and how that individual determines to lead their team can vary from one person to the next. Yet, no matter your leadership style, Forbes writer Glenn Liopis suggests the following tips on sustaining a positive team environment (site):
- Be Aware of How You Work
- Get to Know the Rest of the Team
- Clearly Define Roles and Responsibilities
- Be Proactive with Feedback
- Acknowledge and Reward
- Always Celebrate Successes
Without knowing your leadership style, it could prove challenging to get your team onboard to accomplish any objectives. You can’t help others understand an issue if you don’t first understand yourself. Take the step to know clearly want you want and how you plan to get there to help identify your leadership strategy.
Accordingly, it can be shown that teamwork creates bonds between all members of a group. Foster this bond. You must make it your priority to understand each and every one of your team members on a personal level. This will help you identify how members best learn in a given situation. In addition, this step will also help you pin-point any gaps where your leadership style may not be effective for any individual – allowing you to adjust your strategy.
With a mutual understanding of each other, you can then be able to start coordination which member will accomplish any designated tactic. You know who will work best where and if something is not working be open to adjust along the way. Additionally, writer for the Harvard Business Review suggests to make time for team members to appreciate other’s skills (Ross, 2008). People like showing off their skills and feel rewarded when others acknowledge their uniqueness to where they contribute.
Finally, accomplishment is everything. Acknowledge those that have done great to promote competition and clearly define your standards. And with all members, celebrate your victories.
Leadership Developer, John Maxwell, works with leaders to better help themselves and effectively working with others. In doing so, he has outlined levels of leadership and how to identify themselves as effective based on measurement of group success. Of which, he identifies productive teams are ones that come together to create results while developing others. “People come together to accomplish a purpose. They like to get together to get together, but they love to get together to accomplish something,” (Maxwell, site).
Results come soaring through this collaboration model, but it becomes even more productive when members begin teaching others. “A leader is great, not because of his or her power, but because of his or her ability to empower others. Success without a successor is a failure,” Maxwell, site). If a team is consistently producing results while teaching others how to be successful – the group is on the right track.
“Leadership is Influence.” – John Maxwell
Everyone is a leader, so influence others to become become better while you lead. Come together to accomplish – because without teamwork, we’d accomplish nothing.
Liopis, G. (2012, October 1). 6 Ways Successful Teams Are Built to Last. Forbes Leadership. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2012/10/01/6-ways-successful-teams-are-built-to-last/
Maxwell, J. C. (1993). Developing the Leader Within You. Thomas Nelson Publishing Co. ISBN 978-0-8407-6744-8
Ross, J.A., (2008, February 28). Make Your Good Team Great. Harvard Management Update. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2008/02/make-your-good-team-great-1/