One of the key ingredients for making your business a success is effective teamwork. This requires you as the business leader to harness the collective efforts of your people and direct them towards achieving your overall business goal. When it comes to leading your team to success, what are the key characteristics that mark out a team for success and what can you do to put them in place within your team?
A common goal
Everyone in your team needs to know what the ultimate business goal is. This needs to start from the top with clear strategic goals for the business, supported by the respective departmental goals and then finally with individual team member’s goals. Once team members understand what they are aiming for they can pull together and apply their individual and collective efforts towards these goals and not waste time and effort directing them elsewhere.
Behind every successful team lies an effective leader. Leaders provide the vision and adopt the right behaviours to instil a team approach. They share management and involve others where appropriate. They are able to flex their style of leadership to suit the needs of the situation and the needs of their individual team members. They look to develop and enable their team members, building the future leaders of their businesses.
The leadership style adopted by many business owners is often more directive than consultative, ie telling people what to do and relying on their compliance or even obedience! When the situation allows, a more empowering style of leadership can be much more effective, engendering greater commitment from team members as well as generating new ideas and improvements to current working practices.
The team needs the right balance of membership and not just in respect of the number of people and their respective technical skills. An effective team will also have an appropriate mix of personalities who bring a range of other skills, values and motivations. For instance, some of your team members will have great organisation and implementation skills, others will have excellent inter-personal skills. Try and find them roles within the team that allow them to play to their individual strengths, instead of focussing on their weaknesses.
Where individual team members have a sense of belonging and a spirit of commitment to the aims and purposes of their team, this can lead to remarkable successes.
As the leader of your team how much of your personal energy are you devoting to building the team spirit and supporting your fellow team members? How often do you get your team together to celebrate successes, to discuss team morale or to get their ideas on how team performance can be improved? Team building events outside of the workplace can be great opportunities for developing team spirit but don’t underestimate the positive impact that an impromptu lunch trip or round of cakes can also have.
Being an effective business leader and developing a successful team will reap many rewards for you and your team. Are the right ingredients in place for your team to win?