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Creating strong teams
“There needs to be a belief that working as a team actually does produce better results than allowing individuality free rein. This is a big belief that must never be taken for granted.”

BY JAMES SALE

One of the most important skills of a true leader is the ability to create strong and effective teams. The reason for this is simple and can be summed up in the well-known acronym: TEAM—Together Everyone Achieves More. What this means is that there is a synergy that happens when a true team performs.

I like to think of this as the difference between arithmetic and geometry. People who work together in groups are arithmetic. If there are five people in the group then the combined productivity is five units—if you are lucky and they all pull their weight. But with a team of five people you have geometric power: it’s not 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 5 but 1 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 5 = 120 units!

There are several aspects to successful teamwork, which includes understanding motivational profiles, and also team skill contributions. But overarching these personal and operational issues, there are four simple things or conditions that need to be addressed.

Condition One: The team has to have a clear remit or mission. It is effectively what in military terms is called the Principle of the Objective. What are we trying to do? If we are leading a team, the question we should be asking again and again is: “Is the mission clear?” Furthermore, what your team is about to attempt needs to be clear, and that is helped by knowing “why?”

Condition Two: Interdependency—the understanding that each person’s gifts and abilities are needed to achieve the objective. The corollary of this is that it is entirely possible to have redundant team members—their membership of the team is not essential to the outcome. This is bad. Public sectors generally are full of this bloat. Have you recently checked the relevance of your team members to achieving the objective? Is it too many, too few or just about right?

Condition Three:
There needs to be a belief that working as a team actually does produce better results than allowing individuality free rein. This is a big belief that must never be taken for granted. On our training courses, we like to experientially demonstrate this. It is far too easy to imagine that believing is the same as thinking; it’s not. Believing always has a feeling component, and too much team development is arid and intellectual—in short, the sort of thing you learn to do from a book. Developing strong beliefs counters this.

Condition Four: Successful teams are accountable; this is really part of the remit. Great teams understand they are players in the bigger picture. The person who has been on a great team is always aware of that—that something bigger than them is being achieved, which is why it feels so great. Who are your teams accountable to? It is too easy for groups to become self-perpetuating fiefdoms.

If you can review your own team and tick all four conditions as met then chances are you are performing at a high level, and leading extremely well. Let’s hope so!

Courtesy of EzineArticles.com.