Leadership is as much about your personal traits as it is about bringing out the best in others. Your ultimate goal as a leader should not just be to lead a strong team now but to nurture the team leaders of tomorrow. These four simple steps make for stronger teams that are confident in their individual and combined competency.
Large teams are unwieldy, difficult to manage, and generally more prone to inertia. When you are deciding on who to welcome onto the team, have a clear reason why each of those individuals has earned their place. If more than one person brings the same set of talents to the table, however stellar they may be in their own respect, choose the best candidate and drop the others.
Inclusion in any team you create should be seen as a privilege that possible candidates seek to earn.
A lack of precision can undermine teams made up of the most talented individuals. Whether it is the agenda for a meeting, allocation of tasks, progress tracking, or inter- and intra-team communication, you will have to set, demand, and maintain clear standards.
The rules may vary by project but the essentials of accountability for tasks and their deadlines most likely will not. A reliable framework to which every team member can refer creates an atmosphere of coherence and accountability. That, in turn, aids in aligning them on shared processes as they work towards common goals.
Many teams share a single shortcoming – that everyone has done the same things the same way and is happy with whatever that model is. This static mindset is beset with an inability to anticipate new hurdles, which can prove expensive in the long run.
Counter this by placing someone on the team that has an eye for detail, particularly the negative kind. While that may cause some discomfort, manage your team so that constructive criticism is heard, and then deliberated upon to find real solutions.
It is virtually inevitable that a team’s performance diminishes over time. Lethargy and complacency set in and the inevitable end result is mediocrity. Monitor your team for signs of this decline. Where problems manifest themselves, designate the relevant team members to address issues immediately.
As the team’s goals and roles evolve, you may also find that certain individuals no longer bring as much value with their contributions. Make the necessary adjustments so the team as an entity does not lose its way.
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