I have talked with many small business owners over the last decade about how to run a successful business and put together dynamic teams to foster their growth. Many claim to know how to put together a team, but I am always asking them what kind of results they are getting and for the most part, the results their teams are producing is dismal.
For most, team building is lip service, or worse, an exercise in futility. Although good intentions are set and goals established, the entrepreneur fails time and time again in bringing together a group that is dedicated to the work, producing consistent results with little turnover of team players.
Many business heads have to restrain the impulse to command-and-control, and the majority don’t succeed very well. You can’t get a top performing team by using a whip or through false promises. If integrity is lacking or someone is trying to control the outcomes, resentment, fear, and chaos exist. We’ve all worked in situations like that, and what’s worse about them is that the “encourager” often believes he’s a benevolent leader who knows just what his team needs and wants.
Although I have been involved in many teams in the past, I got a good lesson in true team building about 7 years ago, when I watched a master team builder Helice Bridges put together a national best selling book “Who I Am Makes A Difference”, from start to finish in about 8 weeks. This dynamic lady found out what was at the heart of her team, connected the team to her cause, ignited the passion of the team by clearly defining the purpose of the project, and then through a volunteer process each person signed up for one of several clearly defined project outcomes.
In that atmosphere, some people shriveled, and some thrived. Those of us who seized the opportunity to do new things were happy working hard yet without feeling resentful. Helice allowed us the freedom to make mistakes, though she would tell us in no uncertain terms when we had. I had a great time and learned many valuable lessons about putting together teams.
So what are the keys to putting together a successful team? First and foremost is setting up clearly defined outcomes for the team. These are outcomes that are specific with measurable time lines. Clarity is power, and best way to pick a great team is by working with a Business Coach who can ask the right questions to find out who the ideal team player would be and where to find them.
Many times the best place to find a new team is through attending Business Networking events with like-minded Entrepreneurs. A group I would recommend is www.sharedvisionnetwork.com. Once you have chosen your team members, find out who they really are. What are their core values, their strengths and weaknesses, and what role do they see themselves playing within the team. It is also important to find out what each person’s commitment to the team and what they expect to receive as being part of the team.
With commitment comes certainty for a period of time. It is crucial to the team that everyone plays full out. One of the best ways to assure this it to have a choose in or choose out date, so the team member can fully participate knowing that they have some time to fully assess whether staying in the group will be the highest and best choice for them, and the team. Of coarse no team will prosper unless each team member feels they are being heard, so honoring each person’s contribution by giving them unconditional support through active listening will help assure success.
For originality in encouraging teamwork and building your team through the networking process, I recommend you look at www.premiercoaching.com or call Ken Foster, Master Business Coach at 480-837-6966 for a complementary business evaluation.