As a business owner you know that a high-performing team is essential for a successful business. But how do you start building a team from the group of individuals who currently work for you with all of their different personalities and egos?
Any of these sound familiar?
• The Cat – ‘hmm, good idea eh? I’ll be the judge of that.’
• The Labrador – ‘that’s a great idea yeh, let’s do it, let’s do it!’
• The Meerkat – ‘let’s see what our competitors are doing first…’
• The White Rabbit – ‘I’m sorry…what have I missed?’
Of course we’re all different – we all have different strengths, different experience, and a different way of doing things, so what can you do, as the leader, to get all of these people to gel as a team?
Well you can start by viewing individual personality traits in a positive way, and playing to strengths:
• Your Cat’s circumspection may avoid ‘groupthink’ and give much-needed ‘paws’ (sorry) for thought.
• Your Labrador’s enthusiasm could be contagious and keep team spirits up.
• Your Meerkat could be tasked with being your ‘lookout,’ keeping you up to date with your competition and bringing in ideas.
• Your White Rabbit might keep everyone succinct at meetings to get their points agreed before he arrives! Of course he might just be late because he’s bringing you coffee!
If you want to go one step further and build a High Performing Team, then here are my top 10 tips:
1. Get clear about your vision for the business and the values that you want to live by and work to. Sounds easy, but have you actually done it? Don’t start to build your team until you have.
2. Ensure you employ people who share your values.
3. Share your story and your big Why with your team – let them buy into your dream.
4. Share your vision – the ultimate goal for the business with the team, and have a clear route map to take you all there.
5. Communicate progress towards your goals, and celebrate every small win.
6. Establish simple, logical and repeatable ways of working (systems) and train your team to follow them.
7. Get to know every team member as an individual; identify their strengths and weaknesses and work out their development plans together.
8. Review their progress formally at least every 6 months.
9. Look for everyday opportunities to say well done and give ‘specific’ praise.
10. Share your business success with the team, both verbally and financially. Let them feel how much you value their contribution.
As baseball player Babe Ruth put it, “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”
Do one thing: Take a close look at your team, and ask yourself if you’re valuing each individual for the unique qualities and experience they bring to the team.