Teams, teams, teams. They’re everywhere these times. If you like them or hate them, you’ll need to be able to live not just with them but with them. Your career depends on it. Here are five ways to create teams that are highly efficient.
Take control of adultery.
It’s a term invented by Chaparrel Steel to describe its policy of treating employees as adults and not like children. The employees are not hired to perform mindless tasks and apply their brains. Management’s role is to provide the team or group with the goal, make sure that they have the right resources, give feedback and motivation as well as turn their attention to being innovative problem solvers.
Find people who truly care.
In the process of evaluating potential employees, the major airline gathers all applicants together in a room and asks everyone to present an oral presentation. Everyone thinks that employees are evaluating presenters. In fact, the company is looking at the people who are in the audience to identify those who are attentive and helpful while others are speaking. It’s a clear signal that these individuals are able to care about other people and are likely employees to recruit.
Check for a scoreboard.
The main difference between the two is that a group knows what is considered a victory. Sports players know immediately what their team’s standing is and whether they’re winning or losing. This informs them on the way they play the remainder of the game. However, in many organizations, employees can be working for months or even years without knowing what their team’s standing is and whether they are winning or losing, or simply playing it safe. Similar to business teams, sports teams need scoreboards as well. So, team members are aware of what they’re getting the winning goal and what they have to accomplish to achieve it.
Don’t encourage employee dependence.
The Romans used to have an interesting system concerning ownership. After the construction of an arch, the engineer who was changing was supposed to sit beneath it while the scaffolding was taken away. If the arch failed to hold, he would be the first person to notice. Effective leaders also ensure that ownership stays in the place they believe it belongs… in the collective. If the leader is constantly running into the team and lifting the burdens of the team, they’re not likely to build any of their own muscles. The problem with becoming the “hero boss” is that when you take a rabbit from the hat, you create more dependence on your team. Important: Smart leaders encourage their team members to discuss issues and possible solutions, but they should never let them discuss their concerns with the boss.
Make sure your team is set up to win and not be taken down.
When your staff is tasked with multiple problems or tasks, do not always address the most difficult ones first. The conventional wisdom suggests prioritizing your work and then starting working on your biggest issues first, then solving them, proceed to less important ones. This is a flawed approach that overlooks that the most difficult problem is typically the one that is the most difficult to solve. If not adequately prepared mentally, group members will fail more often, get discouraged, and even quit. This does not mean that we can allow everyone who is procrastinating to abandon our difficult tasks. Instead, it allows us to develop confidence and achieve success on a small level prior to attempting “the large one.”
If we don’t know about it, what can we do about it? Paul “Bear” Bryant, who was the legendary football coach from Alabama’s University of Alabama, said the players of the winning team must be aware of these things:
Let me know what it is you would like to see from me.
Give me the chance to shine.
Please let me know how you’re doing.
Please give me direction when I’m in need of it.
I will be rewarded in accordance with my contribution.
I couldn’t say it more accurately than Bear Bryant. Are you a part of a team that is winning?
Marcia Zidle, a business and leadership development expert, collaborates with entrepreneurs who wish to be an undisputed players when competing for clients, customers or funding.