Scaling without limits, powering past stages of development, and creating successful companies are all grounded in team building.
The success of a company rides heavily on one factor: the team behind it. 80% of a team’s success is due to team building and cohesion, while 20% is due to their process. The success I’ve seen in my career is due to putting together a winning group of individuals, and achieving our maximum potential through team building.
Choosing the best
I hire type Type A personalities who feel a sense of urgency in their work and thrive off of competition. Often times these people are better than you may be in certain areas of work. Ask yourself, is there a chance they’re so good they could replace me? If so, you’ve done your part correctly. You should never be afraid of being replaced! Many managers make this mistake, costing them success they’ll never know.
Hiring people who are hands-on is a must. I typically avoid people who come from large companies and have spent too much time there. They’ve learned how to play office politics and don’t necessarily get hands-on themselves, instead they “manage others”. The value that experience brings comes as a result of being involved and engaged in work.
Understand how to get the most from your team
Everyone has their own work style, and investing in each individual according to their style is essential for a cohesive team. Suzanne Vickberg and Kim Christfort break down the science of teamwork in their HBR article, The New Science of Team Chemistry. According to this article, people are divided into one of four groups:
- Pioneers: Value possibilities, and spark energy and imagination from their teams. They believe in going with their gut and taking risks. Their focus is big-picture. They’re drawn to bold, new ideas and creative approaches.
- Guardians: Value stability, and bring order and rigor. They are pragmatic, and hesitant to embrace risk. Data and facts are baseline requirements for them, and details matter. Guardians believe in learning from the past.
- Drivers: Value challenge and generate momentum. Getting results and winning counts the most. Drivers tend to view issues as black-and-white and will tackle problems head on, armed with logic and data.
- Integrators: Value connection and draw teams together. Relationships and responsibility within the group are paramount. Integrators believe that most things are relative. They are diplomatic and focused on gaining consensus.
Being able to get the most from these four types of workers rests in engaging them in a way that allows the team to complement each other. According to Vickberg and Christfort, “To foster productive friction, leaders should pull opposite types close, seek input from people with non dominant styles, and pay attention to sensitive introverts, who risk being drowned out but have essential contributions to make.”
You can learn more about their system and discover which type of worker you are, here.
Create a winning culture
Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb sums it up perfectly, “Culture is simply a shared way of doing something with passion.” Culture is created by upholding the core values a business is built upon through the active choices of the company internally and externally. Those values guide the actions of everyone in the company. With a strong culture, people will feel motivated to surpass expectations. Implementing values make all the difference. Northland Controls is a global security management company, in 10 years they went from $1.5 million to $60 million by creating a positive work culture. Their core values of “take on challenges, be honorable, have fun, value our people, and do whatever it takes” led to their incredible growth.
One core value that is essential for any team is honesty. If you’re not being honest, you’re failing your team. They can handle the truth. Sure, it can be awkward to discuss real issues but it needs to be done. The purpose of this feedback is to identify the impact of an action and what needs to be corrected to have the desired future outcome. Let your team member know that you’re being honest with them because you care. Giving candid feedback certainly isn’t easy, but correctly practicing how to do so will go a long way in building a winning culture.
Invest in team building
Once you understand how to work with your team one-on-one, you can bring them together to deliver amazing results. Brian Scudamore, CEO and Founder of O2E Brands believes, “Team building is the most important investment you’ll make.” By focusing on personal things and not just corporate, your team is able to bond more effectively. Making memories outside of the office helps this, as well as lets your team know they are valued. This should be a continual process, not just a once-a-year event. Get to know your people and what goes on in their lives outside of work. Short motivational meetings help the team reinforce the bonds created through activities, help re-energize the team and helps the team accomplish company goals. Every team is capable of amazing things. Help them realize their potential by building strong bonds.
What happens to a team whose leaders invest in them? It’s simple, they excel. This is a culture where a team trusts each other. Open lines of honest communication allow for quality work and collaboration. Conflict is resolved. These employees believe in the company’s vision and are engaged in their work. This investment instills loyalty which creates a work-family and an environment where people enjoy being everyday. All of this translates into the best experience, product, or service for your clients. This designs a place where people feel fulfillment in what they do. That’s the company everyone wants to work for.