Everyone imagines leading the dream team but few of us get to lead such a team unless we build the team from scratch. A team that has never played together will never play up to its potential in any sport—or business. So how do we make the magic happen?
In this blog post, I will demonstrate a few things that work and how they can be implemented immediately out of the toolbox.
- Eliminate the “you versus them” mentality.
You are an equal part of the team. Your role must be to get the best out of the team, so make sure to always use “we” in any form of communication.
- Don’t underestimate the power of positive attitude.
Teach the dramatic effects of a positive attitude and the impact of negativity. Model how each individual team member must consider the entire team. Each team member needs to contribute to the team’s success. If all play by this rule, the entire team will meet their goals and take care of each other as well.
- Encourage freedom to improve.
If team members have ideas for improvement, create a space to test them out. Your job as a team leader is to eliminate obstacles to include company policies that prevent your team from meeting goals and achieving success.
- Focus on what matters.
Learn the 80/20 rule and teach your team the concept. Find the 20% of errors that cause 80% of the trouble. Make sure the team knows how to prioritize and why.
- Buy some books!
Create a small library of books relevant for your trade. Carefully select 2 or 3 copies of 15-20 trade books and keep expanding. Knowledge is never out of fashion. A growing library will improve understanding and creativity. Never stop learning and expanding your fund of knowledge unless you want your competition to drive by you while you’re in the pit stop!
- What matters to the company?
Teach your team what’s considered important to you and your company and WHY—always remember the why. Your team will accept a change in task that now takes them 5 minutes longer to accomplish if they understand how it will save 10 minutes elsewhere in the company.
- Don’t keep secrets!
Share your numbers! Let the team know how the company is doing. Whatever you make visible will improve. Try setting up two call centers, one with a queue-monitor and one without. Your team hates bad numbers just as much as you do.
- Don’t forget to include surprises and celebrations!
Arrange a surprise lunch or show up with ice cream on a warm day. Run around in a batman costume just for the fun of it. Hide the bonus payout in an envelope taped underneath the desk. Of course, you can’t do this every day, but you can do it to show you care.
- Schedule no-agenda meetings.
Give your team opportunities to voice their frustrations with the system or discuss new ideas. As a team leader, your job is to stay silent and LISTEN!
- Welcome new members.
This is a good time for cake and flowers. Most companies recognize employees with flowers when they leave. Well, it is much nicer to show gratitude when people arrive. Make sure that each team member also schedules a “one-on-one” meeting with you to get to know you as the team leader. Encourage present team members to be a vital part of training new team members.
- Teach the team about motivation.
Learn how motivation works and empower your team with the tools to motivate each other.
- Thank their spouse/partner.
If you have a team member who leaves their loved ones at home often because of late hours—here is a killer tip. Write a thank-you note to the one left at home thanking them for their patience. Explain to them how much you appreciate their sacrifice and/or flexibility. If you can’t be honest about it, skip it. But if you choose to write a thank-you note, don’t overdo it. Handwritten addressed notes should be directed to the spouse/partner and not your team member. How about a bonus gift or check to them?
- Winners are welcome!
Be confident! If your team members are the best, tell them! Strive to be the best by hiring the best! Hire people with a positive attitude who pursue excellence.
- Help your team members build their careers!
If members of your team dream of promotions, help them get it. If you contribute to others’ success, they will respect you. People will want to work on your team as you not only develop talent, but because you’re deeply committed to building their personal careers.
To become a great team leader you need to acquire skills in motivation, coaching and human behavior.” ~ Frode Heimen Tweet this!
You might be surprised to learn what really motivates high performance in people.
Knowledge and relationships are two key words to always remember. Build relationships and a thirst for knowledge, and you will create teams that outperform their competition over and over again.
Remember this is not an overnight delivery. Building a team takes time. Turning results around is not magic and it’s not impossible. Engaged employees outperform the average employee by far. Remember to make sure your team is the engaged one.
What is your best power-fuel?