Leading Top Teams Is Not For Everyone
So much of corporate success these days is based upon leading top teams. When a group of people work collaboratively to achieve a common goal, amazing things can happen.
Vince Lombardi Says…
The legendary football coach, Vince Lombardi, described effective teaming as “individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
But you can’t be leading top teams or expect to have high performing teams without strong, purposeful leadership.
What Does It Take to Lead Top Teams?
Here are three requirements leading top teams:
1. The Right People and the Right Mix
You need to assemble the right talent…people who are willing and able to work hard on the assigned tasks and work well together.
It is not enough to have the title or pay grade. These two attributes do not ensure a team member has the required capabilities. You need to first figure out what the team needs to accomplish, what knowledge and skills are needed to achieve success and what performance metrics will keep the team on track.
Knowledge and skills matter…but so does attitude. You need to have employees who respect one another, appreciate differences, feel free to share ideas, and support each other with the understanding that they are all pulling in the same direction.
Some describe effective teamwork as one plus one equals three; the positive synergy of team members working together multiplies the effectiveness they would have achieved working individually.
2. The Right Focus
The best team leaders know that clear roles and responsibilities are essential to high performance. It is the leader’s job to see that each team member knows what they are expected to contribute to the team effort and how their job interfaces with others.The leader needs to enforce the priorities that keep the team moving smoothly toward the goal and it is the leader’s job to course-correct when the team gets off track.
With a consistent and transparent system of performance indicators, the team leader can monitor and celebrate progress.
3. The Right Alignment
At some companies, different teams seem to work at cross purposes and actually contradict each other’s effectiveness. They are unclear on how what they do fits in with the overall company strategy. One may be working hard at controlling costs when another is investing big dollars in R&D. Which effort supports the corporate strategy for success? If this is not clear, get back to the drawing board until the strategy is clarified and agreed upon.
Then you will have your strategy aligned with the talent on your team and with the behaviors or culture that support it.
The Bottom Line
When a team leader is committed to having the right talent on the team, a clear focus on the right goals and alignment with the company strategy, the right business results will follow.
To learn more about leading top teams, download 3 Must-Have Ingredients of High Performing Teams for New Managers
4 Steps to Create Strategic Alignment
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