The first step is to have a plan; sounds simple? Of course, any decent manager will have a plan usually consisting of early wins, delivering functional goals and proving that they were the right choice.
Great leaders understand they are in it for the long haul and building a team requires the same due diligence as delivering KPI’s or OKRs.
Enabling the team to learn who is on their team.
Your Plan needs to have these core team building elements:
Building trust amongst the members of your team starts with learning the value of each person. Each member of your team needs to discover who they are working alongside, how each of their colleagues thinks, what they value, what they worry about and what skills and talent they bring.
Previous leaders may not have given these people this opportunity, and so many people adopt the mantra, “not everyone can be a friend at work, so put your head down, do your job and take your money.” Helping your team value each other is the foundation of a high-performance team. Teams who work for each other are unstoppable.
Creating a safe space.
Fear is a culture killer. It is an insidious slow death that is only visible in the final stages, its cost can be measured in the billions, but more importantly, it costs people their dignity, creativity and spirit.
Even the most well-intentioned managers can fall prey of this trap.
Great leaders know that creating a safe space is their No.1 priority and they have learned from watching exemplars that constant vigilance is critically important, even the best teams can go bad.
A safe space is created through the negotiation of values, boundaries and expectations. People will make mistakes. They will let each other down, and they will have misaligned expectations. Your role is to help your team navigate around these distractions and develop their ability to live the values and fix problems.
Purpose gives a team meaning
A great team is like a problem-solving engine fueled by purpose. When a team understands its purpose people show up inspired and motivated.
Good people want to make a difference, they want their work to matter, and they want to know their work is about creating something they can proud to share with their friends and family.
Great leaders know how to set this galvanising idea. They know it needs to be simple and lasting. When coupled to the values its forms the underlying philosophy of the team.
Ideas such as:
- we exist to transform how finance enables growth
- we drive customer happiness
- we create raving fans
- we are here to build a pipeline of opportunities
- we make the world a safer place
- we put humanity back in air travel
- we enable managers to bring leadership to life
How you frame the reason your team exists is a source of motivation and opens the door to innovation lead by your team members and not you. Agreeing on the purpose of your team is the single most important strategy you can deploy to allow you to scale your influence throughout the business.
I have never met a highly successful leader that complained that they didn’t have enough time to do this work.
Consider how you can structure time to allow your team members to learn about each other, create a safe space and discover their purpose. A few hours a week is an investment that will repay you in time, innovation and success.
If you would like a copy of an outline plan to build on, comment on this post and send me a request.
Great leadership is a choice and how you spend your time matters.