How do you build a great team?

How do you build a great team?

Reading Time: 2 mins 20s

How do you build a great team?

Is there a method? Or is it purely down to good luck and great timing?

There is definitely a method! It’s called the Teamwork Trifecta.

It boils down to the 3 things you have to get right to build a winning team.

Three things are important …

  1. Team Membership.

Firstly, do you have the right people on the team? 90% and above should be your expectation.

The principle here is 1st Who Then What? Jim Collins is famous for highlighting this. (He also stresses getting the right people off the team too.)

Read: Who Is Sitting At Your Table?

What do I mean by ‘right people?’

Skills are obviously essential. But culture fit is what’s most important. The ability to play well with others is what really counts.

When things go wrong, this is normally where the issues are.

Great team players naturally make space for others. They share credit and promote others. They have their ego in check. They have well-developed interpersonal skills. They also work very hard (no freeloading) and they are accountable to the team.

These are personal attributes that people bring to the team. They cannot be cultivated later on. With these in place, the task of building a great team is virtually guaranteed.

  1. Sitting in the Right Seat

Secondly, it’s necessary that the ‘right people’ play the ‘right role’ on the team.

I don’t only mean technically, i.e. Sales, IT, Operations, etc. But in the right seat given the roles required to make work happen.

Work happens in 3 connected phases or stages.

  • Ideation
  • Activation
  • Execution

Each phase calls on different strengths and abilities. It’s rare (likely impossible) that someone derives their energy and joy from all 3.

It’s important not to try either.

Think of your own situation.

You are wired differently to your teammates.

You may get your energy and joy from Activation and Execution. While others love pondering new ideas and solutions. (Ideation)

On great teams, people play to their strengths without guilt or judgment.

Vitally, people don’t try to hide, defend or justify their weaknesses (or areas of working frustration) either.

They talk up, own up and ask others to compensate for them.

Now, the team is ready to perform.

Watch the video above for more on the Teamwork Trifecta

  1. Ready to Perform

A Pyramid of Strength

There is a pyramid of strength that governs performance on a team.

The pyramid consists of a …

  1. Strong foundation of trust at the bottom of the pyramid
  2. The freedom (and safety) to have healthy disagreements
  3. Strong commitment and buy-in to a collective course of action
  4. The willingness to be accountable
  5. An overwhelming desire to deliver results

… Underpinned by solid respect for one another.

Once these behaviours are in place the performance of the team shifts to an entirely different level.

Building a great team is definitely no accident. It is also no big secret or mystery. But it does require a method … and the discipline (and courage) to put it in place.

The Teamwork Trifecta provides the method.

The combination of the right people, in the right seats … ready to perform are the 3 things you must get right to build a great team.

Oh and there’s one final thing to remember … great teams play well with other teams too!

Please comment on the post below:

Do you agree with the Teamwork Trifecta – the 3 things you have to get right to build a great team?

Comment below … or send me an email |

20 replies
  1. Christa de Wet
    Christa de Wet says:

    Hi Grant!
    Thank you for the great article! As always, I have great respect for you! Love how you’ve integrated everything!
    What is the cost per working genius reports and to be train as facilitator of it? Heard Patrick spoke about it ..

  2. Clive Hawkins
    Clive Hawkins says:

    Always find your articles very interesting, simple to understand, and very helpful…..hope all is well with you Grant and that you continue to share the helpful mails/messages with those of us who have followed and subscribed to you for many years

    • Grant Ashfield
      Grant Ashfield says:

      Hi Clive – wonderful as always to hear from you. Thank you for your kind words.
      I look forward to sharing the Working Genius Assessment with you – We will be in touch to do so.
      With thanks, Grant

  3. Sadia+Mahomed
    Sadia+Mahomed says:

    Great Article.How to build a Great Team (Together we can achieve more). I agree skills are obviously essential but culture fit and a positive attitude is what is important. Thank you.

  4. Elicia Wethmar
    Elicia Wethmar says:

    HI Grant
    This is a great article. I got some food for thought. I do believe that you also have to consider your team mates strengths and weaknesses to also build them up, in order to bring out the best in them and in turn make the strongest team together.

    • Grant Ashfield
      Grant Ashfield says:

      Thank you for your comment Elicia. I look forward to sending you the Working Genius Link – this will help greatly to understand where the team is weak and strong. Kind regards, Grant

  5. Elda Binneman
    Elda Binneman says:


    It’s a challenge for sure, building a great team, and this article provided some interesting insights, thanks so much!

  6. Alizanne
    Alizanne says:

    Hi Grant

    Thank you very much for the insightful article. Looking forward to receive the link to the assessment.
    Like the saying goes – Teamwork makes the dream work!

  7. Mmule Masalesa
    Mmule Masalesa says:

    Thank you for an interesting article and your perspective on “How to build great team”.

    Looking forward to the link for the “Working Genius” assessment survey.


  8. Farieda Safudien
    Farieda Safudien says:

    Hi, this is quite an interesting article, some good insight on team building . Looking forward to doing the assessment.

  9. Lauren
    Lauren says:

    Hi Grant,

    Thank you for an insightful article. Please could you share the link with me.

    Thank you
    Kind regards

  10. Ms K
    Ms K says:

    What a great reminder of how to not only get the best out of our team but give them an environment that plays to their strengths.

    • Grant Ashfield
      Grant Ashfield says:

      Hi Ms K. It was wonderful to get your comment. Thank you. Playing to your strengths and having the vulnerability and openness on the team to not hide or justify weaknesses is the key! I know you will enjoy the Working Genius Assessment which we will send shortly. Best, Grant

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