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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 …
- 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.)
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.
- 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.
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.
- Ready to Perform
A Pyramid of Strength
There is a pyramid of strength that governs performance on a team.
The pyramid consists of a …
- Strong foundation of trust at the bottom of the pyramid
- The freedom (and safety) to have healthy disagreements
- Strong commitment and buy-in to a collective course of action
- The willingness to be accountable
- 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!
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Do you agree with the Teamwork Trifecta – the 3 things you have to get right to build a great team?
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