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Monday, May 8, 2017

Build A Winning Team

If you create a high-performance team, you can exert tremendous leverage to create value. If not, you’ll face severe difficulties because no leader can hope to achieve ambitious goals on his or her own. Poor personnel choices will usually come back to haunt you.

Finding the right people is essential, but it’s not enough. Begin by evaluating current team members to decide who will stay and who will have to go. Then create a plan for obtaining new people and moving the people you keep into the right positions without doing too much damage to short-term performance. But even this is not enough. You still must establish goals, incentives and performance measures that will propel your team in the desired directions.

Avoiding Common Traps
When it comes to building a winning team, many new leaders stumble. The result may be a delay in reaching the break-even point, or it may be outright derailment. These are some of the traps new leaders fall into:

Keeping the existing team too long. Some leaders clean house too quickly, but it’s more common to keep people on board too long. Whether because of pride or because they shy away from tough personnel calls, many leaders end up with less-than-outstanding teams. This means they will have to either shoulder more of the load themselves or fall short of their goals.

Not repairing the airplane. Unless you’re in a start-up, you don’t get to build a team from scratch: You inherit a team and have to mold it into what you need to achieve your A-team priorities. Molding a team is like repairing an airplane in midflight. You will not reach your destination if you ignore the necessary repairs.

Not working organizational alignment and team restructuring issues in parallel. You can’t build your team before reaching clarity about changes in strategy, structure, systems and skills. Building your team prematurely could put the right people in the wrong jobs.

Not holding onto the good people. Uncertainty about who will and will not be on the team can lead your best people to look for opportunities elsewhere.

Starting team-building before the core team is in place. It’s tempting to launch team-building activities right away. New leaders with a consensus-building style often are eager to begin collaborating with their direct reports, but some group members may be leaving.

Making implementation-dependent decisions too early. When implementing your plans requires buy-in from your team, you should postpone making decisions until the core members are in place. It can be very difficult to implement decisions that commit new people to courses of action they had no part in defining.

Trying to do it all yourself. Keep in mind that the process of restructuring a team is fraught with emotional, legal and company policy complications. Find out who can best advise you and help you chart a strategy. The support of a good HR person is indispensable to any effort to restructure a team.

Assessing Your Existing Team
You’re likely to inherit some good performers, some average ones and some who simply aren’t up to the job. You’ll also inherit a group with its own internal dynamics and politics — some members may even have hoped for your job. During your first 30 to 60 days, you must sort out who’s who, what roles each individual plays, and how the group has worked together in the past.

Inevitably, you’ll form impressions of team members as you meet them. Don’t suppress these early impressions, but step back from them and take the time to make a more rigorous evaluation.

Without a great team, you’ll face severe difficulties because no leader can achieve ambitious goals on his or her own.

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1 comment:

  1. It is important to remember that one bad apple can spoil the entire barrel is true. If you cannot weed them out then find someone who can. No one individual is above the team in priority or importance. The team in its role and function comes first above the individual. This can be challenging especially if you have associates that have never been on a team.