Great teams don’t build themselves.
Even having great people on board isn’t enough to create a team that builds and runs your business.
As someone who consults to help business leaders get unstuck from the day-to-day weeds I spend a lot of time working through this topic with leaders.
Just this week I had three calls working through different stages of putting the ingredients in place for a high performing team.
So I wanted to share how some of the key ingredients you need to put in place for your own high performing team.
1) Clarity of vision
Great talent needs to know what they’re doing. They won’t hang around while you figure out what it is you’re even trying to build. It’s not enough for them to just do what you ask.
They need to see the destination they’re building towards.
Which brings me to the next ingredient…
2) Autonomy and freedom to do what they do
With the vision in sight great team members need the freedom to work on building it. Of course this takes place within the accountability areas of their role (more on that later).
Too often I see leaders getting in the way and preventing their top talent from bringing the vision to life. They jump in with extraneous restrictions, say no to decisions, and constantly second guess their team members.
The result: great talent leaves. Order takers stay. Which means your new job is handing out orders forever (which will limit your scale).
3) Clear accountability
A great team also needs crystal clear accountability. That’s why I advocate for “Accountability Charts” over “Org Charts.” An accountability chart is all about clarifying what role is accountable for what results and actions. It’s focused on outcomes, not “how.”
With a role’s outcomes clarified you, the leader, can now grant them the autonomy and freedom to create the outcomes.
4) Consideration and transparency
Even with each of these ingredients in place you can undermine your team without consideration and transparency.
Consideration is a core leadership component. In this case I’m referring to enlisting the input and getting buy-in from your team.
For example: don’t just role out a new work flow or policy on your own. Yes, it may be faster, but your team will believe they weren’t considered.
Worse yet, they may have some valuable input that would cause you to adjust (improve) the policy. Take the time to consider them.
To do this right requires transparency. A client I’m working with right now is tightening up a key director level role. Instead of just rolling it out, he’s bringing the team along to craft it and letting them know this change is coming. As a result, they’re on board and engaged.
As your team grows it can be tempting to become an “Instagram CEO” – mostly absent and spending time telling everyone else how your team & business is great.
I’ve been on both sides of this one…
In my best partnership my CEO poured a huge amount of time and attention into me. We built a great relationship, a great team, and scaled tremendously (while our jobs got easier).
In my worst partnership my CEO didn’t talk to me for the first month. Seriously. They assumed I was 100% self sufficient and left me out there to work by myself. That one didn’t last super long for me.
Your team is your future
I’ve been behind the scenes of hundreds of businesses. A great, well run team is one of the big determining factors to their success and the leaders happiness.
Your product or service will never be so strong that these ingredients are important.
So if you want to get out of the day to day…
And see the vision in your head come to life for real…
You’ve got to spend time getting these things right.
And if you want some help, just reply to this email and tell me about your team. This is just one of the ways I help business leaders get out of the day to day weeds and scale.