“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” – Andrew Carnegie, business magnate.
In today’s world, effective team building is top on the list for C-suite executives when they are looking for up-and-coming leaders. The people at the top management are recognizing that the best business results come from multidisciplinary teams. Senior executives who are able to build diverse work teams, understand what makes teams work and get the best out of their teams achieve extraordinary business outcomes. Whether you are assembling a new ad hoc team or building an on-going operations team, the principles are the same. At every level, your team will be the foundation of success.
While leaders have the vision and idea, it takes a team of people who share your passion and are committed to making reality happen. Your job is to bring together the right group of employees, provide the necessary resources, set them in the right direction, inspire and coach them to the desired goal. These are the skills that women excel in and help them create and build strong teams.
Here, we share 5 tips for female bosses on building exceptional teams:
1. Be the orchestra conductor, not the flute player
To quote an analogy from management guru, Peter Drucker, the manager of a company is much like an orchestra conductor who coordinates the efforts of the team to create a symphony. You are no longer acting as the top solo performer, but orchestrating the performance of a group of employees to create outstanding results. This implies that you have to be willing to give up the satisfaction of doing 1 or 2 things you do superbly and trusting others to do the job you have done well. Being a manager means learning to delegate. While it is true that one of women’s strengths is their commitment to providing quality products and services, one of the things that holds them back is staying personally involved in every aspect of the task. When you stay involved to that level, you become the barrier to growth and success, because there is no one to lead and integrate the various functions. The correct thing to do would be to let go of routine day to day operations to the team and empower your team to do their jobs. That will free up time for you as the leader to focus on bigger stuff such as planning the strategy and direction and also give employees the opportunity to gain experience.
2. Inspire and demand results
Harvard Business School gathered data from assessments of more than 50, 000 leaders and the ability to inspire stood out as one of the most important competencies. As the leader, you provide inspiration and structure. How do you inspire your employees? Focus on building a winning culture and make the effort to ensure that everyone on your team is on the same page, all prepared to accomplish a common objective. Set high standards and ambitious goals and expect results. More importantly, recognize and reward success. When your team has done a good job, let them know. Take time to celebrate individual contributions and the team’s success. Everyone loves recognition, even if it is small. Making sure your team know they are appreciated is necessary and a rewarding business strategy.
3. Hire slowly
Spend a lot of time interviewing and hiring employees for your team. While subject matter knowledge and professional qualifications are important, you want people who know how to make things happen and a hardworking attitude. You are going to work with your employees every day, invest in coaching and training them. Look for people who are team players and can contribute to the success of the organization. It is easy to be tempted by top talent, but if the individual does not know how to work well with others in the team, then the value of the talent will end up being lost.
In addition, when you hire, consider succession planning for key positions in the organization. Think about how your organization is progressing and where it is headed for. Be prepared for the moment when you need to promote someone. It is difficult if there is not a successor clearly identified to fill a position in the event of crisis. In short, hire strategically.
4. Be a positive ball of energy
“People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision”, said John C. Maxwell, an American author who has written many books on leadership.
Leaders have to lead by example and be the role model for the behavior you want from your employees. How you treat people and the values reflected from your decision, sets the tone for the department. Your emotions can be contagious hence try to create a positive climate as much as possible. How can you achieve this? Take the time to focus on successes to examine what went well and reinforce those actions that led to success. Most managers do debriefings only when projects fail. But those managers who take time to understand what worked and share the findings with the team are the ones who motivate their employees to do better.
Additionally, there are bound to be bottlenecks and challenges in work and successful leaders do not ignore these. They are aware that negatives bear more weight and dwell longer in people’s minds than positives and can adversely affect attitudes and performance. In delivering negative feedback, they try to reduce negative reactions from employees by handling situations with care and being precise in their language. A preference for positive and supportive communication is what sets exceptional teams apart from others.
5. Create a fearless team
We hope that this article is helpful. Do you have any tips you would like to add?
Let us know in the comments and please share this post with a friend/colleague if you enjoyed it!
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