Team Building And Leadership: The Do’s And Dont’s
Team Building | Team Leadership
Team Building And Leadership: The Do’s And Dont’s
There is a saying, there is no “I” in team. But for a lot of people, they see the “me” in team. Nothing undermines a team as much as someone who puts themselves above the team and tries to take all the credit for what the team achieves. Truth be told, the majority of the time it is the person who heads the team doing this. Who uses the team and its accomplishments to further their personal goals within a company
You Succeed When The Team Succeeds
If you are a team leader and you decide to take credit for everything that the team achieves, then to say it bluntly, you are an asshole. The team will catch on and will work indirectly to your goals. You are dealing with human nature. This is not a team.
If you are on a team where one person singles out themselves for the achievements of the team, then it is your job as a team leader to set things straight. You don’t have to berate this person, call them out in front of the team, but you should definitely clearly let the other team members know that their achievements to the team are being noticed. If this person continues to hog the limelight understand that this is detrimental to the team as this member may be a cog that makes other team members not want to work with them.
A team leader needs to address these issues because there are a lot of battles outside the team that need to be fought. Fighting within the team will only create failure.
Push the team.
You can have a great team but if you don’t push your team to achieve goals the team will get into a rut or quagmire. Like the majority of us in life, we need challenges. We need to be challenged. There is nothing wrong with challenging a team. In my opinion, it is a requirement. Part of your goals as a team leader is to make the team learn, grow, gain confidence, adapt, improvise, and overcome.
Sometimes you need to set goals that may be above team member’s abilities. Nothing wrong with that. It is not your job to be liked and thought of as “easy.” It is your job to make the team and its individuals better. Even if the goal is out of reach challenging the team to strive for it is part of making the team better. Someone once told me, “Shoot for the stars, but you may hit the moon.” I like to think, who knows, the team might do more than you thought was impossible.
Set goals. Create a roadmap
As a team needs structure, a chain of command, it also needs a structure regarding processes and goals. The team needs to know that there is a purpose to the small goals you are setting and what the final goal the team is striving to achieve.
Don’t compartmentalize information
Many think it is a good idea to keep the team in the dark about the objective and goal. That the team works on its preassigned goals without the knowledge of what is trying to be achieved. Let’s look at it another way. Say when the United States was creating “the space program,” it was called “the ***** program?” With no knowledge of what the objective. So let’s say everything is compartmentalized and the division that needs to build a rocket is told we need a rocket to go into the air. So the scientists build a rocket. But they didn’t know the objective, so they built a small two-foot-high rocket and it does what it says, goes up into the air. The project planner goes to the boss and says here it is and gets a resounding, no, it needs to go into space. So, the planner goes back to the scientists and they build a ten-foot-tall rocket and it does what it says. The project planner goes back to the boss and says here it is. Another loud no! It needs to have a man in it. Ohhhhhh… I think I can stop here. Clearly this will take forever before the rocket is what is needed.
Now if the scientists were given a clear goal, “I want to put a man into space, to travel to the moon, to land on the moon, and then to return to earth,” this makes the project clear in its scope and prepares the thinking of the endeavor.
It’s a team. It is made up of people. As people, we succeed and we fail. If you look at failing as failure, and not a learning experience, you are not ready for leadership. You will face failure. Deal with it. How do you deal with it? You learn from it. Thomas Alva Edison as an inventor made 10,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb… but in the face of what many would call failure, he replied, ” I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
You Have to have your teams Back
Basically, you have to stand up for your team. If the critique is truthful, and a higher-up lambastes or demeans your team for perceived failure, you as a team leader needs to step-up. Address the problem and show that steps are being done to improve the team. If the critique is not truthful and is someone angling to achieve a goal for their own personal reasons or to gain an unfair advantage, as team leader you need to step up pronto. Understand, someone attacking your team is, in essence, attacking you. You need a plan to clearly call this person out and address the issues.
Do not single out someone in front of the team unless necessary.
People will make mistakes. Even seasoned professionals will make mistakes. Mistakes are expected and corrected and become a valuable learning experience.
But if the mistake or behavior is so egregious that it defies reasoning and so damaging to the team that it fractures the team, then an example may need to be made. That doesn’t mean an infraction that is major to you and maybe minor to someone else doesn’t warrant an example. It just means that maybe step back for a second and rationalize what has taken place. If at that point you still see an issue then elevate the matter and do what is necessary so the team understands what boundaries cannot be crossed.
**An ongoing project that is updated.