Building a successful team

Building a Successful Team: What does this take?

Building a Successful Team: This is easier than most people believe.

Here’s a really important Katharineism:

Building Successful Teams consistently requires three critical characteristics….

1) A shared Vision or Common Purpose with the emphasis on shared, not just something on a poster in the hallway.  This requires leaders to ‘walk their talk’ with the vision, purpose, mission, values and strategic initiatives.  If you are in a leadership role, you cannot nod your head in apparent agreement and then leave the Board Room and take action that does not align with the established Strategies and Plans or further the goals and initiatives.

2) A commitment by each team member to each other’s individual success (no dog eat dog mindsets).  This means having each other’s back.  It means going to bat when people try to bring up tough issues and are shot down by the naysayers or those uncomfortable addressing difficult situations.  It means standing up for the weakest link on the team and trying to position them for more success.  It means having honest discussions and sharing what you are thinking and feeling, not just going along to get along.

3) An ability to speak with one voice!  This requires an inordinate amount of time demonstrating #1 and #2.  Once a leadership team has invested enough time in these earlier conversations and has reached agreement, speaking with one voice occurs naturally.  There are no short cuts. This is absolutely a function of time spent together.

Yesterday while having a Halpin Company Alumni Association lunch with a fabulous senior executive in one of Arizona’s biggest and most successful companies, we were celebrating her extraordinary results.  She reminded me that in order to build these kinds of teams, she had to do three things consistently….

1) Throw People the Ball in a Way that Others could Catch It

2) Stay in the Conversation….

3) Be Proactive, not Reactive.  

In order to do this, we both agreed we have to use lots of self-management approaches.

It is always great to celebrate successes but especially with former clients who you worked with in 2005-2008!  What successes have you had recently in forming high performing teams?

Ask yourself these questions:

  1.  If one of my colleagues is not being successful, who have I been being that allowed this situation to occur or fester?  What are my judgments about and attitude towards that individual?
  2. If some of your colleagues are not committed to each other’s individual success, who was I being that allowed this to occur or fester?  Have I tolerated poor behavior? Have I addressed difficult situations proactively and productively?
  3. How much of my day is spent in reactive mode?  What’s missing that if it were in place, I’d be able to spend most of my time operating with a proactive, strategic, long-term perspective?

Here’s a great formula from the great Dee Hock, former CEO of VISA International:  “Control is not leadership; management is not leadership; leadership is leadership. If you seek to lead, invest at least 50 percent of your time in leading yourself–your own purpose, ethics, principles, motivation, conduct. Invest at least 20 percent leading those with authority over you and 15 percent leading your peers.”

Katharine Halpin

Katharine founded her firm 25-years ago to fill a void she saw in her CPA career.  She’s helped leadership and management teams increase their effectiveness in engaging each other and their colleagues without having to invest a significant amount of time or effort.  More importantly, the Halpin clients tend to grow 2-3x because of the innovation that gets ignited from the new work environment created using her simple, practical approaches, now known as The Halpin Method.

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