In last season’s Super Bowl XLVI, the New York Giants narrowly defeated the New England Patriots, a tough and perennial champion of previous years. But suppose the Giants Quarterback, Eli Manning, who completed 30 of 40 passes for 296 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions—and who was named Super Bowl’s Most Valuable Player—was out there facing the entire Patriots defensive team by his lonely self! While the productive impact of teamwork is easy to perceive in sports play, the power of productive partnerships is no less effective in the workplace.Because teams comprise more people, they nurture more creativity and produce more resources that can be generated by any one individual, no matter how talented or skilled. One’s insights, no matter how brilliant, are seldom as comprehensive as the group’s.
And with multiple offensive and defensive strategies on the team’s playbook, the effective team both minimizes the leader’s shortcomings and maximizes her potential, all the while fostering accountability and focusing the drive to reach the goal line.
But champion teams can’t build themselves! Assembling individuals into a cohesive whole for a particular purpose is the creative process of teambuilding. In that alliance, not only do the members share the vision, they come to trust and crucially support each other to achieve the dream.
So how do we (who, for the most part, aren’t NFL team owners or talent scouts) build and lead such a dream team for our next professional goal? Subscribe to the 8 Tactical T’s of Teambuilding:
● Type. Determine the kind of team you need for the project at hand. For a new challenge, you may need a creative team; for a long-term challenge, a committed team; for a controversial project, a firmly united team; for a moving target, look for adaptable partners.
● Targets. Target people who: Support the objectives of your mission, project, or organization; are members of the constituency you work with or want to represent; Have skills and experience that will contribute to the solution; and can influence other people.
● Talents. Determine which natural abilities or aptitudes are most needed in the team and select members accordingly.
● Traits. Pick team members who have integrity and are motivated to make a difference. Each individual in the team should have an interest in the overall objective of the team, and be accountable for his or her own performance in relation to the team’s performance as a whole.
● Training. Select team members with diverse knowledge and skills so your team is well rounded and prepared for the challenges to come. Those who are teachable and interested in learning more about the issues will be better team workers.
● Temperaments. Determine the combination of mental, physical and emotional traits needed in your members and how each will relate to each other and the team as a whole.
● Timing. Recruitment can be ongoing or relegated to periods as needed. But it may be an opportune time when you are conducting a special campaign, training seminar, or holding other public events where a more diverse audience is likely to gather.
● Tout it. Ceaselessly and creatively develop and use all media resources detailing the kind of team members you are looking for. Invite prospective members to a meeting or provide convenient ways for them to contact you by email or phone. Ask for their commitments.
MasterPoint: Build powerful partnerships with the 8 Tactical T’s of Teambuilding.