Great leaders get things done through others and many times through teams. This post lays out four practices that will get your teams headed in the right direction and achieving results.
First, why does this team exist? What are you hoping to achieve? Knowing the end before you begin brings clarity to all team members. Don’t obsess over this. Simply discuss what a successful outcome looks like. Example: a team convened to create a new marketing plan. Their vision was to successfully drive demand for a new product. This had clear measurable results (10% increase in revenue for the coming quarter). It also drives their implementation. If instead they wanted results over the next year that would change their goals. A clear destination drives the goals to get there.
Focus on Goals
The team with a vision of creating a 10% sales increase naturally leads to the appropriate goals. It might consist of target audience research, so much marketing to print media, so much to social media, etc. Important – goals must be assigned to team members and held accountable; i.e. who will do what, by when? Each person understands their role in the process and how they must perform so that the team succeeds. This focus on goals requires monitoring and feedback along the process in order to stay on track. Before we get to that joint accountability, let’s look at the choice of team members.
Choose Team Members by Strengths
Choose team members with complementary strengths and watch the synergy blossom. We’ve found it helpful to use Gallup’s CliftonStrengths® approach, where each person discovers his or her top five strengths under four domains (Executor, Influencer, Relator, Strategic). It’s important to make sure the team has at least one of each domain so that things get done, the right people buy in, contributions are valued, and the long-term view is considered fully.
Joint & Self Accountability
For status sessions, use the following format with four symbols: + What went well?; ! What did I learn?; ∆ What will I change?; —> Next steps. Have team members come ready to share. It is then easy to help each other get back on track if needed. Best, they will regulate themselves. Healthy teams hold each other accountable to stay on track. This requires a high level of courage and vulnerability. Foster these through personal example and development programs (Our “Building Healthy Teams”, for example).
If you’d like to partner with us to learn more about our program Building Healthy Teams and using Gallup’s CliftonStrengths for teams, please contact us below and let us help your teams make 2018 your best year yet!