By Drue Lawlor, FASID
Director of Coaching at Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting
Photo Credit-Katie Klein
“To build a winning team, you want to be consistent in your attitude, effort, and actions.” ~Jon Gordon
Are you building a team or are you just hiring employees to work for your firm? Who would you rather be – part of a team or an employee? Which would make you feel more connected to the firm, and less likely to have one foot out the door, waiting for something better.
Following are 5 tactics to help you create a winning team – the key to building a successful business.
- Lead by example. You set the tone for the entire team and you show them what you expect in your interactions with your team members, your clients and your vendors. Define the culture and values of your firm to identify who will be a good “fit” for your team and instill those values in everything you do.
- Communication is key. Nearly all problems in business stem from a lack of clear communication. Be clear when you tell them what you need, want and expect. Don’t assume they know or expect them to read your mind. Ask questions to be sure what you said is what they heard. Give them the information they need to succeed and empower them – don’t micromanage. Each member of a winning team has a clear vision of success and strongly believes in the purpose of the firm. Be sure the lines of communication are open to assure the success of the entire team and help them to be inspired. You might follow the example of the Ritz Carlton – they have a “team huddle” every morning for about 15 minutes. They talk about one of their core values, and they share a customer service story – something a team member did that positively impacted a client. And they celebrate. Even if you only did this once a week, it will have a positive impact on your team.
- Coach your team. Your job as a leader is to grow more leaders and to inspire them to do things they never thought they could do. As Tom Peters says, “Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” Focus on results and be sure to build accountability. A good coach encourages input and trusts the team to do their jobs. They know the strengths and weaknesses of the team members (and hired them to balance each other), and they clearly outline the expectations. They also allow time to discuss any issues or concerns in a timely fashion and they reach out to the team for ideas in problem solving – making it a team effort. You may need help here from a business coach, especially if you have been a solopreneur.
- Create an environment of trust. Give your team generous boundaries to make decisions on the spot and if they make mistakes, be sure you have established a line of communication to discuss a situation where you feel they might have made a different choice.
- Don’t forget to have fun and celebrate!