Building a Great Team

TeamworkGreat leaders build great teams. Great teams don’t just happen.  They are built and maintained deliberately.  Over the years, I have found the following guiding principles to play a key role in my team building efforts:

Hire “A” players.

I’ve written an entire blog post on what constitutes an “A” player.  Top performers attract top performers, everyone else turns them away.  “A” players won’t just make your team stronger, they will make attracting the next team member a lot easier.

Hire stronger than yourself.

It takes humility, but seek out experts that know more and have more experience than you do.  Do whatever it takes to find the best of the best.

Hire to complement and challenge.

Be self-aware.  Know your strengths and your weaknesses.  Hire teammates that will complement your weaknesses and challenge your thought process.

Hire on values and culture.

High performing teams don’t look over their shoulder.  No matter how talented, a mismatch on fit will destroy your team.  Character, values, and culture can not be sacrificed.

Don’t settle.

Know what you want and keep looking until you find the perfect fit.  Once you find the perfect fit, do everything you can to bring them on board, even if the the first answer is ‘no’.  You will lose more time training in the wrong person than waiting for the right person.

Prioritize team-building over everything else.

Once the team is assembled, team-building is just getting underway. Team-building is an ongoing process. Spend time building relationships, rapport, and trust. Set expectations and team norms.  Nothing is more important than the team. Prioritize it and make sure all of the team members do too.

Prune your team.

Teams evolve.  Situations change.  You can not compromise.  Replace teammates when required.  Cut positions when necessary.  Add new teammates deliberately. Do not let the team get stale.

High performing teams are the first ingredient to any success story.  What other tips have you learned about building great teams?


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