How do you Lead a Successful Team?Nov 19, 2021
Know Your Why
For fun, I recently joined a women’s soccer team. My neighbor had been asking me to join for a couple of years, telling me how much fun it is. So I finally gave in and signed up. And even though this is an over-45 team… in the Rec division…. with amusing team names, I quickly realized my team’s top goal is—well—to win. The fun part is their ‘why’. This took me a couple of games to figure out!
And given I’m naturally curious about successful team dynamics, I did some reflection for you to consider as part of your own methodology to building successful teams.
How do you measure team effectiveness?
Understanding and appreciating both the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ helps your team members get in the right mindset to bring the right strengths.
When I work with leaders on their coaching development plans, we have long term goals to track. And then each coaching session breaks down the larger goals into smaller, bite-sized pieces. This creates momentum and gets results. You can do this in your regular team meetings. And I know most of you do this, but it’s important to reiterate the goal for the meeting every time (the ‘what’ you want to accomplish) and the reason (the ‘why’), especially if you have new players!
How do you work in a team successfully?
My soccer team has decided that I am fast. I can run (relative to the others in the over-45 age bracket). So my position is up front. My role is to get goals or assist the goals (to the best of my ability, whilst trying not to pull a muscle). Interestingly, in the Strengths-based assessment I use for increasing team effectiveness, one of my top three strengths is Quick-to-Act. Another is Supportive. In my first game, I went in flexing the Supportive strength, thinking that is how I could best contribute given it’s been a couple of decades since I last played the Beautiful Game and I could use a minute to catch up. But they have that team strength already covered with their goalie and defensive players. What they want from me, is more Quick to Act.
What strengths do you bring to the team?
Leaders who have done the strengths-based team training with me know we can compare the team’s results, look at what strengths are at the top and what strengths we might overdo. Having a discussion about what strengths are needed for a specific project, or even an external meeting, is worth your time. Your team members have a number of top strengths but that doesn’t mean they know which ones are most needed at a certain time.
Think about your typical way of leading your team, and consider that you’ve got these boxes checked:
- You have clearly communicated the team goals
- You have articulated the ‘Why’
- You have clarified team roles and the strengths needed
- You are mindful of what strengths can be overdone
Personally, my ‘why’ is to coach professionals like you to live your best career story. That’s the thread that influences all of my consulting and coaching work. To me, knowing your team’s strengths and how to best use them will give you a stronger next chapter.
To your career success,
Karen Kelloway, BPR PCC
Your Career Story Editor
ps. since writing this I scored my first goal! 1-0 for us. It is indeed fun to win.⚽
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