Quickly developing a highly successful team takes some simple planning.
What would happen if you tried to build a house without a blueprint? The results at worst would be disastrous and at best inferior. Could that possibly explain why managers are often unsuccessful in building a team? They have team players, they have tools and techniques but they don’t have a blueprint.
The blueprint provides the overall view of what success looks like, as well as the components and the steps needed to get there. Using a blueprint, you will be able to quickly build a team that is able to perform and produce expected results.
Vision answers the question, “Where are we going?” Vision typically refers to your company vision, and everyone that you hire to become part of your team needs to know, understand, and be committed to working toward achieving that vision. On a smaller, or shorter-term, scale vision can also refer to the vision of a particular project or initiative. Knowing what the vision for the end result of a project or initiative is will help you decide who would be the best people to put on the team – whether they are current employees or new hires.
There are two important aspects of a vision that you need to consider – and communicate to your team. First, your team will need to be able to tell whether they are making progress or regress toward the vision (more on this in #4). Second, the vision needs to be exciting. Not just to the people who craft it, but also to your team who will be charged with fulfilling it.
Mission answers the question, “Why are we going there?” It’s not enough to tell people where we are going, but you also have to give them the “why” of making the journey in the first place, and that reason needs to be compelling. It gives you and your team a sense of purpose and motivation to do what they do every day.
Values answer the question, “How will we get there?” They guide behavior and decision making. Your team members, your colleagues know what to do not because of company rules, regulations, policies and procedures, but because they’re clear on the values that should guide their behavior.
Goals help demonstrate whether the team is getting closer to or farther away from achieving the vision. Goals aren’t motivators – that’s what the mission is for. Goals provide the markers to let your team know that they are on the right path, that they are progressing in achieving the vision.
What would you define as the five key components of an ideal team member? Would the members of your team write down those same five components? It is highly likely that the five key components that you write down will be different from what your team writes down. The problem is that your team probably did not compare their expectations of a team member to yours. Or, that they simply do not know what your expectations are, because you have not clearly communicated them.Think of the basic expectations of an ideal team that, no matter who is on the team from the top to the bottom, that would make that team successful. Develop the list with your team, write it down, and then share it with the team so that expectations are clearly identified and understood by all.
This is the baseline blueprint that all leaders and managers need to identify and solidify in order to build and/or develop a successful team. Without this blueprint, you simply have a group of employees who are working toward their own individual needs, which are not likely to align with your vision for the success of the company. By developing a blueprint for success, you will be able to quickly and effectively engage your employees into working as a collaborative, proactive, and productive team.