How To Build a Team That Delivers

builder laying cement foundation

by Duncan Brodie

As a leader you may well be the most senior person. At the same time, leading is a tough role. Sometimes when you read leadership books or biographies of leaders it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the leader is some sort of genius or superstar.

Now let’s not pretend that those who lead are not talented or skilled. Of course they are. The reason most make it into a leadership role is because they are very good at what they do.

On the other hand, being great at doing and being a leader, where you have to facilitate and orchestrate things, is very different. Many leaders set out with the intention of building a team that delivers. Many succeed, while others struggle.

So how can you build a team that delivers?

Stop and think before you hire

When you have a role to fill it is really easy to rush into the process of getting someone appointed. However, if you think about it, recruiting someone is one of the biggest investment decisions you will have to make.

For that reasons it is vital that you stop and think about what the business needs, the role needs and the type of person who is going to best address those needs.

It is also vital to consider what skills, experience and expertise you currently have. There can be a real temptation, even if it is sub-conscious, to recruit more of the same. Remember that a tool box with a lot of the same tool never gets the job done. Equally a team with gaps in skills or expertise never gets the best job done.

Set clear expectations

One of the biggest gripes you will hear from people is that they don’t always have clarity about what is expected of them. The reality is many leaders really struggle to provide clear expectations.

To overcome this, be systematic in your approach. Think first about what at a very high level you want the person in that job to achieve. This is sometimes called the 50,000 feet view of the job.

Next consider what it is critical the person in the role delivers to achieve the overall high level aim from the job.

Finally, use these critical success factors as a basis for setting results orientated objectives.

Utilise the full potential of all team members

One would think that this would be a given. However, there is a huge difference between perception and reality. Leaders sometimes just have a surface level understanding of those on the team. They don’t really know what makes them tick or even the full range of skills and expertise they can bring to the table.

To utilise the full potential of all team members you have to invest the time in getting to know them, their skills, their experience and what really fires them up.

The Bottom Line: To be successful as a leader you have to build a team. Being the lone ranger never works.

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