team building

6 Keys To A Winning Team

By Asa Beavers

When you hear the word “team” what do YOU think of?  As a guy, when I hear the word “team” it conjures images of sports teams. Wikipedia defines “team” as a group of people linked in a common purpose. When we talk about sports teams the common purpose is simple: it’s to WIN. But when it comes to the people you employee in your small business it’s not so obvious.

Sure, you call them your team, but are they really a team? I’d say no, not if they don’t fully understand the common purpose of your business. And let’s say winning is the common purpose of your business, then how do you define winning in the context of your business? Well, I contend that really depends on what you define as your score, and how you share the score with the team.

So, unless you can get it all done in your business by yourself, these are important questions to consider. Especially if you’re the person responsible for the success of your business – I think you know who I’m talking about – you, the leader.

If pulling a group of employees together to form a team is important to the success of your business, then take a look at these 6 Keys To Building a Winning Team.


Strong Leadership

One of the differences between a leader and a manager is a leader has a strong vision for the future. They see things differently and are willing to express their vision onto others. They accept full responsibility, and they set the pace toward achieving their vision. They have clarity in what they expect to achieve and they also have the ability to communicate clearly, and to inspire and enroll others in their vision. Be vocal. Be passionate about what you envision for your business.

Common Goal

This is that one thing that no matter which team member you ask, or what role they have in the business, each will say the same thing. And just as important, each person fully understands how he or she contributes to the success of the business. Oh and one more thing, make it something that is measureable. It’s tough to know whether you’re winning or losing if you aren’t keeping score.

Rules of the Game

Simply put – define clear expectations, inspect what you expect, and don’t be wishy-washy. Everyone has been in situations before where ground rules were set, then ignored, or changed without clear communication, or where rules were bent for certain individuals or circumstances. Your team members will be much more productive when they understand expectations don’t have to worry about the rules of the game changing.

Action Plan

By engaging the team members in the creation of the action plan they will make it their own, and have complete buy-in. With a clear goal in mind they will define specific steps, assign accountability and deadlines, and work together to achieve the tasks and ultimately achieve the goal. And don’t forget to revisit the action plan frequently to adjust and revise it as necessary.

Support Risk Taking

What better way to take advantage of the collective intelligence of a group of people? Encourage team members to speak up and offer their insight. Innovative thinking keeps team members passionate about what they are doing.

100% Involvement/Inclusion

Create an environment in which people want to be involved – an environment that celebrates success and recognizes performance. And be sure exclusion doesn’t creep into your workplace. Nothing can sour the performance of a whole team more than a few individuals who feel they may have been slighted.

So there you have it – 6 Keys to Building a Winning Team. Sounds simple enough, but if it WERE that easy, every sports team would be vying for the championship every year. So how about you, are you using these strategies to build your championship winning team?