Whether they have a specific project in mind or are trying to staff their company, many business owners and executives struggle to put the best team together.
There are two sides to team management. One is the ability of the team lead. The other is the combined abilities of the team itself. Both are vital to the creation of a competent team who completes their tasks promptly.
An Excellent Leader Fosters Great Team Leads
Finding the right leadership for your business, team, or project is vital to the overall success of your venture. As you seek out a great team leader, be sure to look for these defining features:
Someone who takes responsibility both when things go well and when they go poorly is the right person for your job. A team lead not only needs to recognize mistakes but take the initiative to fix them.
You can observe this characteristic in existing staff, or – if you are recruiting outside talent – make sure your interviewer asks questions that will distinguish those who take responsibility from those who do not. One such sample question could be: “Describe how you handled failure in a past position.”
Excellent Communication Skills
Any lead must be able to effectively communicate to his coworkers. Observe your candidate when he or she talks with others. Do they speak clearly and succinctly? Are they willing to define a task and go into some detail – ensuring the other person’s understanding?
Additionally, consider his or her ability to communicate in writing. Is your candidate able to define a project or task with all of the necessary information included? Do they write cheerfully and professionally?
Making Things Happen
Finally, discover whether your potential lead makes things happen around him or her. If your candidate is already working with others, see if he or she naturally works well with the team, completing projects and providing excellent results.
As Donald McGannon said: “Leadership is an action, not a position.”
A Three-Step Checklist For Forming An Effective Team
Once you have your team lead picked out, forming the rest of your team can be delegated to that lead. However, here is a rapid-fire checklist your lead can follow while building his or her crack team:
1. Lay the groundwork by:
a. Deciding what basic and specialized knowledge is essential to complete the project or form the department.
b. Listing five attributes you feel are most important for a competent team. These could include excellent communication skills, a willingness to be accountable, the ability to define and follow a plan, excellent organization skills, etc.
c. Thinking about how big you want the team to be. Don’t make the team too big to manage or too small to be effective. Usually, a group of 5-10 people is manageable.
d. Write down each job that needs to be filled, what the functions of the job are and how that position interacts with the others. Decide if these can be flexible positions – for example, can one person fill two positions if they have the necessary knowledge base and capabilities? Can one job function be filled by another position and vice versa, depending on the specialized knowledge of your staff member?
2. Recruit team members from within the company and/or externally that have the essential attributes listed above and who, together, have the basic and specialized knowledge needed to be effective.
3. Discover how these team members work together and provide any additional, industry-specific training as needed so they can do the best job they can!
Thoughtfully building an effective team is the best way to form a dynamic company. If you are considering staffing up a new department or forming a task force for a specific project, be sure to click here and download our free eBook “How to Hire Top Players.”