Creating Teams That Rock [Tips for Finding and Developing the Best Employees]

The Beatles.  The Ford Motor Company.  The 1972 Miami Dolphins.  The Apollo 11 crew.  And hopefully the 2018 Cleveland Indians. What do all of these groups have in common?  They are all examples of great teams that have attained legendary status due to their accomplishments.  Assembling a terrific team is not easy, but in the business world, just as in other avenues of life, it is often critical to success.  Fortunately, there are employment strategies, techniques, and tools we can employ to increase our chances of creating teams that rock! 

1.  Know Thyself; Know Thy Needs

Lao Tzu (also known as Laozi or Lao Tze), purported to be an ancient Chinese philosopher and founder of Taoism, expressed the importance of this tenet in this way: "Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment."  To successfully assemble a team, you first have to understand your own strengths and weaknesses as a leader.  Consider taking a quality self-assessment to gain deeper insight into your own leadership tendencies and characteristics.  Being aware of your own leadership style and what type(s) of individual(s) will best complement you is an important first step in creating an effective team.

In addition to knowing yourself, you also have to understand the challenges you face in your industry or mission and how to effectively meet those challenges.  For example, would you be better off hiring extremely passionate people who lack experience and skills but who can be successfully trained to meet your organization's needs, or would it be more prudent to bring aboard seasoned veterans who have requisite skills and are more independent?  It is important that you be able to answer questions such as these from the outset in order to clearly comprehend what you should be looking for in potential employees or associates.  

2.  Learn About Potential and Current Team Members

Once you have a lucid idea about your own style and needs as a leader, invest time in really getting to know your potential and current team members.  Discover their greatest competencies and deficiencies.  Don't be afraid to mix and match introverts with extroverts and people with different attributes; oftentimes, diverse natures provide needed balance to a group.  Remember that an efficient, effective team is like a well-oiled machine, and like most machines, it is made up of different types of parts that perform different functions in different ways.  To help you assess the abilities and proclivities of potential hirees, try utilizing pre-employment assessments that can give you valuable information regarding the personality traits and work habits of prospective team members.  

3.  Be Clear About Roles and Expectations

When you have assembled your team, comprehensibly communicate the duties assigned to each new position and how these new teammates are expected to interact with already established members and each other.  Assign them to tasks in which they will experience success and make positive contributions to the team.  Furthermore, while you should plainly delineate the responsibilities of each team member, avoid becoming rigid in the dispensation of roles.  Be ready to change course when necessary, and be flexible enough to shift people and tasks around to achieve better results, even if this means reassigning people to jobs they may not have been initially hired to do.  Sometimes this is the most effective way to unleash the talents of individuals and teams alike.  Therefore, don't be afraid to admit when something isn't working.  Keep team and organizational objectives in mind when allocating positions and assignments.  Accordingly, if somebody still is not working out after all else fails, do not be afraid to let that person go. 

Leadership Excellence - Your Cleveland Business Consulting Partner

Constructing a great team may be difficult, but it is achievable with careful reflection and planning.  Leadership Excellence can assist you with this process.  Among the many services we offer are two assessment tools designed to help you find the best fits possible for your organization: The Judgment Value Profile and The Achiever.  Contact us today to learn more about how these powerful assessments can help you find rock stars and how we can aid you in successfully leading your company. 

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