Three "Musts" For Effective Team Building

Team building


Every leader – president, manager, business owner, family head, religious head, or just about anyone in charge of a group of people – is saddled with the responsibility of building an effective team that will achieve certain specific goals.

Many times, the success (or failure) of leaders is not due to their lack of personal education (we have seen highly educated leaders and talented managers who failed), but simply due to their inability to properly build and manage their team.

Leadership is not a badge of authority or the ability to make a big name for oneself, it’s about being able to motivate people and get them to follow the leader on their own volition having caught the leader’s vision.

Many leaders failed due to the use of coercive means to intimidate or force people into obedience or followership against the people’s own freewill. This may deliver short term results but with long term permanent and devastating effects.

Below are my three (3) very important “musts” for effective team building:

You Must Be Part Of The Team Yourself

To lead effectively, you must, apart from seeing yourself and acting as the head of the team, act and see yourself as an “ordinary” member of the team.

You should be part of the team, work with the team, lead by example – by “doing” not just by always “instructing”, get involved in the team’s project, be physically present as much as possible during the team’s programs, and treat your team members as your colleagues.

This does not remove from your authority as the head or diminish your influence to enforce rules, it rather creates a friendly atmosphere in your group wherein your subordinates will trust you enough to open up to you on issues they would otherwise have kept quiet about.

Being part of the team also means subjecting yourself to the very rules you make as the leader. 

You also share in the blame for all failures. You also think like a follower and always put yourself in their shoes.

You Must Be Passionate About Your Team’s Goals

Every team has certain objectives to achieve, and you the leader is responsible for ensuring those objectives are met.

To build your team effectively around those objectives, you must be seen to be very passionate about the stated goals. Always communicate and remind your team about your aims.  

Besides talking, you should also show your passion by doing – you should be innovative, bring out ideas to help, work even longer and put in much more efforts than the followers. If your people see your unwavering sense of purpose in pursuing the goals, they would be motivated to follow suit.

You shouldn’t just sit back and dish out instructions about should be done (and how it should be done) to achieve your aims, you should also be part of what is being done. This is called leadership by example, and it’s an age old factor that hasn’t failed even once.

You Must Know That Your Team Members (Followers) Are Humans Too

You the leader is a human, so also are your team members.

Being human means that you, the leader, have emotions, you love to be appreciated for a job well done and celebrated publicly, you wouldn’t like to be openly disgraced every time you make mistake, you would like your suggestions to be honestly considered before being thrown into the trash can, you would love to be trusted, and even when you err you would definitely wish to be given another chance to try again. Well, if your team members are humans too, and of course they are, then they would love same too.

Trust your team, love them, celebrate their achievements openly, reprimand them in-house, avoid showing you have a preferred member of the team. As humans, they also have sense of judgement, so do take their advice too, learn from them as no man is an island of all knowledge.

The golden rule also applies here: do to your team members what you wish to be done to you. Simple!

I hope this piece helped you. Your comments and reactions are welcome.

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