The Executive Toolbox: Building Effective Teams

Business owners and executives who enjoy long term success don’t necessarily need to be adept at team building but it’s certainly easier to be successful if you’re not going it alone.

A team is a group of people who have a shared goal or goals. Those goals may be as simple as working together to run a successful business so the team can all continue to be employed or more complex such as discovering the cure for the Zika virus.

When asked to describe the attributes of an effective team, one of the firsts attributes I always list is trust. If a team doesn’t trust each other they spend energy and cycles making certain that each other is holding up their end of a commitment. Conversely, ineffective teams actively seeking to prove who isn’t.

Another attribute is accountability. Every member of the team has to be accountable for meeting their commitment to the team and the team has to be accountable, as a whole, for meeting their commitments.

Additionally, the team must be capable and competent. Without the necessary knowledge and skill to get the job done – whatever it is – success can be elusive.

Finally, the team must communicate openly and honestly.

Those four attributes aren’t all it takes to be a successful team, but they’re certainly a good place to start.

This week let’s challenge ourselves to find one way to:

  1. Earn trust and to recognize when someone does something to increase our trust in them.
  2. Demonstrate that we’re accountable and recognize when someone succeeds in holding himself accountable.
  3. Increase our knowledge or skill of a topic and recognize when someone is working to increase his knowledge or skill.
  4. Communicate openly and honestly and recognize someone for his open and honest communications.

Published by Leah Ward-Lee

Leah Ward-Lee, the author of "$1,000 Start-Ups", is a serial micro-entrepreneur. She opened her first business at ten after lobbying for and receiving a shoe shine kit for Christmas. She pulled her wagon through the neighborhood, going door-to-door, offering to shine her neighbor’s shoes for twenty-five cents a pair. Once her wagon was full, she took the shoes home and polished them. Unfortunately that business was short-lived. She hadn’t tagged the shoes and couldn’t remember whose shoes were whose, so her dad went with her to retrace the route until every pair was returned. Since then she’s had businesses developing and teaching college courses, instructing aerobic classes, owning half a plane that was rented to a flight and maintenance school, and renting homes. She’s also owned a consignment store, a gift shop, a gift basket business, a consulting firm, hosted The Executive Toolbox (a weekly radio show), and a publishing company. She also spent twenty years in the US Army, served as the Chief Information and Technical Officer for two major insurance companies, and has a second career as a management consultant. Leah resides in Dallas, TX and on Amelia Island with Sammy and Goliath, her two rescue dogs.


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