There are many models for building a team. Certainly it is vital to build one that has ‘similarity of spirit’ and ‘diversity of strengths’. On top of this, it is good to get the right kind of characters in a team.
Super teams get the right balance of ‘soul players’ and ‘star players’. They have no room for ‘semi-detached players’.
Imagine you are a leader. Let’s explore how you can get the right percentage of the different kinds of players in the team.
Soul players embody the spirit of the team. They have a strong work ethic and do the right things every day. They provide the backbone and make sure the team always gets to at least 7/10.
Such people are loyal and low profile, but neglect them at your peril. Soul players need encouragement.
They believe that, providing they do a good job, their loyalty will be rewarded. They may suffer in silence, however, while watching others grab attention. Reward them for their contribution: because otherwise one day you may find their resignation letter on your desk.
“For years my partner kept telling me to move on because I wasn’t appreciated,” said one person. “It broke my heart to leave, but now it is time to think of myself.”
Good leaders make sure that around two-thirds of their team are soul players. Try completing the following sentences.
Star players also embody the spirit of the team. They work hard, but also add that touch of class. They take the team from 7/10 to 10/10.
Super teams often have around one-third of their team made up of star players. Talent brings obligations, however, so it is vital for such players to act as positive models. They must keep following the team principles and, when appropriate, add that touch of magic.
How can you get the best out of such players? Contracting is crucial. Before you recruit – or ‘rehire’ – a potential star player it is vital to make sure that:
* They embody the team’s spirit – otherwise it will be disastrous.
* They know the ‘team’s rules’ before they commit to joining – or rejoining – otherwise they will make their own rules.
* They and you make clear contracts about their best contribution to the team.
You can then encourage and enable them to achieve peak performance. Try completing the following sentences.
Refuse to employ semi-detached players who show disregard for other people. They may well have exhausted previous managers who failed to ‘motivate’ them or find their talents.
Everybody gets down at times but, if we choose to work for a team, this involves accepting a certain package. The deal includes: being professional, encouraging others and making our best contribution.
Semi-detached players want to pursue their own agenda and often criticise other people.
“But what if I inherit a team which contains uncommitted people?” you may ask.
Before taking the job, make sure you have the mandate to build a super team.
You are then in a strong position when meeting each of the potentially difficult people.
You are making the rules, not them. Meet with each person individually. Create an encouraging environment, but also give clear messages.
Communicate the results, rules and rewards. Describe:
* The results the team is aiming to achieve.
* The rules to be followed for achieving the results – the Dos and Don’ts.
* The rewards of reaching the goals.
Then invite each person to go away, reflect and decide whether or not they want to opt-into the team.
Remember, it is their job to persuade you they want to be in the team, not your job to persuade them. People must actively make the decision to commit – or re-commit – to the team. They are then coming to work each day as volunteers, not as victims.
If they do not commit – in actions, rather than words – they are choosing not to be in the team. Try completing the following sentences.
Building The Super Team
Super teams are special. They communicate a clear story, strategy and road to success.
Everybody knows what mountain they are climbing, why they are climbing it and how they will reach the summit. They also know who will be delivering what and by when.
Super teams are made up of people who want to be positive, professional and peak performers. They choose to opt in and make clear contracts about their best contribution towards delivering the goals.
People then perform superb work and find solutions to challenges. They do whatever is required to achieve the picture of success.
Super teams employ the right people in the right places. Bearing this in mind, try tackling the final exercise.
First, describe how you can get the right balance of soul players and star players.
Second, describe the specific benefits of doing these things.
You can then do whatever is necessary to continue building a super team.