How to Build an Effective Team
A team is a group of people with different backgrounds, skills, and knowledge who work together on a specific and well-defined task. This way of organizing groups of people to get work done has become all the rage in recent years. It is, however, one thing to draw people from different quarters to work on a specific project and quite another to make them into a unit that can actually meet goals.
Doing so requires understanding the nature of teams and team-work. Teams are defined by their purpose. You don’t need to be an employee of a large organization in order to put together a team. You can put together a team to locate valuable real estate or to recruit individuals for a venture capital enterprise. You can build a team to launch a high-tech start-up or to develop a new product idea. All of these can be done through team organization, which is why it is good to learn how to build an effective team.
An effective team must have the following:
- Clear objectives
- Task-focused leadership
- Well-defined roles
A team needs sharply defined objectives. There has to be a standard against which the performance of the whole team and of each member can be compared. That is the only way of knowing that the team is actually on target and on time in its work.
A team also needs task-focused leadership. If you are put in charge of a team, you will probably be held ultimately accountable for its results. However, it is important to remember that authority in the team should move according to the logic of the work and the specific stage in its progress. As the team leader, you must ensure that authority at any one time is invested in the person who needs it to get the job done.
Following from the latter, it is important that each person on the team understands his particular role. Each member was brought in because he possesses a particular skill, competence, or insight. How and when this ability is to be used to complete the project should be made clear.
Inc. magazine has an article that makes points similar to my own. The article also discusses the need to celebrate the successes of the team. This is something I wholeheartedly agree with. Every team leader should see it as part of his job to keep up morale and build up esprit de corps in the team.
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About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.