Motivational speakers and trainers at corporate retreats talk a lot about teamwork, leadership styles, work cultures, personality development and communication. No doubt the conditioning helps provide direction and motivation, but it’s like teaching an old dog new tricks. It’s a lot easier for startups to develop a rockstar team by doing the right things from the very beginning. Listed below are seven traits that are common to extraordinary teams that punch well above their weight.
Every successful team inevitably has a leader capable of inspiring team members and extracting the best out of them. There are different leadership styles, but the bottomline is that leaders must hire the right people for the job and delegate responsibilities. One key trait which all good leaders share is the ability to make employees feel invested in the success of the team and the company. These are warriors fighting for a cause rather than employees punching the clock. It makes a huge difference in terms of their commitment to getting the job done.
Defining duties for each position is one of the keys to streamlining an organization. Employee turnover is a reality that must be faced, but clear definition of duties for each position creates a framework for keeping the ball rolling even if and when a key employee quits or fails to perform.
There’s no point in inspiring people and giving them duties unless they have specific goals and targets to reach. For example, establishing a social media team to enhance CRM by engaging customers on the social networks is not a goal. It would be if the team had a goal of reducing customer complaints by 25 percent.
It’s a cliché, but a team is only as good as its weakest member. There’s no such thing as a perfect team, so the leadership must know the capabilities and limits of each team member. They have to be able to cover up known weaknesses in a specific team member through training and support from other members.
Individuals have differing priorities and make assumptions about each other and the team. It’s up to the leadership to keep the lines of communication open and instill this culture throughout the team so that everyone is working towards the same overall goals.
A winning team always has the tools, technology and expertise that helps them do things faster and better than the competition. President Obama’s reelection campaign is a classic example of a startup leveraging technology with extreme precision and innovation to create a huge impact in a limited timeframe and without heavy resources. Their geeks cooked up an app for “targeted sharing” that compared Facebook and county data to identify voters, and then notified Obama supporters on Facebook which of their friends needed to be targeted and encouraged to vote.
Nothing succeeds like success, and you can always tell which team is going to win based on their attitude and confidence. Get a few successful deals under your belt, and your team will start walking and talking like winners.
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