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Five-minute Strategies: The Essence of Great Teams

Got a team meeting this week? Are you looking forward to it? Often, when I ask those questions, I get an eye roll, sigh, or diatribe about the ineffectiveness of teams. Weak teams can make work drudgery and sap our energy. Conversely, outstanding teams, create a sense of connection, gratification, and community.

How can leaders build a great team?

What are the essential factors of a high-functioning team?


  1. Articulate a wildly compelling vision. How does the team support the mission and vision of the business? Specifically, how does each team member contribute to the greater purpose and financial success of the organization?

  2. What is the target? Have you set specific and measurable goals? Does each member have a clear understanding of your expectations? How does the team support one another so everyone achieves the overarching goal? What are the accountabilities and processes to ensure all team members are contributing?

  3. Keep communication open. Address disagreements, differences of opinions, and communication preferences upfront. Encourage open dialogue by everyone on the team. Create guiding principles that includes mutual accountability for open and honest communication.

  4. Let them shine. Insecure leaders demand to be the face and the voice of the team. A confident leader facilitates and encourages each member to receive recognition for their contribution.

  5. Celebrate. Take time to recognize both the small successes and big wins. Keep in mind that, everyone is different; one person may prefer a heartfelt email or hand-written note, someone else a cup of coffee and a chance to catch-up, and others public recognition. Take time to learn about your team preferences and adapt your style.


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