How to Build an All-Star Team
The return to work has empowered many professionals. With many choosing different career paths for a better work/life balance. Or to just take better control of their career growth. As a business leader, if you’re now faced with having to fill gaps in your workforce you’ll want to build an all-star team. Now, what many organizations in this position do is they start searching for all-star candidates. This usually ends in a search that takes longer than it should because you’re searching for that perfect candidate. Or, it ends up with the company choosing the wrong person altogether.
Sports teams a great example of what you can be doing to balance your team. If you had an entire team of Tom Brady’s, they wouldn’t win many games, would they? The same goes for your team. Instead of trying to hire a all-star candidates, you want to look for team members who have strengths that can counteract others’ weaknesses.
Today, we’ll show you what you have to do to build an all-star team and then keep them together so your enterprise can achieve it’s goals and get back on track.
Building an all star team, is not simply a matter of picking the people with the best qualifications or experience. Instead, it’s about choosing those who will most fit into your workplace culture. Choosing those who clearly have career goals that are aligned with that of your team and the organization.
One of the first things you’ll need to do, is learn to respect and understand all the different skills that your different potential employees can offer. A big part of leadership is delegating and to do that effectively, means you need to know each member of your team well enough to know how they can fit into the bigger picture of your organization; rather than simply filling a seat.
Your team will be much more efficient when you have team members that own their positions and understand how they fit into the organization’s long-term goals. This is why It comes down to the why and to finding people who really want to work there – not only for the money.
As a leader, this means acknowledging and respecting that members of your team will be better experienced and better equipped than you in some areas. This is an important part of your success in leadership, because it is another way for you to allow your team members to have more autonomy over their work.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you should be a “hands-off” manager. But, you should have enough understanding of each of their roles to understand what they’re doing so you can offer direction when they need help. For example, the leader of an IT consulting firm, should know a little about marketing along with programming, so that they can help the team properly build a new marketing campaign around the company’s latest app.
Another thing to keep in mind when evaluating candidates for your balanced team, is to understand the differences in personalities. This can also help you to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of each team member and help you to better relate to problems they might be having.
There are a few psychometric tests that can help you gauge how someone might fit in your team. Most people fall into one of the four main ‘types’.
The dominant type of course is the ‘type A’ personality. The person who is loud, driven and high achieving. They might make a good leader someday but they will most certainly rub people up the wrong way if they don’t have a lot of professional or industry experience.
The expressive type is the great communicator. The person who is a natural at starting conversations and listening. They usually feel at home in roles like sales and business development where they meet many people in the course of their day.
Introverts are self-motivated and work well on their own but they may be shy (not always) and would probably not be the right people to give your sales or customer service tasks. At the same time, they might be quite creative and do well in analytical roles.
Then, you have the relational type who is driven by their outward relations and who is a great peace maker and communicator. These personalities are usually the glue in a team and do well with managing others and conflicts.
What is the best type of personality for your team?
The truth is, all of them!
PUTTING THE TEAM TOGETHER
If you’re in a position where you have to build a team from scratch, then the task is fairly straightforward. You’ll build the team slowly over time, recruiting new team members as the company grows and keeping this balance in place.
Start by examining your own strengths and weaknesses. Then, look to hire someone who is almost your opposite. Someone who is strong in the area where you aren’t. Keep building the team this way until all the roles are properly delegated.
If you’ve inherited a team from someone else, or you’re taking over a department in a new company for example, things get a little more complicated.
You’ll need to get to know the team and assess everybody’s strengths and weaknesses. You can apply the same concept for building a new team, and in the process you may decide some changes are necessary.
This is when friction with your team members usually arises. As some may be reluctant to changing their responsibilities. However, if you play to people strengths, putting a positive spin on the change by showing how they fit better into the organization’s long-term goals, you can make the transition smoother that it might otherwise be.
If you can do this well, then the people on your team will naturally be friendly. Everyone’s goals will be aligned and it creates a workplace that encourages teamwork.
KEEPING THE TEAM TOGETHER
One of the most important ways to build teamwork is to encourage trust. You don’t have to be best friends with someone on your team and you don’t need to share anything in common. But if you can trust them enough to own a role within your organization, then you should be motivated to support them as well.
One important way to do this is to make sure that you explain the why. Make sure that your team knows why you’re doing what you’re doing and make sure that you use that same approach when giving smaller tasks. This is an important distinction: when instructing your team, you shouldn’t be telling them what to do. You should be telling them why it needs to be done.
You shouldn’t be telling them precisely how to do their job, only what their job is. Right away, that sense of ownership is going to make what they’re doing much more intrinsically motivating.
We’re all too familiar with company retreats and trust exercises (which don’t do much to build long-term trust). What you can do instead, is put your team in positions where they are forced to rely on each other to succeed. You’ve given your team the freedom, the ownership and the agency to do things their way and that means they can feel proud of what they’ve accomplished.
When we’re proud of our work, we work harder. MUCH harder than when someone gives us a deadline and a threat! At the same time, this also gives your team more freedom to work independently. If they run into a problem, they can come up with a new solution of their own. They don’t need to ask you if their suggested solution is okay because they were never given strict instructions on how to go about their task in the first place.
Building an all-star team requires a lot more than choosing the person with the best qualifications and experience. It’s about choosing the person who will be the best fit for your culture. Whose goals are clearly aligned with yours and your organization.
The best way to build an all-star team is to start by respecting the the people you’re looking for will know more than you in certain areas. Then, build your team by balancing strengths and weaknesses. Then, keep them together by putting them into situations where they’re encouraged to trust each other.
Finally, you should also be aware of how YOU work. Sometimes the most disruptive member of the team can be the person in charge. One of the best ways to make sure that you aren’t the disrupting force is to practice Everyday Leadership. Motivating, inspiring and encourage teamwork, productivity, creativity and workplace satisfaction. Which makes it easier to build the best teams possible.
To learn more about practicing Everyday Leadership, and the things you can do each day to build an maintain an all-star team, click here.