What would it mean to you to go to work every day and have everyone around excited to be part of the team, eager to step up to the plate and give their all? What would it mean to you to sit and listen to your team talk about their accomplishments, instead of their excuses for lack of results? Sound like an impossibility? No. Here are some things to think about in building your dream team.
The first thing is to have a vision, mission, culture statement in place, something that everyone can get excited about. Everyone wants to be part of something greater than themselves. From the moment you put out your call for people to come and join your team, show them what there is to get excited about in being a member of your team. What is your vision of who you want to be, of what you want to accomplish, and the role of the team in getting there.
For a team to function it must have a clearly defined leader. There can only be one leader, and the expectation must be set for that leader tol lead the team. Leading means defining clear roles, responsibilities, and expectations, and providing monitoring performance. Have the leader set up a mentoring system for encouraging people to increase their contribution, and hold team-building exercises to increase overall functioning and commitment to the team.
Demonstrate that you value teamwork, and be their source of inspiration for your vision of what a dream team is. Most importantly, support your team. Be realistic and provide them with adequate time, people, monetary, and other resources to accomplish their stated goals. With your vision, mission, culture statement as guiding principles, and with clear knowledge as to the specifics of the resources they have access to, grant your team the freedom and power to make the decisions they need to in achieving their goals. Micro-managing and changing goals only leads to confusion and distraction.
Model and encourage respect for diversity of experience, skills, and perspectives. Create an environment where open, honest, respectful communication is the norm, where people are not afraid but expected and encouraged to voice their opinions and ideas. This is, in fact, what makes a team great. The whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts because people with different skill sets and levels of knowledge learn from each other, encourage each other, and go farther because of each other.
Lastly, recognize and reward the accomplishments. Rewards come in different forms, and monetary rewards are not necessarily the most successful. As Daniel Pink has explained in his book Drive, there is a deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world. Rewards that are part of filling these needs, such as giving learning opportunities or greater autonomy, will go the farthest toward motivating the people on your team, and creating the team of your dreams.