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Average reading time: 1 minute 55 seconds

1. The Best Nine

The goal isn’t to recruit the best nine individuals, but rather to create a team of the nine best. Or to put it another way, make it your goal to build a star team as opposed to a team of all-stars.

A Harvard study found that boards which function effectively as a team have an 800% greater impact on firm profitability than any one well-qualified board director.

Group cohesion and teamwork will always trump individual skill.

2. Bad Apples

The overall competence of any team is a result of the combined skills of the group and their collective personalities. Emotional Contagion Theory tells us that one person with the wrong attitude and personality can sap the positive energy from the team, increase inter-personal conflict and reduce collaboration.

Would you be willing to go to war with everyone on your team? If the answer is no, you need to act.

3. Standards

Leaders of great teams set high standards and ensure that everyone knows what good looks like, what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable. They also know that standards will inevitably slip and as such have a relentless, even maniacal, focus on upholding the standards they set.

Leaders of great teams know that the standard they walk past, is the standard they ultimately accept.

4. Excellence

Excellence is the standard that great teams work towards. It is also a habit.

As Aristotle is quoted to have said:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Excellence becomes inevitable when every team member is fully committed to the process of learning and growing.

5. Purpose

Focus on creating a strong connection to a common goal or shared purpose before attempting to build deep inter-personal connections. Personal connections are important, but without a compelling purpose, you’re simply a group of close friends who happen to work together.

A great purpose is a rallying point that serves to connect what’s truly important for me, to that which is truly important for us.

As the US Businesswoman Marilyn Hewson once said:

“Leaders must exemplify integrity and earn the trust of their teams through their everyday actions. When you do this, you set high standards for everyone at your company. And when you do so with positive energy and enthusiasm for shared goals and purpose, you can deeply connect with your team and customers.”



Image by Jeffrey F Lin

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