When your team drive you up the wall

The hardest part of work,

is to pretend you’re working hard.

You can only stack so many papers,

or shuffle so many business cards.

In one tab you’ll have your email.

And the other you’ll have your shows.

And you can switch between them so quickly

Your boss hardly knows.

Hulu shows the Office,

Youtube has dancing Dogs.

Amazon sells lots of books,

On Ebay you bought some Pogs.

An online game of Scrabble

Makes you think of many words.

But when nature calls you leave,

And beat angry birds.

But once you tire of Facebook,

And you’ve written too many Tweets.

You’ll stroll down to the break room,

And help yourself to treats.

And if there is a co worker,

with semi-engaging news

You’ll only stop and gossip,

for at least an hour or two.

Other times you’ll play ping pong,

your favourite company perk.

It’s amazing what you get done.

when you come to work.

By Evan James Griffin

57983170 - modern multi-ethnic managers discussing ideas at meeting


Does this sound like many of your team members?

There is one fact in business that is always true, no matter what business you are in. You will never build a great business on your own, and the bigger and better the business you want, the bigger and better team you will need.

Having team members is one thing, but having WINNING team members is another. So how do we build winning teams?

Here are the 6 Keys of a Winning Team to get you started…

Key #1 – Strong Leadership

Do you regularly meet one-on-one with your employees. Do you blame your employees for problems and do they fully take ownership and accountability for what is happening in the business?

Employees are a reflection of the owner.

In a single word, the first key to a winning team is leadership. A strong leader is one that demonstrates integrity and competence. He or she is someone that people trust. Strong leaders also have developed the communication skills to enrol and inspire others to understand and embrace their vision.

A strong leader enrol and inspire a full team to follow him or her. It takes a strong leader to fully appreciate and listen to all perspectives, and then bring the team together on a common goal that is best for the whole group.

Key #2 – Common Goal

Do you have a clear vision for your business or department? Do you have a clearly defined target? Has the goal been effectively communicated with the team? To win the game as a team, it is essential for everyone to share a clearly defined target. The effectiveness of a strong goal is more in what it DOES rather than what it IS. So as a strong leader, the challenge is to get with your team, and set a strong, common goal to bring you together.

Key #3 – Rules of the Game

Can you imagine trying to win a game if you didn’t know the rules? Often employees lack motivation and productivity because the expectations are unclear. Do your employees know the company core values? Have you invested time in defining core values and communicating the company culture to every team member?

The rules in a game define the game. A game with no rules is chaos, and certainly not much fun. The rules in a game define how you win, how you succeed, and communicate the appropriate relationship between the team members – their roles and functions defined.

Clearly defined rules of the game need to be known and followed if you are going to have a winning team.

Key #4 – Action Plan

A fourth key for producing a winning team is to support risk taking. For people to maximize their potential, they need to try new things, even make mistakes! The only people who don’t make mistakes are those who never try anything new. Winning teams will always be willing to stretch their limits. As long as you have defined the rules of the game, the team should be encouraged to innovate within those defined boundaries.

Very simply stated, a great action plan has three components – WHO does WHAT by WHEN. That is it. If you are clear on the goal and the rules, then organise your plan into logical steps, and delegate each step to the right team member. Assign an accountability and deadline, and you are ready to go.

Key #5 – Support Risk Taking

To maximise the potential of every team member, the leader and organisation must support risk taking. What does that mean? It means that fear of mistakes and failure must go. It means that we always solicit and welcome multiple solutions to challenges. It means that right brain, creative thinking is encouraged, and that new ideas and changes are welcomed and rewarded. It means that good is never good enough, and that continuous improvement, innovation, and experimentation are a fundamental part of the culture. Human beings were made to create, innovate, explore, and experiment. If you refuse to support risk taking, you drain the adventure, fun and creativity out of the organisation.

The key is that the other keys must also be in place. A strong leader will add balance, discernment, and integrity to the process. Strong rules of the game will keep the risk within certain borders. In fact, strong rules of the game facilitate and enable risk taking. The action plan keeps the accountabilities for the established routine in place. While the team is innovating and experimenting, they are still performing the necessary bread and butter tasks and responsibilities by sticking to the action plan.

Key #6 – 100%Involvement and Inclusion

Each member must know that they are accepted by the team, and each member must also choose to participate 100%. Those who are not fully engaged pull down the team’s performance. 100% participation creates powerful team synergy. The challenge is to REQUIRE 100% participation from your team. Some of you know that you have team members that need to radically change or leave.

Jim Collins, author of “Good to Great”, was asked how to decide if a person should be kept on a team or if they should be asked to leave. He said it is a simple two question test:

#1 – If the person left today for a better job somewhere else, would you be glad or sad?

#2 – If this person applied for a job with your organisation today, knowing what you know about them, would you hire them?

The answers to those questions provide a clear insight into the action that needs to take place.


Get these keys in place and go out there and win the game!