When a collective team is performing to the highest level, they can outperform individual players on the team. Real teams have a powerful purpose, goals and daily discipline to conquer any obstacle in their way.
This past weekend, my team at the hotel stepped up to the occasion. The entire city was welcoming many customers to enjoy the Texas State Fair, high profile college game between Arkansas and Texas A&M and the Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday.
Even though we were short staffed, our team was able to overcome many challenges. Everyone knew we had to “show up” and rise up to the occasion. It wasn’t easy, but what I noticed was self-sacrifice and efforts of each individual to making it a successful weekend.
Each person made a big contribution. It wasn’t one person that overshadowed everyone else. People were supportive and willing to go the extra mile to win with the customer. We all worked extra hours to cover different shifts without any complaints from the staff. They knew their sacrifice and willingness to rise up to the occasion to do what’s right.
In reflection, I have to say that I am very lucky to be on such a great team. I have learned a lot from each one of their efforts. When you have a great team, you can win more and become much better as a leader.
So, let’s look at some of those “secrets” of great teams. I can tell you that it takes time and leadership. It takes commitment and self-leadership of each person to create a win-win for the business and the customer.
Clarity of Purpose
When a team has a purpose, they understand the big picture. More importantly, they understand the WHY of their efforts and contributions. If people don’t understand why they are doing what they are doing in order to create success, they will be wondering aimlessly without knowing their purpose to win. That’s like telling a sports team in any field to just go out and play their best. But, what are they playing for? Is it the National Championship? Is it to win the Olympics together? There has to be a purpose to win together.
When we think about mutual goals, it’s not to say that each person on the team doesn’t have individual goals. But when you are leading a team, everyone needs to be aware of what goals the TEAM has to achieve collectively. For example, if a business wants to improve their customer service, they must agree on several goals in order to achieve customer excellence. How will they know? They can measure their results on performance metrics and surveys that will tell them if they are heading the right direction as a team.
Daily Discipline and Focus
Any group seeking high performance must focus on small daily habits and disciplines in order to win together. Leaders, must keep their team focused on results and demand consistent reflection on how their contribution impacts the needs of customers, employees and shareholders. Groups eventually progress toward great teams through disciplined action. These actions shape their purpose, goals and develop high level of accountability toward results.
The best teams foster open communication and trust. Without it, any team can simply fail. Each person is part of the whole and has a voice in how we win together. I have worked in both great teams and bad teams. One thing in common that I know for sure is that communication or lack of it can derail trust and morale very quickly. Communication allows you to build relationships based on trust, expectations and honest feedback. If you want your team to win, you must create a culture of where everyone is heard and respected.
At the end of the day, everyone has a stake in the outcome. Success or failure, we either win together or lose together. Holding each other accountable, creates more ownership and trust. Each person on team needs must feel that they are not only contributing, but also holding themselves accountable for the results.
Building a winning team takes time and leadership. Leadership from everyone involves individual sacrifices in order to win together. Each player can support and compliment their team-mates in order to find meaningful ways to sharpen each other strengths.