Chapter 11: Building a Great Team

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”
Andrew Carnegie

I love Robert Fulghum’s list from All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. The points are delightful and entirely applicable to working in a team:

  • Share everything;
  • Play fair;
  • Clean up your own mess;
  • Don’t take things that aren’t yours;
  • Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody;
  • When you go out into the world...stick together;
  • Be aware of wonder.

What binds these lessons together are themes of respect and ap- preciation for others. These are the qualities that make good teams great. When individuals come together to accomplish a task or goal, and they are bound together by a deep appreciation for what others are bringing to the table and respect for others’ opinions and ideas, the team will flourish and success is the result. Your goal as the manager is to create a team culture of mutual respect and appreci- ation, one in which there is palpable harmony within and between relationships, where new information can easily be processed, and where there is excellent execution of team responsibilities.

To accomplish this, your job is part cheerleader, part ringleader, and part coach. You want to create the conditions that will allow the team to reach its fullest potential. You need to be able to inspire, empower, and motivate people to genuinely want to work together to create a successful team. You want them to feel that they are part of something larger than themselves; that together, you can achieve more. In this chapter, we will focus on several aspects of how to create a great team.

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