The 6 Keys to a Winning Team
by Mark McNulty
What does it really take to succeed with your team? There are Six Keys to a Winning Team.
- The first key is Strong Leadership. That doesn’t mean just you, it means having leaders throughout the team. Not just managers, not just positions on an org chart, but true leadership. That means people who are willing to step up and take ownership of things.
- Once we’ve got strong leadership, the next step is to have Common Goals. Everyone on the team has to know what it is we’re trying to accomplish. If everybody is off doing different things, trying to get different results, then you’re not going to get where you need to go, no matter how hard you work. Winning teams know what the goals and expectations are, and work together to achieve them.
- Next we need to make sure everyone knows the Rules of the Game. This is often called our culture or our core values. You need to have your Vision, your Mission, and your Core Values, because these are your rules of the game. That’s how we operate and work together. That’s the environment we create for each other to succeed. It’s also how we treat our vendors, suppliers, clients, and customers.
- Now that we’ve got strong leaders in place, we know what we’re trying to accomplish with our common goals, and everyone knows what the rules of the game are, the next step is to create an Action Plan. An action plan is who does what, where, and when, to achieve your desired results. Make sure the plan is clear. This is the 4th key, and we call these first 4 keys “The Core Four”.
- Key number five is Support Risk Taking. Once you’ve gotten The Core Four in place, you can let your team try new things. Try a new way of doing something. Take a little risk. Start small. You don’t take giant risks the first time, you take small ones. If the team tries something new and fails, as long as they did it in the context of The Core Four, we don’t punish them for it; we learn from it, and apply it going forward.
- The 6th Key is 100% inclusion and 100% involvement. This does not mean that everyone is included in everything. This means that if there is a topic or problem to be worked on, everyone who should be involved recognizes it and jumps in. They get involved. And then if that team sees that someone who needs to be involved in the discussion isn’t there, they go get them proactively. They include them. Everybody proactively gets involved when they need to be.
So if you want to drive your team, to have it be successful and working together to get great results, work on the Keys in order: Strong Leadership, Common Goals, Rules of the Game, Clear Action Plan. Then once you’ve got The Core Four in place, support and allow risk taking. In fact, encourage it. Then work towards 100% involvement and 100% inclusion.