[Editor’s Synopsis: This article is dedicated to the art of team-building. Before any leader can expect his team to take action, it is the leader’s job, for the team, to present a unified and cohesive objective. With the simple acronym of, GLUE, managers and team leaders will acquire the focus necessary to solidify their team. Success will then follow. The following article is 1036 words.]
FIND THE “GLUE” THAT UNIFIES YOUR TEAM
By: Joe Curcillo
Danny checks his email and finds a message advising him he is the new team leader for the Alpha project. The email goes on to say, “during your time at this company, we believe you have shown the skills needed for success as a leader.” He immediately hits panic-mode, because his dream has come true; yet he’s not quite sure he is ready to lead.
While he has always been successful in completing the tasks assigned to him, and he knows his business like the back of his hand, he does not know where to begin as the top dog. How does he begin this process of leading a team?
Initially, just like Danny, perhaps you must also determine the course of action based on all of your knowledge about your industry, and the project that has been assigned to you. How do you begin outlining a plan to complete the task with great success? Once you have finished your outline for the plan of attack—and you know you can present it with confidence— only then are you ready to face your team.
It is your confidence, and preparedness, that solidifies in THEM, that YOU are the best person for the job.
Once you have amassed and organized the knowledge you already possess in your industry, you will see, leadership is about finding the glue that binds your team together.
Let’s look at the GLUE:
Gather Team Information
Listen to the Team
Unify the Team
Empower and Execute
Gather information about your team members – their backgrounds and skill sets. Sometimes that information is available within the organization. Other times you are fortunate enough to know your team members. No matter how you acquire the information, learn what you can about what the players have done on other teams or within the company. This background information is essential as a basis upon which you will build the infrastructure of your team. Now, keep in mind, people change. Therefore, this collected information will be subject to modification as you watch the dynamic come together during the life of the project. The initial facts should be reviewed and analyzed as much as you scrutinize the project itself.
If the particulars you are gathering are subjective … consider the source. Depending on who provided the data, it may or may not be accurate. Ultimately, it is in the next phase—as you listen to your team members and learn—that you will begin to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your troupe in real-time.
Listen to their concerns and gather knowledge to determine their ability to understand and comprehend. As you do so, then several types of players will surface. Be attentive to their comments and thoughts. The way they speak. And then address the situation at hand. This will give you great insight into the types of personalities you are working with.
As each team member speaks, or reacts, to your plan, you must be careful to balance their words and actions against the information you have gathered about their backgrounds, and with the plan you wish to implement. Each individual will bring positive skillsets to the table.
Pay close attention to those who will be constructive, versus aggressive participants. Also, look for those with initiative. Ones who will lead their portion of the project with excitement. You may find that one person is an expert on the subject matter at hand, while another is an expert in organization.
As you determine the place in your machine for each of the actors, you will want to make sure you speak to the expertise of each individual, so they feel you are speaking directly to them. For instance, when you are expressive of technical elements, you will want to look directly to your technician. On the other hand, while you are mapping out a specific course of action, you may want to begin with, and acknowledge, a specific individual’s organizational skills. By doing this, it indicates an intrinsic trust, while also keeping the task on course.
Be aware, if someone is questioning every action you take, give that person value by letting them know they are beneficial, and “keeping you on your toes”. This will give that person value as your conscience.
Unify them by finding a common thread. Or, by creating one they can commit to. Once you have identified the type of community you are managing, you will want to present the project, and the individual tasks, in a format that speaks to the specific skill-sets of each of the unique members.
By creating unity, you are making it clear that everyone is an essential and necessary member of your team. Help them understand they are working for the common good of the organization, and let them know their relationship to each other is vital for success. If they can understand how they fit into the big picture—and how the project fits into the grand vision of the organization—they will be more likely to take pride as an integral part of the solution.
Empower your team to execute the plan with dedication and passion. Make the path ahead clear. Map out the stages of development as your project progresses. Give them feedback as you move along the way. And, always be ready and willing to step in and assist with mediation if conflict or antagonism begins.
By allowing your team to clearly visualize their direction, execution will become more fluid and guaranteed. With a keen eye, and an open line of communication with all of your crew members, in a transparent fashion, you will minimize the risk of competition for control.
So, how did Danny do as the new team leader for the Alpha project?
Well, just like you, Danny, with his plan outlined, and with a firm grasp on who his company team will be, will walk into the conference room with all of the information in hand. He will now pay attention, listen carefully, and unify and empower them all. He has the GLUE to bind everyone! Now, with this plan in motion, he fosters the, “all for one, and one for all” mindset.
Just like you will do.
With amazing success!
JOE CURCILLO is a speaker, consultant and entertainer who focusses on his passion for improving leadership, communication & culture with a Unifying Vision. He is the author of the Best Seller Getting to ‘US’: Discover the Ability to Lead Your Team to Any Result You Desire, and Don’t be a Hamster: 30 Tips to Spark the Imagination of Busy People.