4 Important Lessons on Building a Team

When it Comes to Talent, The Right Team is Everything

kung fu panda - fighting team

Last week, I led a team that took part in piloting a new inventory process at a few Chicago Public Schools.  All teams were given a recommended approach as to how we should complete our tasks. I quickly learned that following those guidelines was crucial but also that I needed to adjust to the dynamics within my team.  Initially, I considered how I allocated tasks a result of taking this into consideration.

I was wrong.

After a difficult day of work, I realized that I not only assigned roles according to talent, skills and team dynamics but I placed a large weight on team member interests.

That may work in some scenarios but rarely when you are defining processes and verifying new procedures.  A certain amount of control and rigidity is necessary.

My tough lessons learned reminded me of this great article on  LinkedIn about building teams by Dr. Marla Gottschalk.

According to Dr. Gottschalk, “talent alone, will not ensure that an individual will excel to their fullest ability within a specific team setting.”  Leaders must be cognizant of factors which impact the success of individual players within a team setting.

  • Consider the individual carefully. Talented individuals will run the gamut in terms of both personality and communication style. For example, an introverted, yet highly gifted individual, may require guidance or support to find equal voice on a team.
  • Monitor team dynamics. Collecting talent is one thing — nurturing how the contributors work together as a team, is another. Pay close attention to the dynamics within the group that could derail motivation and eventual success.
  • Offer “side” paths. Pay attention to developing skill sets of your team members over time. People evolve — and so should their work life.  Be on point to discover these gifts, and offer them vehicles to explore them.
  • Monitor the “contract”. Although a team relationship may be successful — talented individuals still opt to leave, both physically and emotionally. Have conversations to establish the health of the psychological contract. Happy work life relationships, between employees and employer are a two-way street.

I will follow this advice in managing future teams.

Sherry

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Categories: Professional Development

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