Creating A Successful Team. Essay

1713 words - 7 pages

Creating a successful team is not something that happens overnight. It takes hard work and commitment and can sometimes be a painful process. The good news is that even a struggling team can become a successful one. You can create and manage a highly effective executive team by cultivating the following five conditions for success:1. Establish a clear, compelling direction.Being able to articulate a vision is easier for many leaders than being able to provide direction on how to achieve that vision. Some leaders do not want to force their vision on their team, believing that "they are smart people; they'll get it." However, high-performing individuals-people who tend to be on top teams-need clearly communicated goals and direction. Otherwise, a leadership vacuum is created, one that members rush to fill with their own individual priorities and goals. As a result, even seemingly bright teams can self-destruct as personality disputes and cynicism take over.According to the research results, leaders of outstanding teams provide far clearer direction than leaders of poor-performing teams The new CEO of one successful executive team observed in the study established direction for his team by drafting a document that laid out his vision. Preparing this core vision was not a democratic process; he worked alone, often 14 hours a day, for two weeks. When he completed the draft, he met with each of his seven vice presidents in private to discuss his ideas and encourage them to buy into his plans. Once he had set the direction, the CEO allowed the executive team to take over and present the plan to 130 other key employees. Although it was the leader's vision, every team member had some input and was therefore able to support the vision. That year, thanks to the initial clear directive of the CEO, the company not only lowered costs, they also significantly raised revenues.2. Create an appropriate structure.Once the direction is firmly established, you must put in place an appropriate structure for the team, which involves setting team size and boundaries. CEOs of successful executive teams generally limit their team's size to between six and eight members. The smaller the team, the less chance for competition among its members and the greater the chance for open, honest dialogue. Oftentimes teams grow too large because the CEO fears leaving key players out of the group and perhaps offending them. What you must decide is which individuals bring the expertise necessary to achieve your team's goals. Anyone who lacks expertise or duplicates expertise offered by someone else should not be on the team. As the team leader, you must also clearly spell out the rules of conduct the team will follow. They can be as simple as not allowing individuals to take phone calls during meetings or as complex as rules that clarify how team members should debate opposing points of view. The CEO of the top team mentioned earlier worked with his team to develop a list of norms. They...

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