Putting together the ultimate team

Imagine you’re a soccer coach putting together a team that you hope will be destined for the World Cup. Instead of simply getting all the best players, you scout out the best three forwards, middles, and defensemen. Plus, you need two goalies. If you have all the best skilled forwards, you’ll have no one to defend the goal. If you stockpile top of the line defensemen, you’ll never score. In the book “High Five!” author Ken Blanchard uses a fictitious tale of a come-from-behind hockey team that excels as a result of a great team functioning perfectly that produces magnificent results. You must build a team where every team member has a sense of purpose and shares the same values and goals. As a leader, use no negative feedback, only positive suggestions for improving after praising an individual’s progress. Think about it: none of us is as smart as all of us put together. If you’re driving down a dark road with a headlight out, you can only see about 500 yards in front of you. But with both working, you can see about 800 yards, much farther when the two headlights are working as a team. Together as a team, you can work together, strategize for success, and actually make strong bonds. And your team doesn’t necessarily have to be those who work for you – think of your team in a broader sense – customers, vendors, partners, and employees all working toward a common goal. As the team leader, it is your job to empower and allow your team members to develop their own potential and contributions to the whole. Create team power and keep the emphasis on the positive. Provide your teammates with clear purpose and share your visions and goals. As the adage says, “There is no ‘I’ in ‘T-E-A-M.’”

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