April 21, 2014
Building A Great Team
Building a great team is not an easy task. There is a lot that goes into building a great team. Let us first start with, what is a team? As noted in the article, Effective Health Care Teams (2005), “Commonly, teams are defined as a small number of members with the appropriate mix of expertise to complete a specific task, who are committed to a meaningful purpose and have achievable performance goals for which they are held collectively responsible” (p. 359). One cannot have a team without a leader. Building a great team begins with the leader, and not just any leader, but a strong, confident, inspiring, vision filled, future seeing leader. All of these characteristics together, can make for an effective leader. As one can already see, there are many layers that go into building an effective leader, also it takes many layers to be able to build a great team. Building a great team must first have an effective leader. The leader helps the team to bring about change when needed. As stated in the book, The Leadership Challenge (2012),
“Change is the province of leaders. It is the work of leaders to inspire people to do things differently, to struggle against uncertain odds, and to persevere toward a misty image of a better future. Without leadership there would not be the extraordinary efforts necessary to solve existing problems and realize unimagined opportunities. We have today, at best, only faint clues of what the future may hold, but we are confident that without leadership the possibilities will neither be envisioned nor obtained” (p. 1). Building a great team will need to have an effective leader, who will be able to create an environment that supports team effectiveness, which includes trust, communication, rewards that support team effectiveness, and resources that a team will need to succeed so they can become a great team.
Anything being built, and in order for it to withstand the ups and downs, highs and lows, it needs to be built on a strong, firm, and secure foundation. Since building a great team begins with an effective leader, let us first look at what it takes to become an effective leader, because this person represents the strong, firm, and secure foundation needed to be able to build a great team.
When a leader is at their best, they are able to take their team, co-workers, and organization from ordinary to extraordinary. To obtain that status, the leader must first know who they are, have a philosophy and have established their core values, as well as be aware of and respect the shared values of their group. The leader must have a vision and in having a vision that basically means working backwards, because one has to know where they want to end, to be able to know where to start and what road to take to get there. Next as the leader, in order to achieve anything one cannot keep things the same. The leader has to be about changing the business as usual attitude and environment, which means taking risks, making mistakes, and even failing sometimes, knowing that failures are a step closer to success. The leader needs to enable others to act by serving as a catalyst for change, challenging the way things were being done and convincing the staff that new practices need to be incorporated to achieve greater levels of success. The leader wants their staff and co-workers to see and know that they can speak out on matters of values, stand up for beliefs, walk the talk, talk the walk, and do what they say. All of these things go together in creating an effective leader.
The leader is the forefront of the team and how they act, react, and behave affects the group as a whole. People want to follow a leader in whom they can believe. “Statistical analyses revealed that a leader’s behavior explains the vast majority of constituents’ workplace engagement. A leader’s actions contribute more to such