Qualities Of Successful Teams
Why do teams win? Basically, winning teams are about people working well together. Successful teams are comprised of people with purpose, vision, and skill. Winning teams are groups of people who are wisely led, motivated to work hard, work together, and persevere to make something meaningful happen.
A Sense of Purpose: A Meaningful Goal.
Winning teams are inspired by a sense of purpose and work toward a goal that has meaning for them. They want to succeed; they are motivated to contribute to and be a part of something great or something of value. Winning teams present a meaningful opportunity and challenge to their members. Whether it’s to win the championship, to be the best, to provide a quality product or a valuable service, or to make a better world, the members of winning teams tend to share a belief that what they do and what they are striving for has meaning or value.
Research has shown that when a person believes he or she is engaged in a meaningful pursuit, it’s both energizing and sustaining. A strong sense of purpose generates a kind of “soul power” that nurtures drive and success. Bottom line: people who have a meaningful goal are willing to work harder, persist longer, and endure more . . . and all of these qualities lead to success.
You can never have too much talent. Talent is vital to a winning team. It’s the human resource that delivers the mail. The talent may be mature and manifest where all the requisite skill sets and experience necessary to succeed are present and in place. Or, it may be latent, there to be nurtured and developed with good coaching, time, and “game experience.”
Winning teams usually possess a combination of maturity and know-how, along with youthful vitality. Youth brings enthusiasm and energy. Maturity brings experience and the understanding to use energy wisely and well, especially under pressure. Teammates affect each other.
Many people believe that winning begins with leadership. Functionally, the head leads and the body follows. Leadership represents the head of an organization. Winning teams have a good head, with a brain, eye, ear, and a voice for success. The leadership brain understands what’s required to win. It can select talent, devise a winning strategy, and organize processes. The leadership eye envisions success. It creates a blueprint or image of winning. The leadership ear hears “what is,” both internally and externally, and shapes and adjusts the team accordingly. An effective leader knows the heart and mind of the team, as well as something of what the competition is doing (or not doing). Leadership also has the voice to communicate, motivate, enrol, and direct the team’s talent into making the team’s vision a reality.
Leadership is an organizing force that brings the individual energies of the group together. It’s like a lens, focusing and concentrating these energies into a persistent, positive directional force. Leadership can define purpose and inspire and illuminate a meaningful challenge. It can create a plan of action, choose valid performance measures, and provide appropriate feedback. And leadership can select capable talent, nurture a winning chemistry, help strengthen team confidence, and contribute to growing a successful team identity. When leadership is weak or absent, any of these qualities may be affected
Winning teams have a clear direction. Vision without action is fantasy. Action without vision is random activity. Hard work is a key to success. However, winning is more than just working hard. It’s working smart. It’s having a direction and focus. It’s having a plan and working the plan. A plan involves defining what has to be done, how to go about doing it, who will do it, and setting time lines. With winning teams it’s very much about everyone working the plan together. Working the plan is an expression of organization, direction, and cooperation. It involves a coordinated effort by a group of people directing their energy efficiently and effectively along specific lines.
To be a winner one must be totally committed . . . Total commitment means being willing to do whatever is necessary to become successful. One must be willing to work hard, to push themselves physically until it hurts . . . To be a winner one must be willing to make sacrifices . . . If you want to be a winner you will give up anything that does not help you become better at your sport. Commitment is a major key to team success. In team terms, commitment means two things. First, it’s a willingness to do whatever it takes in creativity, effort, determination, discipline, and perseverance to achieve the team’s goal. Second, commitment is a surrendering of ego of the individual “I” for the group “we.”
In the mix of personalities and talent that make up an organization, good chemistry is that positive energy and support that flows between team members. Does chemistry grow out of the team’s success, or is the chemistry a factor that creates team success? The answer is usually both. Three things contributing to good team chemistry are: respect/ love, selfless action, and trust.
Identity is self-image. It’s who you think you are. At any level, individual or team, who you think you are is critical to how you perform. Winning teams, like successful individuals, have a winning identity that drives them to excel. On winning teams, team members take ownership and pride in being among the best, and they appreciate that they must continuously strive to maintain that level of performance.