“There’s no I in team” – in our view this is a cringeworthy statement that gets bandied about with no real thought for what it means – in fact it contradicts so much of what we know is important in creating and managing successful teams.
John Adair, a guru if there ever was one suggests that we need to focus on three things as a manager:
- The Task – what is the very best way of getting the job done?
- The Team – how do you ensure everyone works together for maximum results?
- The Individual – what does each person who works for you need from you?
Managers who are skilled at the task required often focus much of their time on that task, leaving the other two elements with insufficient attention and support.
The skill of you as a business owner or a manager is to balance your focus across these three elements as needed by paying attention to what is going on and where any issues are arising.
We also admire Ken Blanchard’s view when he said “none of us is as smart as all of us” – this sums up perfectly the power in bringing together a group of people who work cohesively towards a common goal, sharing knowledge and skills to achieve something that isn’t possible for anyone working alone.
How do you successfully do just that in your business? A great starting point is to look at Ken Blanchard and Paul Hersey’s work on situational leadership and we’d highly recommend reading The One Minute Manager Builds High Performing Teams – a quick read that takes you through the four stages of managing teams in a simple and easy to follow book. In this Blanchard identifies:
- The Orientation Stage where you need to help your team build a strong foundation and provide a lot of direction
- The Dissatisfaction Stage when the honeymoon is over and you need to help your team define their communication skills and clarify the big picture
- The Integration Stage where you need to encourage the team to challenge and create new ideas whilst focussing on increasing productivity and more self-management
- The Production Stage where your role is to delegate and oversee while the team work independently and effectively
Your goal is to have a team who are high performing and need minimal day to day input from you so that you can keep growing the business.