November 17, 2010

My Team Is Famous For…

Getting great people to be in the team is one of the most rewarding tactics to help managers deliver the results demanded of them.

Yet these ‘great people’ as employees can be so hard to find.

Some managers have found the key to unlock creating a successful team, by ensuring that they get well known for the environment in which they and their people work.

A compelling experience for those employees who are lucky enough to be in there. Indeed, an experience so rewarding that there is a queue to join.

Imagine that your team ‘brand’ is such that you have people clamouring to be a member. A reputation to ensure that you need not seek great employees any more – they come to find you.

In times where employee costs are most often the biggest expenditure any organisation has to endure, throwing money at recruitment is not only expensive, but it’s usually a waste of time.

Creating a renowned workplace experience that others want to become a part of, means that as long as the pay you offer isn’t stupidly small, you can get away with paying a good average rate for the job, so long as…

…what they find when they get there is good.

Here’s a secret. there are not that many components of good and what’s even more interesting, as long as you pay at an acceptable level, pay isn’t in that set of keys.

By providing an environment that your people like and enjoy, not only will the word get round and you find people come to you to join your team, you lose less of the one’s you’ve already got.

Now, it’s not about providing a cushy little number where your people can snooze their afternoon’s away. that’s not part of it at all – here are the keys…

1. A challenging job that:- stimulates and encourages employees to take risks and grow, safe in the knowledge that they will be supported and not chastised when things don’t quite go to plan.

2. Leadership that:- delivers it’s promises; values the individual; listens much more than speaks (whilst communicating effectively); is trusted and trust others; oils the wheels to make delivery of high performance easy for the team members; can be hands on; pays attention to what’s going on.

3. Have fun – simple as that!

With these in place, your team will definitely be famous for…the team that it really is worth being in.

Filed under Blog, Building the Future, Developing Your People, Management Basics, Managing Me by Martin

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January 11, 2010

Workplace Relationship Building – Getting Out Of Your Own Way

Effective relationships with team members is vital for managers to deliver the very best results. Yet one of the biggest hurdles to overcome is quite close to home.

As managers need their people to be fully productive, it is vital that they nurture the strongest of working relationships with them. Every individual has particular skills to offer and to make the most of this, their full commitment to the cause is vital.

This can be challenging for some managers to work through, with them believing that as manager, their role is superior to their people and they will lead the way – and deliver it – at all times, even when it’s almost impossible to carry the workload output required.

Good managers overcome the challenge that their own high level of self-importance can present. By being able to see the bigger picture of the needs of the team to create results, the best managers recognize that rather than them being the most important in the team, the contrary is true. Their people are where the vital energy and competence needs to lie.

Appreciation of their role as a facilitator, managers who get the best results simply know that they will only deliver strongly when they get the best from every individual they have as a colleague. So they will focus on working much harder at building motivation and collaboration with their people than by trying to show their higher level of authority.

Managers who cannot get past their own ego, pride and ‘position’, will always find the going tough, because their role is never to be the ‘doers’, whatever their personal drive is.

The best managers see their role purely as leveraging the great skills of their people. Indeed really good managers recruit people who are even more capable than they are, without any concerns about doing so.

They have been able to get over their own self-doubt and moved past that, knowing that the better they are at being a humble partner in their team, the more likelihood there is of success. Employees relate to the manager who is on a par with them and are more productive in that situation.

So many managers struggle to get beyond their own self-importance to take the time to create the valuable working relationships where they are as equal partners as possible, yet this is precisely the requirement of the role.

By investing some time building relationships with individuals in a carefully structured way, the more successful managers set their stall out to be doing everything possible to squeeze the best performance from the capable people they have.

This only comes from intimate working relationships that create trust and a following that is hard to pin down, yet is so very powerful and ultimately fruitful.

And the biggest challenge to overcome is so often the manager themselves.

Filed under Blog, Developing Your People, Focus on Results, Managing Me by Martin

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December 2, 2008

Five Characteristics of a High Performance Team

High performance teams share a number of characteristics that set them apart from their less capable counterparts. Some of these characteristics are objective and easily quantifiable. Others are of the “I know it when I see it” variety; subjective and hard to define.

But whether subjective or objective these characteristics form the basis of developing and maintaining a high performance team.

Here are five characteristics that are particularly important:

1. The team has defined what success looks like.

The ability to accurately identify the desired outcome is common to all high performance teams. Whether it’s introducing a new product, winning a sports championship or developing a new process high performance teams have a clear understanding of their ultimate goal.

2. The team’s actions are guided by specific values.

Teams, like individuals, possess values that impact on their actions. High performance teams develop and continually enforce a core set of positive group values that govern the actions of each team member. From these values come the principles and processes that guide the team’s daily activities.

3. The team is made up of the right people, and they’re in the right places.

The best teams are those that put each member in the role for which they are uniquely suited. This often requires looking beyond job descriptions to find those hidden or under-used talents that members possess.

4. They have identified barriers to success and have planned to eliminate or minimize those barriers.

Whether you call them barriers or challenges or even opportunities, every team faces problems that can prevent successful completion of their mission. High performance teams are adept at recognizing those barriers and devising effective plans to overcome them.

5. The team conducts periodic progress evaluations.

You can’t get where you’re going if you don’t know where you are. High performance teams define success in ways that are specific, pertinent, attainable, measurable and observable.

They use their definition in conducting periodic progress evaluations in order to determine their progress in relation to their desired end-state. This in turn allows them to make mid-course corrections if necessary.

Building and maintaining a high performance team takes commitment, time and effort. It also requires a focus on those positive characteristics that distinguish high performance teams.

Teams that invest the time and effort and maintain that focus will consistently exceed expectations, enjoy high member satisfaction and serve as a model for others to follow.

Doug Petch PhotoDoug Petch specializes in helping organizations and individuals create the synergies in team building, leadership and communication skills that lead to sustained profitability and long-term success. He is also the host of the popular Sixty Second Success Seminar, an audio program focused on the tools, tips and techniques that anyone can use to navigate their path to success. Website:

Filed under Developing Your People by Martin

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November 25, 2008

Five Team Building Myths

Successful organizations recognize the importance of high performance teams in avoiding wasted time, wasted effort and wasted money.

This does not mean, though, that the people in these organizations are aware of the many team building myths that have gained acceptance over the years.

Here are five common myths that you should recognize and resist:

Team building is an event.

FACT: Too many managers and team leaders believe that holding off-site team building events is all there is to building an effective team. But, while some of these events can be useful in strengthening team bonds, they are but one component of an effective team building strategy. The key here is to never forget that team building is a process made up of many discrete events.

MYTH: Team building is designed to eliminate conflict and disagreement.

FACT: Eliminating conflict and disagreement results in a “group think” mentality that ultimately stifles innovation and achievement. An effective team is one that has learned to manage conflict and disagreement in a constructive manner.

MYTH: Only managers and team leaders are responsible for building teams.

FACT: It’s true that managers and team leaders are responsible for assembling team members and for their output, but they are not solely responsible for turning those individuals into a team. Each team member has a stake in the process of building an effective team. They must master the skills necessary to function as a team, even when the manager or team leader is not present.

MYTH: Team members must like each other.

FACT: In a perfect world, that would be true. But in the real world it is entirely probable that some of your team members will not get along on a personal level. The key is to recognize and acknowledge these conflicts and to work with these team members so that they can maintain a workable professional relationship

MYTH: A team that starts strong will stay that way.

FACT: While you may succeed at building a team that excels in the first two stages of teambuilding – forming and storming- that does not mean that the team will continue to excel as it moves through the last two stages – norming and performing. Teams typically fluctuate amongst the four stages, particularly when new members are introduced or when faced with unanticipated challenges.

Accepting any one of these five myths as fact can have a tremendous negative impact on your chances of team building success.

Recognizing them for what they are and taking appropriate steps to eliminate them from your team building beliefs, on the other hand, will lead you to focus on more effective methods for building a strong, high performance team.

Doug Petch PhotoDoug Petch specializes in helping organizations and individuals create the synergies in team building, leadership and communication skills that lead to sustained profitability and long-term success. He is also the host of the popular Sixty Second Success Seminar, an audio program focused on the tools, tips and techniques that anyone can use to navigate their path to success. Website:

Filed under Developing Your People by Martin

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