Building a successful team can be one of the toughest responsibilities of a leader. Frequently, teams, not individuals, are what make-or-break organizations. So, how are great and successful teams built?

There are many things to consider when recruiting and interviewing to build a team. Teams are complex creatures that have to be carefully constructed. Once constructed, their shape and dynamic can change. This makes them tricky to lead, but there are a few base items that must be established before we discuss our 3 tips.These are requirements that we will assume are met before going into the process of final choice.

1. Basic skill requirements.

2. Basic knowledge requirements.

3. Character requirements.

The reason I say “basic” on the first 2 requirements is that to expect your applicants to have an advanced level of skill or knowledge for your position is to your determent. If an applicant has a foundation to build on, then they should be considered for the position.

You will notice the absence of the word “basic” on the third requirement. The person you hire should be of excellent moral character in both personal and professional settings. I’m not saying they should be perfect. None of us are. But only hire someone whom you discern to be making strides towards doing the right things.

This requirement is different because you can train someone to have a skill or educate someone to have knowledge, but you cannot teach or train someone to have character.

So, once you have a level playing field for your applicants, it is time to make your final selections. These 3 tips will work for you whether you’re building a brand new team, rebuilding an old team, or even tweaking a team by adding one more person to the group.

1. Select people with different personalities.

I know that there are varying opinions on this one, but variety isn’t just the spice of life. It will also breathe life and success into your team. For this reason, I strongly advocate using one of several standardized personality tests.

The one I lean towards is the DiSC profile. It has a lot of overlap with many of the other 4 factor personality assessments, but doesn’t use animal names primarily to describe the personalities. It also seems to communicate the information about each personality more cleanly than others I’ve seen.

I attended one of Dave Ramsey‘s EntreLeadership 1-Day conferences last year and gained more insight into the personality types from presenter Chris Hogan. One of the biggest takeaways was the “Key Question” each personality type needs answered to feel effectively communicated with. See the below for what each personality type needs to know.

Dominance – When? | Influence – Who? | Steadiness – Why? | Conscientiousness – How?

2. Select people with different strengths.

Recently, my wife and I have been working our way through the TV show House, MD

on Netflix. I’ve already seen almost all the episodes, but it’s fun to go back after some time has passed.

Currently we are on Season 4

. Which is the season in which House has hired 40 fellows (that doesn’t mean all guys) in trying to replace the 3 fellows he had working for him in seasons 1 through 3.

The other night, as we were watching, I caught a team building principle that made perfect sense but we often avoid as leaders. Each week, House fires another fellow in a Survior-esque interview process. In episode 4, House fires a fellow that had been right on practically every step of the diagnosis.

Wouldn’t it seem like he would want to keep someone like that?

When the other fellows asked Dr. House why he was fired since he was right so often during the current case, the fired fellow said that it was because even though he was right, he offered suggestions that House would have already come up with and that he needed fellows that would think differently than he would.

Do you select or hire people who could almost finish your sentences? Maybe you like having people around you that are extremely close to your personality type and already think the way you do. If so, I want to let you know that it is hurting you, your team, and your organization.

I get that it’s more difficult and requires more energy to work with those that don’t excel in the same areas as you. However, it is one most effective ways to make your team successful because you will gain skills, perspectives, and methods of doing things that you otherwise wouldn’t have had.

A quote I used as a full point in a post last year from author, Marcus Buckingham, sums this up really well, “Leaders should be sharp, not be well-rounded. Teams should be well-rounded.”

3. Select people who share your vision before working with you.

This one may seem to contradict my previous tip, but it is one thing to want the same outcome and another to get there the same way as you would. If you do not have every single member of your team on board with your vision, then you will be a group of individuals instead of team. This means no one will be successful in their goals and everyone will be frustrated.

This tip assumes you have come up with (and written!) a vision for your organization or team.

The vision is your “why”, your end result, and is not open to interpretation. However, your “what” and “how” should be open and if you follow the first two tips, then you’re more likely to see your vision realized.

During an interview, when you share your vision, you should see the face of the person you’re interviewing light up and get excited. They should be smiling and excited to talk about your vision and how they would like to take part. People, especially millennials, want to be a part of something larger than themselves.

Building a successful team may seem daunting, but it is less so if you follow these 3 tips. You will see a level of success that you may not have been able to imagine.

Remember that successful teams are more about the strength and skills of the group than any one individual.

[reminder]Think of a time when you were on a successful team. What was the strongest asset you possessed as a team?[/reminder]

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