How to Build a Successful Team — William E. Oliver

3 min readAug 7, 2022
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” –Michael Jordan, NBA legend

Building a successful team is more than just finding the a group of people with the right mix of professional skills. Recently, I read an article published by New York Times titled “ How to Build a Successful Team” which emphasised on six steps to foster a strong sense of teamwork and build the groundwork for a highly productive team. Having built several dynamic teams, this article resonated with me.

Firstly, it is important to have a clear plan of what you want to accomplish. Below are six main drivers for “creating a strong culture of teamwork” –

1. Hiring Well Isn’t Enough

Although hiring the right people is an important aspect of building a team, leaders have a more hands-on role to make sure the group works well together. Thus, managing a team is key in building a strong team.

2. Create a Clear Map

It is vital for leaders to have a clear vision of their companies goals and how progress will be measured over time. Although this may sound simple, having ambiguous goals is one of the greatest challenges faced by companies. “Determining these priorities and how they’re going to be measured is arguably the most important job of a team leader because most of the work that everybody does will flow from those goals.” Thus priorities must be determined clearly since “even the slightest miscalculation can take a team off-course over time.”

3. Having a Shared Scoreboard

Having a simple plan creates a shared goal and shared scoreboard. This means that “there is a greater sense of “us” on the team than the “us and them” dynamic that can often divide colleagues in companies.”

“In the absence of that simple, shared scoreboard, people will make up their own ways to measure their success”. This will eventually lead to incessant fights and arguments.

4. You May Feel like a Broken Record

It is important for the leaders to constantly repeat the goals and priorities of the company. This is to ensure that team members have internalised it the goals and work in accordance with that.

5. Create Your Team’s Culture

Leaders must have certain rules and values for the team to ensure the team works in harmony. However, there is no hard and fast rule for developing a teams culture and values.

6. …And Stick to It

“The most important thing is for the team or company to live by their stated values, rather than just going through the motions of the exercise”.

You can read the original article here




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