The Top 5 Secret Characteristics of Successful Business Teams

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A successful team in the business is typically composed of a group of individuals with complementary skills who are able to work together to achieve a common goal.

But the question is, how do you build a successful team in the business? This is a question that some people think is impossible to answer. Every successful team looks different, so it depends on what kind of company you have and what industry it's in. There are certain characteristics that successful teams in business have in common. While some of these might be common sense, others might surprise you.

In this episode, we're going to be talking about how you build a successful team and discuss the top 5 secret characteristics of successful teams in business.

Read the Full Transcript

Atiba de Souza: You know, I get asked this question all the time. How do I build a successful team? Everybody wants to build a successful team. Well, today on Build Your Team, that's what we're going to dive into is answering this question that honestly, some people think it's pretty impossible to answer. How do I build a successful team?

Now, why do people think this is an impossible question to answer, really simply, because every successful team looks different. It depends on your company. It depends on your industry. But there are some key characteristics that all successful teams have. And that's what we're going to dive into today here on the Build Your Team Show.

Hey, everybody. Welcome to Build Your Team. I am your host, Atiba. And today, that's it, we're going to be talking about how you build a successful team. And this is a bit of a loaded question and a loaded topic because how you define success and how I define success, they may be very, very different, but I think we can agree upon this. I think we can agree upon this. When we build a successful team, our businesses thrive. So, how do you build a team that helps your business to thrive. Well, I've got five things, five characteristics that I want to share with you today. And it starts with this one and this is the most important one and I know you've heard it before, but it's bare worth— it's worth saying again. Did I say that right? I don't know, whatever that stating and phrase is. It's worth saying again. It starts with effective communication. If your team can't effectively communicate with each other, you can never reach success. You can never reach success. Now, what does it mean to have effective communication?

Well, communication can be measured on a lot of different angles. So first is top down. So that's the leadership down through the ranks. Then it's left or right. That's on the same rank level. So managers need to be able to communicate well with each other. And then lastly, this is one that often gets overlooked.

It needs to go from bottom up. From bottom up. How do you hear from the frontline workers what's really going on? Are you really listening? How are they allowed to openly and honestly communicate with management and it go all the way up to the top where decisions are made so that decisions can be made to make things better.

How is that communication happening? And the other four pieces of this, the other four characteristics all speak to— to be completely honest with you, how you master your communication. How you master your communication. Because if it's not effective, as we said, you will not be successful. So what's the next thing?

The next thing is having clear values. Now, clear values speak to what's important to you as the leader and to the company as a whole. What are those things that you stand on that you say are super important? The non-negotiables in your business, and you should define anywhere from three to seven core values.

These are non negotiable. Then everyone in your organization needs to be aligned to those. They don't need to just be some fancy piece of paper on the wall. That people walk by, or that you mentioned every now and again, but it needs to be something that you live by. It needs to be something that you live by.

Okay. For example, I've seen organizations that— talking about communication, say communication is super important to them, but yet, they rarely communicate with their clients or subordinates in the company have no formal way to communicate with management what's actually going on. And for management to respond, you can't say communication is important to you, and that's a core value if you don't put systems in place for it to happen.

And so understand with your core values, these are the things that are non-negotiable that you put systems in place to make sure that they happen. I give you an example in our company. One of our big things is we value relationships over everything else. And point of fact, it says we value relationships over sales.

Okay. Because so often in business all comes down to selling something, but we value relationships and that's relationships with our customers, relationships with each other, relationships that workers, my staff have with their family members and my workers relationships with themselves.

So we start staff meetings with check-ins to see what's going on in your life. We look, we asked about what are the wins. We want to know what your professional wins are, but we also want to know what your personal wins are. What's going on in your life, personally, that you're celebrating. We want to celebrate that with you.

Okay. That's one little way that we value relationships. Now, there are tons of other ways that we do that in our company. But I just want to give you that one. So your core value is something that you truly believe in that has to be, if this didn't exist, your company wouldn't exist. Okay. And so you have to align with your core values.

And the thing there is you have to get everyone else aligned. Now we're talking about communication again, right? Communication. And so for us, and you don't have to do it the way we do it, but for us, what we do when we put out a job post, I put my core values in the job post. When we do an interview, we put our core values in the interview process, and we talk about our core values on the interview.

When someone's hired and we do their onboarding, we talk about our core values. Then once someone has started, when someone demonstrates one of our core values, we send out a company-wide message showing what they did that demonstrated our core value. Whichever one it may be, and we have five.

Your core values have to be super important and it has to be communicated. And what it does for us is it creates a culture where everyone's on the same page with these core values, but it also does for us. And we've seen it time and time again, we may go through an interview process and someone may say, oh yeah, I align with all of those core values.

And I think is great because they want a job. Right. And then they start, and we realized quickly, yeah, you don't align. So it also helps us weed out people who don't belong on our teams. It helps us to weed those people out. So those are your core values. And I know I spent a lot of time on that, but you've got to get that right.

And that's one of the major things that you have to communicate to your teams. If you want to build a successful and effective team, you must all have the same core values. You've got to share those. Okay. The core values. The next thing is goals and objectives. Hey, everybody's got to know what it means to score.

If you're playing a sport and you don't know what it means to score, it also means you don't know how to win and who plays a sport like that? And it's the same thing in business. It's so often and listen, I've been guilty of it a ton of times. It's so often in business that we hire someone, we bring them onto our team. They may align with our core values, but then, we don't tell them what it means to score. We don't tell them what it means to truly be successful in their position. We don't tell them even how we're evaluating them. We don't tell them that up front. So how do we do it in our company? One of our mantras is everyone must know their number.

So every position has KPIs, Key Performance Indicators, that measure the success of that position. Everyone has to know what their numbers are. You should always know your numbers, know where you are, know what numbers were measuring. Super important. Once we have that, and people start to see how their numbers fit in with everyone else's numbers,

Now, now, we can define how all of that gets us to our end goal. Now, we can define what our objectives are. People can see how we're moving and how their little piece that they're doing is super important to the overall picture. So having clear goals and objectives and communicating those is super important.

Now, I got to say this because I realized that I'm assuming something here in my communication with you. Yeah, it's important to have clear goals and objectives for every single person in every single position in every single department. But then you must also measure those on a regular basis, whether it be weekly, biweekly, or monthly, you must measure where they are.

So people know, Hey, am I getting close to a score? Am I way off base? You've got to measure those things. Okay. Alright. Didn't want to make that assumption. Alright. Third thing. Third thing, guys. You've got to have strong leadership. Now, what in the world does strong leadership mean? Get this, strong leadership is someone who has clear core values, has a clear direction of where we're going and has clear goals that they can communicate to everyone on the team, that's it. That's strong leadership in a nutshell, that's it. Because without those things, people won't follow you. They just won't follow you. If you don't have clear direction, if you don't have great values, and if you can't communicate what it means to score, people won't know what it means to play with you.

They won't know what it means to be on your team. A leader has to set that vision of where we're going. So people know what the ultimate end goal is. But now, if that's the ultimate end goal, but you're willing to cut corners or you're willing to do it this way or that way. And so these are your values and my values and your values don't line up.

Then I'm not going to want to be on your team. I'm not going to be wanting to be on your team. If you've played sports, you've probably been on teams like that. I know I have, I've been on teams with coaches where I didn't like the way they did things. I thought the way they did things were wrong and I didn't want to be on that team because my values and their values didn't line up. My values and their values didn't line up. So you've got to line up the values. You've got to line up where we're going and you have to line up and let people know what it means to score right where you are. Okay. If you're a point guard on a basketball team, your goal may not be to actually score points, but to facilitate the offense.

Well, if I came on the team and I was the point guard and the coach didn't tell me that. And I went down and I tried to score every play, but that's not what he wanted, then he didn't communicate well to me. He wasn't being a good and effective leader because even though I may have known the ultimate goal was to win the game, and then even though I may have known that our core values were to play sound basketball, let's just say, but I didn't know was my specific role, what was I being measured by? And that is the number of assists. Wasn't about the amount of points I scored. It was about the amount of assists I created. An effective leader, communicates all of those areas to their team. That's strong leadership, my friends, that's strong leadership.

And the last one, and if you did the first four, the last one just kind of falls into place, but this is the one that people say that they need. When people look at this question about what does it mean to build a great team? I have a successful team. They always talk about teamwork. Teamwork makes the dream work.

I'm not saying it doesn't. I mean, we all grew up. Most of us at least grew up with that. That cliche phrase teamwork makes the dream work and I'm not saying the teamwork isn't important, but here's what I'm saying, teamwork doesn't matter if we don't get the first four right. But if we get the first four right, if we have great core values, if we have strong leadership, if we have the first four right, teamwork falls into place. Because at that point, we have a group of people who understand why we're here— and we're all here for the same reason, where we're going, we trust the leadership. And we know what our part is. That makes you a great teammate. That makes you a great teammate and making you a great teammate makes great team work.

So, guys, success for your team is going to look different on the outside than success for my team. But I submit to you that these are the five, the five core things that you really need to focus on, okay? That you really need to focus on and it starts off and it builds off of the cornerstone of it all is Effective Communication.

Effective communication. You have to be able to communicate effectively. Core values, goals and objectives, strong leadership, and that all wraps up and creates great teamwork. As always, my friends, if you've got any questions. Drop them down below. Love to answer your questions.

I know this is a big topic. People always want to talk about, you know, the teamwork, but I hope what you heard is it starts with you. You want to have a great team, it starts with you. That's what I hope you heard today. Alright, everybody talk to you later. Bye-bye.

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