Great teams are intentional, not accidental. As supervisors, managers, and employers we can get so caught up in the day to day that we forget how important it is to cultivate a culture of teamwork. Time is at a premium, so we often hire employees to fill a role, and then expect them to perform. The modern workplace, however, runs on people. So no matter how many employees you have, odds are that their performance is at least somewhat dependent on how someone else does their job – coworkers often need each other to reach peak performance.

Your Leadership Matters

This is where your leadership matters. If you want to achieve your goals, you are going to need a strong team to get there. Unfortunately, very few of us are ever taught how to build teams. We usually look towards others, often supervisors, industry leaders, friends or family, to model the way. Maybe, if we’re lucky, we have someone take us under their wing and impart valuable lessons on leadership, and if we’re really lucky that person may even know what they’re talking about.

So how do you create a top performing team? Well, if you accept the idea that great teams are intentional, not accidental, then you can take control in creating a results oriented environment.

The Five Behaviors

There are many models of intentional team development, but one of our favorites at Shafer Leadership Academy is theFive Behaviors of a Cohesive Team.”

“The Five Behaviors” is an intentional, developmental model, which draws from the work of best-selling author Patrick Lencioni. If you think of a team as a pyramid, then each of the five behaviors serves as a building block towards optimal performance. First, leaders must build a trusting work environment where colleagues can take ownership of their mistakes. Next the leader helps the team engage in conflict around ideas in order to make the best possible decisions for the organization. Once a team understands how to engage in purposeful conflict, the manager helps the group commit to decisions. Afterwards, the manger holds employees accountable for those decisions and helps the employees hold each other accountable as well.

Finally, the leader is ready to help the group focus on achieving collect results. In short: Trust; Conflict; Commitment; Accountability; then Results.

Working Through the Process Together

It is a simple approach, but it isn’t easy. The leader must understand the process, have the patience to work through the steps, and the skill to implement the ideas. It takes time and commitment. Like most valuable things in life, there is no short cut. The work needs to be done.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do this work alone, we can work on this process together. At Shafer Leadership Academy we Create Great Local Leaders.

Click here to learn how you can attend The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team on April 26th at the Innovation Connector.

About the author:

Mitch Isaacs was named Shafer Leadership Academy’s Executive Director in May 2015. In this role, he works closely with the organization’s board of directors to fulfill the mission of the organization. He is responsible for creating vision, connecting with stakeholders, administering program offerings and leading the organization in meaningful ways.  Learn more about Mitch »