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8 Ways to Create an “A Team”

8 Ways to Create an “A Team”

CC photo courtesy of ThrasherDave

Dan McCarthy | Great Leadership

June 25, 2010

“Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”

- Vince Lombardi

How would others describe the performance of your team? Would they refer to your team “the A team”? Or are they compared to the Los Angeles Clippers (winning percentage: .362)?

In either case, here are 8 things you can do to boost the performance of your team:

1. Invest in your team’s development.

It makes me want to set my hair on fire when I hear about a manager who doesn’t think there’s enough time or money for training and development. With that attitude, in the long run, you’ll end up with an underdeveloped and under performing team and probably out of a job. Taking the time to coach, train, mentor, and stretch your employees may cost you in the short term, but you’ll get a long term payback that’s well worth it. Start by sitting down with every employee and creating a development plan.

2. Pick A players and onboard them.

When and if you have the opportunity to hire, don’t cut corners or lower your standards during the selection process. Use a rigorous and proven process for selection interviewing and assessment. Then, when you do make that hire, put the same amount of rigor and effort into the onboarding process. Onboarding isn’t just handing a new employee over to HR and giving them a training manual. It’s about taking to time to teach, assimilate, set them up for continuous success.

3. Walk the talk – be a role model.

So you’re going to raise the bar and set high standards? You’d better start by taking a good look in the mirror and evaluating your own performance, work habits, and leadership skills. The best leaders are always working on 2-3 things they want to get better at, and they are very open about admitting it. It set’s an example for performance excellence and continuous improvement.

4. Provide meaningful work.

It’s every leader’s obligation to their team to make sure they are doing value-added, meaningful work. Take a look at the work your team is doing get rid of the stuff that just doesn’t matter. When employees have a sense of meaning, purpose, and passion around the work they do, you can’t hold them back – they will do extraordinary things.

Next: Clear Goals and Expectations >>

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