I have worked with some sensational people in my lifetime. People who have motivated, inspired and confounded me. It seemed less important when I was young and focused on carving out, but it is clear to me now. None of us is as strong as all of us.

Creating and maintaining formidable teams is an art. Get it right and the juices flow. Satisfaction soars. Business booms. Get it wrong and it’s a long, downhill struggle to nowhere. Discontent spreads like a virus.

It was this article from the Barking Up the Tree blog that provoked me to ponder the best teams I have worked in and what made us such a creative force. The key factors it highlights are logical, though it covers just of slice of the theories about on this. Hire people with social smarts above pure academics; have a mix of experience, youth and gender; set clear goals and roles; have a strong company narrative; reward star performers; and team trust is defined by the least trusted member (you’re as strong as your weakest link). All good; to add are emotive drivers for holding people together.

  • Change the language: Create language that is unique to the strengths and challenges of your team. When people use a common vocabulary they are more likely to be on the same page.
  • Practice: A team practices together to get in flow. As a result, each individual knows their role and the right decisions can be made in a split-second. Mentally the team becomes stronger, emotionally they are more confident. This is not just sport talking.
  • Have fun: All work and no play makes Jack and Jill terribly dull. It is a sad place where people don’t laugh together. Celebrate, invigorate, add humor.

More to come on this subject. There are some good insights to come from The Chiefs, and Waikato New Zealand rugby XV which has just won the Super 15 Championship in gripping style. Culture and family are vital elements in this team.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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