Creating A Winning Team

When you want to create a winning team, whether it’s on your production line, in your shipping department or within your sales team, it’s wise to take a few lessons from those who have a long track record of creating winning teams. Look to successful athletic coaches as your teachers. One of the very best was Paul “Bear” Bryant.

A legend both as a successful college football coach and teacher, Bryant recorded 323 wins in his 38 seasons of coaching – a record surpassed only by four other college football coaches. Whether or not you align with his disciplinary tactics, his motto was that members of a winning team needed these five things.

Tell me what you expect from me. No one, from your ace employee to your child, can perform the way you want them to perform without knowing exactly what your expectations are. Be clear. If your instructions are open to interpretation, you may not like the result. The inability to provide clear instructions means your expectations aren’t well conceived in your own head, and if you don’t know precisely what your goal is, no one else will either. Without that clarity, winning is a crap shoot. You’ll need luck to succeed.

Give me an opportunity to perform. Clarity is critical, but micromanaging is not the way to win. Determine what the desired end result is, communicate that clearly and then get out of the way. A winning coach draws up the plays but is not on the field during the game. Coaches stay on the sidelines, letting the athletes execute and perform. You belong on the sidelines, too.

Let me know how I am doing. Feedback, feedback and more feedback is simply good management. It ties right back into expectations. Your employees may think they’re doing a good job, but without objective feedback, they’ll never be certain. Feedback is the only way to align expectations and outcomes. While coaches aren’t on the field during the game, they are always on the sidelines providing valuable feedback.

Give me guidance when I need it. The coach, or the supervisor, is as much a teacher as anything else. You’ve seen the player who comes off the field after a bad play being met by the coach time and time again. It could be an arm around the shoulder or an in-your-face rant. The tenor of the lesson is a matter of personality, but guidance is critical to winning.

Reward me according to my contributions. The importance of recognition for a job well done can never be overstated. Whether the recognition is a pat on the back, a warm word or a cash bonus should reflect performance and overall contribution. The first two forms of recognition cost nothing and should be shared openly and continuously. You think those Crimson Tide players worked harder on the field after a Bryant pat on the back? You can be certain they did.

The MPower team can help you institute the critical function of measuring performance and providing objective feedback that allows you to carry out the other four steps to build your winning team. Hound’s-tooth hat optional. Contact us today to get on the path to victory.