Science & Art of Team Building

Building great teams requires great leadership. In my thirty years working with thousands of executives, the exceptionally successful leaders are those who invest in building high-performance teams. How do we find and discern these great leaders for your search assignments? I have learned that building effective business teams is both a science and an art and I’m happy to share some insights with you.artscience

Science: Research shows four ingredients common to building organizations and teams.

  1. Dream/Vision/Passion for where we are going;
  2. Trusted and qualified Coaches/Mentors/Advisors;
  3. A winning business plan. Combine it with a ready marketplace. Add people and capital, then…
  4. Execution on the plan.

Teams execute far more effectively than any one individual. Great leaders know how to recruit and then tease out the best results from the team. They can provide the right motivation and bring out the true potential of their team members. Teams define and drive the true success of an organization.

Art: Team building is very close to my heart and everyday work. It is the profound understanding of organizations, projects, and people: how they work, their strengths, values, and what motivates them to perform at their highest levels. Team building is enhancing Dr. Larson’s “Three C’s” of team high performance.

  • CommunicationPrint
  • Commitment
  • Competency

The art of finding the right leader for your team includes but goes beyond the three Cs, to include the subjective dimensions of timing, voice, and culture fit. The right team leader will help your organization to execute well on its plan, in part because they embody the plan and get others to do the same. We have observed three personal attributes that seem to correlate with this behavior:

  • Personal Career Momentum
  • Confidence and Self-Esteem
  • Values-intensity

We assess each of these elements in our candidates, to find the best team leader matches for our client’s mission and culture today. By listening to our candidates we can hear their voice, and make the best recommendations for both the candidate’s career and our clients’ leadership needs. Finding a great fit is key to ensuring the success of your team!

The Team Performance Curve

The Team Performance Curve – Katzenbach/Smith 1993 (p.84)

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