In the dynamic world of business, a collaborative and efficient team is the lifeblood of success.

As leaders, our ultimate goal is to cultivate a team that not only excels under our guidance but eventually, manages us. This paradigm shift, from being a team leader to becoming a team learner, is a transformative journey that hinges on trust, empowerment, and open communication.

This step-by-step guide for 2023 outlines everything you need to learn how to build an effective team that not only accomplishes tasks but propels the entire organization forward.

What Is the Purpose of a Team?

The purpose of a team transcends beyond the mere completion of tasks. A well-orchestrated team serves as an organic, collaborative entity that synergizes diverse skills, experiences, and perspectives to achieve common objectives.

A team, in essence, is a powerhouse of creative problem-solving and innovative thinking, fostering an environment of mutual learning and growth. High-performing teams, according to a study by Google, are characterized by psychological safety, dependability, structure and clarity, meaning of work, and impact of work.

Building a team is not about gathering a group of individuals; it’s about sculpting an ecosystem of seamless collaboration that drives business success.

What Is a Team that Manages You?

A team that manages you, or a self-managing team, is a group of individuals who work well together and are empowered to take ownership of their tasks, make critical decisions, and govern their workflows without constant supervision. In such an environment, the team leader evolves into a facilitator rather than a controller, providing necessary resources, support, and guidance, while the team navigates its own path towards the set objectives.

This approach can foster a culture of accountability, initiative, and innovation. When employees are entrusted with greater autonomy, they are more likely to feel personally invested in the company’s success, foster creative problem-solving, and demonstrate a higher level of job satisfaction.

As MIT’s Edgar Schein pointed out, “The only thing of real importance that leaders do is to create and manage culture.” A team that manages you is ultimately the result of a positive, empowering culture that underscores the essence of teamwork and shared leadership.

What are Team Building skills?

Good team-building skills are a blend of interpersonal competencies and strategic acumen that cultivate cohesion, mutual respect, and team performance within a team. These skills encompass effective communication, conflict resolution, empathy, and the ability to inspire and motivate.

Effective communication is pivotal to ensuring everyone understands their roles, responsibilities, and objectives clearly. Conflict resolution skills help maintain a harmonious environment by addressing disagreements constructively, fostering understanding, and finding common ground. Empathy builds team trust, understanding, and mutual respect among team members.

Lastly, the ability to inspire and motivate is key to driving the team towards a collective vision, boosting morale, and fostering a sense of individual investment in the team’s success.

How to build a team that manages you - Peter Boolkah

10 Ways for Build a Successful Team

1. Establish Company Culture

Establishing a strong company culture is one of the key steps to building a great team. A study by Columbia University found that companies with a strong culture experienced a 13.9% turnover rate, compared to 48.4% in companies with a poor culture.

This culture should echo the core values, mission, and vision of your organization, fostering an environment where every member feels valued, respected, and motivated. This sense of shared values and goals creates a powerful bond among team members and encourages them to strive for collective success.

2. Encourage Open Communication as Much as You Can

Encouraging open communication is a cornerstone in building a dream team that manages you. Open discussions foster transparency, understanding, and a sense of belonging among team members. They also allow for a free exchange of ideas and feedback, which can lead to innovative solutions and continual improvement.

In this environment, everyone feels heard and valued, boosting morale and team cohesiveness. Importantly, it helps build trust and mutual respect, empowering the team to make decisions and manage their workflows effectively.

3. Ensure that Everyone Feels Respected and Well Together

Fostering respect and camaraderie among team members are pivotal stages of team development. When every team member feels respected for their skills, ideas, and contributions, it fosters a sense of self-worth and belonging which, in turn, boosts morale, productivity, and collaboration.

This mutual respect allows for a harmonious work environment where differences are valued and conflicts are constructively resolved. Similarly, fostering camaraderie through team bonding activities and social interactions can strengthen interpersonal relationships, build trust, and promote a sense of unity.

4. Define Everyone’s Roles and Responsibilities

Defining everyone’s roles and responsibilities is also an important step in building a cohesive team. Clear role definitions provide a sense of direction, prevent task overlaps, and reduce potential conflicts.

They also empower team members by giving them a clear understanding of what is expected of them and where they fit within the team. When each member has a defined role and understands their responsibilities, they are more likely to take ownership of their tasks and strive for excellence.

5. Stay as Organized

Organized systems and processes lead to efficient workflows, clear communication, and effective coordination. They eliminate confusion, reduce mistakes, and save time, thereby enhancing productivity and the overall performance of the team.

Utilizing task management tools and keeping records orderly can help keep the team on track and ensure everyone is aware of their tasks, deadlines, and progress.

Encourage Your Team Members

6. Encourage Your Team Members

Encouraging your team members is essential for fostering a positive and productive work environment. When team members feel encouraged and appreciated, their motivation, job satisfaction, and performance levels increase.

A study by Gallup found that employees who receive regular recognition and praise increase their individual productivity, have better safety records, and are more likely to stay with their organization. Give your team constructive feedback, recognize achievements, and celebrate successes big and small to inspire them to strive for excellence and take initiative.

7. Be Open to Giving and Receiving Feedback

Constructive feedback can help your team members understand their strengths and areas for improvement, enabling continual personal and professional growth.

It provides valuable insights for performance improvement and encourages a culture of transparency, trust, and mutual respect. On the other hand, leaders who are open to receiving feedback demonstrate a commitment to learning and improvement, which can inspire the same in the team.

8. Have a Shared Scoreboard

Having a shared scoreboard is an effective way to track the collective progress of your team. A transparent and visible scoreboard holds each member of the team accountable and allows them to understand their contribution towards the overall team goals, fostering a sense of responsibility and accountability.

It also encourages healthy competition and collaboration among members, pushing them to deliver their best. Most significantly, it provides a clear picture of where the team stands in relation to its goals, enabling timely adjustments and strategic decisions.

9. Reward Right and Correct Wrong

Rewarding right behaviors and correcting wrong ones is a crucial aspect of team leadership. A balanced approach of recognition and constructive criticism fosters a culture of performance and accountability.

When team members see their hard work and dedication being appreciated, it fuels motivation and commitment. Conversely, addressing mistakes or negative behaviors in a constructive manner helps prevent future recurrence and promotes a learning environment.

10. Celebrate People’s Wins

Celebrating people’s wins, both big and small, is a powerful way to acknowledge individuals’ effort and dedication. It contributes to a positive work environment, boosts morale, and increases motivation and engagement.

Celebrations need not be grand; simple gestures like a word of praise or a written note of appreciation can make a significant impact on team members’ confidence and enthusiasm. Remember that each individual’s success contributes to the team’s overall success.

Building a strong team

Why is Important to Build a Strong Team

Building a strong team is not just a luxury but a necessity for any thriving organization. The team is the backbone of a successful business, as it is through their collective efforts and collaboration that goals are achieved and objectives are met. A high-performing team possesses the potential to take a company to new heights, generating significant benefits that can make a substantial difference in the organization’s overall performance and success.

One of the most significant advantages of having a high-performing team is its impact on business productivity. When individuals with diverse skill sets, experiences, and perspectives come together to work towards a common purpose, they can complement each other’s strengths and mitigate weaknesses. As a result, tasks are executed more efficiently, and projects are completed with greater effectiveness. A productive team knows how to leverage the individual expertise of its members and distribute responsibilities optimally, leading to higher output and increased efficiency.

Moreover, a strong team has the power to foster innovation within an organization. When team members feel valued, respected, and encouraged to contribute their ideas, they are more likely to think creatively and suggest innovative solutions to challenges. The synergy that comes from brainstorming and exchanging ideas among individual team members can lead to groundbreaking insights and novel approaches to problem-solving. In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, staying ahead often requires thinking outside the box, and a high-performing team can be a source of continuous and disruptive innovation.

Driving growth is another critical aspect of a high-performing team. As they consistently deliver excellent results, they contribute to the overall growth and success of the business. Their ability to adapt, collaborate, and innovate ensures that the organization remains competitive and can seize new opportunities in the market. Whether it’s expanding into new markets, launching new products, or improving existing processes, a strong team plays a pivotal role in propelling the company forward.

The study by the Harvard Business Review, highlighting the significant increase in team collaboration over the past two decades, underscores the importance of teams in the modern business world. In today’s interconnected and globalized economy, businesses face complex challenges that often require collective efforts to overcome. Teams that can work cohesively and effectively tap into the diverse talents of their members have a distinct advantage in navigating these challenges successfully.

What Makes a Strong and Effective Team?

A strong and effective team is characterized by a clear and shared purpose, mutual trust, respect, and open communication. The members of an effective team understand their roles, and responsibilities, and how their contributions support the team’s overall objectives.

To build a strong team, it’s crucial to identify the team needs and align them with the organization’s goals. Clearly defining the team’s purpose and objectives creates a shared vision, motivating all members to work together towards a common goal. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each team member can help in assembling a complementary set of skills that will enable the team to achieve its objectives efficiently.

Moreover, encouraging open and transparent communication fosters a positive team environment, where ideas flow freely and challenges are addressed collectively. Regular team meetings and brainstorming sessions can help the team generate innovative solutions and overcome obstacles effectively.

A successful team also requires strong leadership. A capable team leader can guide and motivate the team to perform at their best. A leader should set clear expectations, delegate responsibilities, and provide constructive feedback to help the team grow and improve continuously.

In addition to strong leadership, it’s important to cultivate a culture of trust and psychological safety within the team. When team members feel safe to express their opinions and take calculated risks, they are more likely to contribute creatively and take ownership of their roles.

Investing in the professional development of team members is another essential aspect of building a successful and effective team. Providing opportunities for skill enhancement and personal growth your team members need not only benefits the individuals within the team but also contributes to the overall expertise and competitiveness of the team.


Which are the 5 elements required to build a team?

The five key elements required to build a strong team include clear direction, open and honest communication, mutual respect, cooperative relationships, and adaptability.

  • Clear Direction: A team should have a clear and shared understanding of its purpose, goals, and strategies. Each member should know their roles and responsibilities towards these goals.
  • Open and Honest Communication: This involves expressing ideas, feedback, and feelings freely, listening actively to others, and addressing conflicts constructively.
  • Mutual Respect: Team members should respect each other’s skills, contributions, and differences, and value the diversity of the team.
  • Cooperative Relationships: This involves developing relationships based on trust, support, and mutual cooperation, and working towards the common goal rather than individual interests.
  • Adaptability: Because teams often face unpredictable situations, they must be flexible and adaptable. They should be open to changes and be able to navigate challenges and uncertainties effectively.

How can a manager build a strong team?

A manager can build a strong team through various strategies. First, they should ensure they have a clear vision and goals for the team. Communicating these goals clearly, and ensuring each team member understands their role in achieving these objectives, is paramount. Fostering a culture of open communication and trust is also important. This involves encouraging team members to share their ideas and concerns freely and creating a safe space for constructive criticism.

Moreover, the manager should promote collaboration and teamwork over individual competition. This can be achieved by organizing team-building activities that help team members bond and understand each other better. Last but not least, providing opportunities for skill development and career growth can help attract and retain talented individuals.

What kind of training or coaching should I provide to my team to help them manage me?

Training or coaching for your team should primarily focus on enhancing their understanding of your leadership style and expectations. This can be achieved through workshops or sessions that provide insights into your decision-making process, communication preferences, and feedback style. A program that promotes open dialogue can also prove beneficial, allowing team members to voice their queries or concerns without hesitation.

Additionally, training in areas such as conflict resolution, negotiation, and emotional intelligence can empower your team to manage interactions more effectively.

Importantly, consider coaching that promotes a growth mindset, encouraging team members to view challenges as opportunities for learning and development. Rather than thinking, oh, I’m going to reveal my weaknesses, you say, wow, here’s a chance to grow.” This mindset fosters a proactive attitude, enabling team members to proactively manage tasks and effectively handle their relationship with you, the team leader.

How do I measure the performance and success of a self-managing team?

Measuring the performance and success of a self-managing team can be challenging due to the unique dynamics and autonomy such teams possess. However, there are several effective methods to evaluate their success.

  • Goal Achievement: This is the most direct measure of a team’s performance. Set clear, measurable objectives at the beginning of a project and assess whether the team has achieved these by the end.
  • Individual Contribution: While it’s important to measure the team’s performance as a whole, assessing each member’s contribution can offer valuable insights. This can include their task completion, innovative ideas, and collaborative efforts.
  • Team Cohesion: The level of unity, cooperation, and trust within the team can be a strong indicator of success. High cohesion often leads to better decision-making, increased productivity, and enhanced job satisfaction.
  • Feedback from Stakeholders: Collect feedback from stakeholders who interact with the team directly or indirectly. This can provide an external perspective on the team’s performance.
  • Learning and Development: Consider the team’s learning curve and how they have developed over time. A successful self-managing team should constantly learn, adapt, and improve.
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