The sports industry is a multibillion-dollar industry that exists on a massive scale in countries across the globe. Whether you are referring to baseball teams, basketball teams, or rugby teams, they all share one very obvious trait: They rely on teamwork.
Players might be making outs, hitting free throws, or piling up in a human mound, but they all have to work together to win games. At first, you may think that a multi-billion-dollar, multi-national phenomenon does not relate to your small business, but it does. Just like a football team with millions upon millions of dollars in player contracts, your small group has to work together to reach its goals, and a big part of that is building teamwork.
Winning and delivering projects is not that different from winning professional sports events. Each one has multiple strategies, fierce competitors, and situations that come down to the wire. Just like sports players, you and your employees have to rely on one another to achieve your goals. This presents the obvious matter of how best to make your company’s staff come together to become a team. The fact is that promoting teamwork in your company is no great mystery if you pay attention to your staff and follow these three simple tips.
1. Break Projects into Play-by-Play Tasks. No big game is won in a single play. Instead, games are won with a steady march of progress, with each member of the team contributing a part to the overall success. Success in the business world is much the same. Projects are won and delivered to the client one phase at a time. So instead of having everyone on your team tackle the whole project at once, break it into tasks, but be sure each member of the team understands the goal. By having certain people working on certain aspects of each project, you will create an environment where everyone is part of the big project, and each person is contributing to the success of the company as a whole.
Pro Tip: Do not refer to the people handling different tasks as “divisions.” The very essence of the word is divisive and creates intergroup detachment, defeating the effort to build teamwork. Instead, refer to your groups of employees as “departments” or simply as “groups.” Doing so will build a core of cooperation that will pay large dividends and promote community.
2. Be a Leader. Every winning team needs a captain, and in your small business, that captain should be you. Of course it is easy to sit back and let someone else do the steering, but that is not the stuff of leaders. Instead, you should follow Pulkit Arora’s advice and lead by example. Use your position to show the very traits you feel will make your company a success. Acknowledge those that follow your good example, and in effect allow them to be examples. Soon you will feel the burden of leadership lifted from your shoulders as you realize you now head a team composed of leaders.
Pro Tip: It can be hard to be a leader, so instead, try showing your employees the traits that have garnered you success. As a manager or an entrepreneur, you have years of experience in successfully winning and delivering projects. That is how you started your small business! Show your team what made you a success, and watch them succeed in your footsteps!
3. Trust Your Team. You’ve got your group working away on certain tasks, and you are there working with them, showing them how to succeed. Now you have to make the final leap and trust them to succeed. Do not be a micromanager, and do not stand over someone’s shoulder. Trust that your employees will give their best to succeed at the tasks you assign them. After all, would you have hired them if you could not trust them?
Pro Tip: Always let your team know that you are available to help. Make an “open-door” policy a “no-door” policy and remove the barriers that could stand in the way. By making communication between you and your team as frictionless as possible, you will gain an in-depth knowledge of their skills and build that must-needed trust. Trust is the fuel that powers a successful team!
As you can see, real team building can be a simple and everyday thing. All it takes is a little organization, a consistent leader, and some trust. By planting these three seeds of success, there is no way that you can help but reach new heights of success, for your company and your team!