How to Build Powerful and Productive Work Teams

By Alex Perdikis

Notice how many job postings include a term that says something like “Ability to work in a team environment”?

That’s kind of a confusing job requirement because an employee may very well work productively on one team and not as productively on another.

It’s the job of the manager to hire people with the right hard and soft skills and put the team together.

How does a business owner or manager build power teams that pull together? Follow these tips.

A Great Team Begins with a Great Leader

What is a great leader? Highly successful leaders have honed the art of establishing standards, making difficult decisions and are flexible to the extreme, They’re people who course correct when something isn’t working and charge ahead with new ideas.

Those kinds of qualities filter down into the teams you build. Building a team that works requires a logical, well thought out process and gut instinct. It’s often a learned process as well. You learn what works and what doesn’t.

Even if you haven’t mastered all of the high-quality leadership skills you need yet, act like a leader as you begin pulling a team together. Figure out who you are, evaluate your leadership qualities and improve where required.

What Are You Looking For?

Theoretically, the team you’re building will be working toward a common goal. To get there, the team will have to encompass a variety of different skills and areas of expertise.

Define each area and begin looking for staff or new hires to fill each requirement. In some cases, hard skills may not actually be a requirement, but soft skills, such as analytical thinking, creativity and time management may be just as important.

Get to Know Them

It’s likely the team will work together for a very long time—or that’s your goal, anyway.

“As leader of the team, it’s your job to get to know and
establish relationships with each team member.”
—Alex Perdikis

Learn about their strengths, personalities and most effective work environments. For example, you may have both extroverts, who are most productive in a group, and introverts, who are most productive when they have a quiet place to work. Know your team well enough to provide them with the most creative and productive working environment.

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Can Family-Run Businesses Work? Here are the Pros and Cons

By Alex Perdikis

You have a great business idea but you don’t want to start up alone. Your brother, sister, father, mother or second cousin on your dad’s side has experience in the field. Why not do it together? Who knows, your business may be the next Mars or S.C. Johnson & Son.

Or not.

The pitfalls of starting and running a family business are many. You could end up losing the business as well as the relationship you have.

Does that mean you can’t do it? No. But it does mean you have to plan and prepare long before you actually start up. Here’s how.

Define Areas of Expertise

“Too many chefs spoil the soup” is not just a meaningless saying. Entrepreneurs and small-business owners have to wear a variety of different hats. But when two or more people are involved, the hats can quickly become a hot mess.

“From the very beginning, it’s essential to define the areas of expertise each principal has and align those areas with responsibility.”
—Alex Perdikis

Let each owner manage his or her own area. That’s not to say you don’t have a clue about what the other person is doing, but it’s making sure everyone has an area to manage that matches their skills.

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