A lot has been written, researched and read about team building, reams of papers spent; however, what remains to be seen is how many of those being talked about have actually found their way in the real life application. It's practically very difficult to make strategies which would provide a readymade template to make a successful team.
Team building is a complicated exercise as the team builder has to take into consideration various pros and cons before actually putting in place the team required to accomplish some assignments. All successful team assignments. All successful team builders or leaders as they are often referred did not achieve this objective overnight, rather they took lot of time, before they could actually make an envious unit. This article tries to understand the concept of team building from a practical perspective.
MYTHS ABOUT TEAM BUILDING :
There are various myths which are often associated with team building. One has to break those myths before he or she can kick start building a team. Few of the myths are as follows -
- A team always has a leader
o A team always has a leader
o All others are followers
o Team spirit comes over a period of time and need not be built
o A team can be built even without a mission and vision
o A team is as good as it's followers and not the leader
o Leader should only direct and not involve hands on to show followers the way
o An unsuccessful team can convert into an successful team if best people are poached
o Nepotism, Divide and rule is an essential for building up a successful team
All these and many other myths often do the rounds which in reality are the hurdles in building up a successful team. Most of the successful leaders were initially able to overcome the mental barriers created by all the aforesaid myths, which over a period of time spreads its tentacles and prevents making a successful unit.
Opines Santosh Ranjan, Director of Indian operations of Dubai headquartered Knowledge Horizon, ''one need to empower people after gauzing their strengths, which would result in making responsible employees, finally culminating in developing a competitive unit''. Its true that people has to have the confidence to do things the way they want it, with an element of innovation, creativity and value additions etc.
Subsequently it happens to be the role of the leader to ensure that the energies and capabilities are channelised in the right manner and direction.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LEADER :
The leader plays a very important role in building up a cracking team. The best example which can be related by all and sundry would be the Indian cricket team which gas recently toppled the Aussies from the numero uno position of global supremacy.
It was mainly possible because it had a young and vibrant leader who was unfazed about the competitor's strengths, backed his young boys to the hilt and simply kept cool even while the going got tough. Analysts might try to diagnose this success by looking into the contributions of all the players in the ultimate objective of coming back trumps.
One important thing which most of these analysts miss out is the cast of developing a team of mediocre individuals rise to the top bracket where they can meet any rivals eye to eye. The team spirit and cohesion then gradually finds their way into everyone's DNA and the adrenaline starts flowing.
THE ROLE OF FLOLLERS :
The wrong belief that a follower always follows and never leads in a group is another big mental block which prevents the construction of a winning team. Every individual is leader in his own way and he can in turn make many of his peers his own followers, not by his words, but by his actions. A performer in a team can draw the same amount of inspiration if not more within the ranks of his team through his sheer devotion, determination and perseverance.
Every follower need to understand the fact that individually their roles are extremely important which collectively makes the team reach for the stars. Short sighted and myopic approach where rivalries between members are being fomented to solve ulterior motive of the leader is the biggest ''cancer'' in building up a successful team.
Ravi, heading a region of an organization started off his operations with handful few people with whom he shared a very close relationship, which catapulted him into higher assignments and responsibilities. Once into a ''zone'' he started to show off his true colour by adopting ''Divide and Rule'' only because there where few people who were not interested in toeing his personal line at the cost of the organization.
This led to a situation where Ravi had mass exodus and is now functioning without an organized and motivated team. He was reluctant to accept though that the main reason for being bale to retain and build up his successful team is his myopic approach with his personal gains at the epicenter.
Author is independent Management Trainer and Consultant.
He can be reached at – [email protected]