Being an attractive team starts with the leader. It is the responsibility of the leader to create the culture and influence the team to help build that culture. When the culture is building it is also the responsibility of the leader to protect and nurture the culture for the future.
Does your team have high expectations? Does your team have a vision that everybody shares and is bought into? To be a highly effective team, then everybody within the team must know and understand what it means, and what it takes to be a highly effective team.
1. Expectations of Ourselves
Before we discuss the high expectations of a highly effective team, then we must first understand the high expectations we have for ourselves. We are all on a highly effective leadership journey, and on that journey, we are growing and transforming. So, what is the vision we have for ourselves and for our team?
A highly effective leader has a very strong character and a highly developed competency. Each member of a highly effective team must do their best to have a very strong character and highly developed competency.
With character, I mean somebody who accepts responsibility for themselves and their people. I mean somebody who is humble and don’t come across as arrogant. I mean somebody who people can trust through and through. I mean somebody who has high integrity.
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With competency, I mean somebody who has good knowledge and likes to share that knowledge. I mean somebody who has a lot of ability and helps others. I mean somebody with a lot of experience and puts it to good use.
Obviously not everybody on a team will have the same level character or competency, there will be strengths and weaknesses. But, a highly effective team needs great people, not just good or average people.
2. A Highly Effective Leadership Culture
So, I want to help you to develop your people into great people, and develop a highly effective leadership culture that attracts other great people.
Good people and average people will also be attracted to your culture, but it won’t feel so bad to you to not accept them onto your team because you know you only want great people.
A lot of organisations around the world put advertisements out to attract good people to their vacant roles, but they’re really just trying to find anybody to fill them. They need to fill the numbers or the heads in some cases.
I was part of an organisation where I was deputy professional head of engineering, and I heard our engineering director and head of engineering calling us heads. It made me feel awful.
The reason organisations use these phrases is because they don’t have a highly effective leadership culture, and they don’t know how to. Then, what usually happens is they will take on a new person and after about a year or so, they will leave.
A highly effective team is a team of great people. Would you say the team you are leading right now are all great people? Or, are they good or average people? If they are good or average people then it will be a lot easier to find more good or average people.
But, we don’t want to do that, we want to find great people who can help you become a highly effective leader, and you can help them become a highly effective team.
3. The Leadership Ladder
I am writing this article to help you climb to the top of the leadership ladder, and then climb back down to help your great team members climb to the top with you. I am not here to help you and your team climb to the middle of the ladder and just stay there.
When climbing to the top of the leadership ladder, it is not easy. There are no hacks or ways of getting around obstacles that are in yours and your team’s way. The leadership ladder is very long and high and will be a huge challenge to you all.
The people who have made it to the top of the leadership ladder, did so by paying the right price and making the right sacrifices. You and your team must also pay the right price and make the right sacrifices.
Only teams who are high performers, believe in themselves and each other and believe in their leader reach the top of the leadership ladder. A highly effective team is made up of great people, and only great people reach the top. You will not reach the top with good or average people.
There are many obstacles when climbing the leadership ladder, and if you and your team can remove them on the way up, then you will eventually reach the top. You and your team need to understand what the challenges on the way up are going to be, and understand where you eventually want to be.
You and your team can only climb the leadership ladder with a strong character. You cannot have the character of good or average people.
4. Decision Making
Leaders and their teams make decisions every day. They either make decisions as a team or as individuals. What most people don’t realise is that the decisions we make affects the culture of our team and our organisation.
We create the culture of our team and organisation every day and it can either be positive or negative. If your organisation wants to become attractive to great people, then culture is so important.
Thinking about the future and knowing where we want our team and organisation to be is very important. So, we need to start building our culture with the end in mind, and then I can lead you to where the culture needs to be.
When we have a highly effective leadership culture, we will know that we can attract the great people we need to build our highly effective teams.
The top of the leadership ladder is where the highly effective leadership culture is, and we won’t have that culture until we reach the top.
Becoming an organisation that can attract great people who can build our highly effective teams is the end goal. The organisation cannot become this attractive at the very beginning.
We all have goals and the end goal for an organisation is to become the most attractive organisation in the industry that will attract great people. What are your goals and when do you want to achieve them?
If you had a goal to run the 100 metres in 9 seconds, then you are far more likely to achieve that by training every day, compared to someone who trains once a week. So, for an organisation to become the most attractive, how long will it take? That is the decision of you and your team.
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The only way to create a highly effective leadership culture and becoming the most attractive organisation to great people, is with you leading and setting the direction. How long it takes to get there depends on how much you are willing to lead this change and transformation.
How willing are you to change yourself and change what you do? How much time re you willing to invest in yourself and your team?
The challenge to becoming an attractive team and an attractive organisation is not only about changing what you do every day. The main challenge is who you become every day, and who everyone in your team becomes. Most people and organisations don’t realise it is about who you are, not what you do.
Would you say the organisation you work with at present is popular and well known within the industry? The reason I ask is because before you can become the most attractive organisation, you must become an employer of choice.
People inside an organisation with a weak leadership culture don’t trust their leaders, so they rely on themselves to get through the day by doing the bare minimum required. People inside an organisation with a highly effective leadership culture have respect and trust for their leaders, so they will go the extra mile for themselves, the team, the leader and the organisation.
I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.
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All the best,
10 thoughts on “Being An Attractive Team”
Hey Tom, thank you for the excellent article. I am glad you took the time to write it. It was a very insightful read for me as I spent twenty five yrs in a career with the United States Postal Service where the concept of “team” was non-existent and certainly not fostered by the supposed leadership in that organization. Considering your “we create what we are” kind of mentality, do you think positive change can actually be achieved in a negative culture work environment?
I appreciate your comment on my post, means so much to me.
Thank you for sharing your experiences in the Postal Service. There will be a lot of people who could read this article who will be able to relate to you, and I hope they learn just as much from you as they do from me.
Keep sharing your insights with others and helping as many people as you can.
All the best,
I empathize with using terms like ‘heads.’ Words have meaning, and distilling people down to ‘heads’ doesn’t send the right message when in leadership. It makes sense what you’re saying.
If you have a dysfunctional team already, what do you suggest we do to fix it? I believe there’s a role that leaders can play, but there are also roles that the team plays to fix a culture in an organization.
I like what you said about how decisions affect the cultures we’re in. It drives the point home. Thanks for your article!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, means the world.
I completely agree that the leader has a role to play in a dysfunctional team. The leader needs to inspire the team to take up those roles to improve the culture also.
Keep inspiring your people and your teams as their leader.
All the best,
The content is focused on the importance of the leader in creating a culture and a team of great people. According to my view, the article is well-structured and easy to read. However, the introduction is a bit brief and could benefit from a more in-depth explanation of why the leader’s role is so critical in building an attractive team.
The article emphasizes the importance of character and competency in a highly effective team. While this is true, it would be helpful to elaborate on other factors that contribute to a great team, such as communication, collaboration, and innovation.
The article could benefit from more practical advice on how to create a highly effective leadership culture. For instance, what specific actions can leaders take to foster a culture of high performance, trust, and accountability?
The article mentions the importance of decision-making in shaping the culture of the team and the organization. It would be helpful to expand on how leaders can make effective decisions that align with their vision and values, and how they can involve team members in the decision-making process.
The article would benefit from concrete examples of leaders who have successfully built attractive teams, and how they did it. This would help readers understand how to apply the advice in their own contexts.
Thank you for sharing your very detailed comment. Means the world to me.
The recommendations you are making are already in the article. Can you please go through and read in more detail?
All the best,
Great article, Tom. In my experience (software), companies are not prepared to invest in the expense of properly training managers or team leaders.
Somebody gets promoted to a managerial position, because they have seniority on a team and a vacancy has opened up, and they’re just expected to get on with the job of telling people what to do.
There’s little, if any, consultation with team members as to what they need to complete tasks and bolster weaknesses.
Someone with innate leadership qualities will be able to spot weaknesses in the team and be able to bring resources to bear to address them.
But they often do this in spite of a lack of managerial/team leader training.
Those without that innate ability will flounder and blame everyone but themselves when things go wrong.
They’ll be insecure and incompetent and will lash out indiscriminately, lowering team morale and not understand why people aren’t meeting deadlines.
True leadership is a very undervalued skill in large companies, at least as far as my experience goes. These companies see machinery as their assets, not their employees and a manager is simply an employee that tells other employees what to do.
True leadership is worth its weight in gold which is why companies that do value that skillset headhunt quality candidates from other companies.
Your final statement in your article couldn’t be more true!
All the best,
Thank you again for another very detailed comment. I hope people can relate to your experiences just as much as they can learn from mine.
Keep growing in your leadership and keep influencing your people to be their best selves.
All the best,
The article “Being an Attractive Team” is a must-read for anyone looking to lead a successful team. You have done an excellent job of outlining the key characteristics of an attractive team, including clear communication, a positive attitude, and a shared vision. As someone who has led teams in various settings, I can attest to the importance of these factors. In my experience, when teams have a shared sense of purpose and a positive outlook, they are much more likely to work together effectively and achieve their goals. This article is both informative and inspiring and provides practical tips for cultivating these qualities in a team. Welldone Tom!
Thank you for your very kind comment Femi,
I really appreciate it.
Keep working with your team and leading them by example every day. Be the leader you always wish you had.
All the best,