Building a Team
Building a team in an organization requires a focused and concerted effort by the leader in the organization. A team is not formed by simply nominating people to a team, holding meetings and promoting teamwork.
 Best Practices
- Hire people that understand, believe in the need for and know how to work with or build a team
- Coach people; which requires coaching skills and techniques beyond simply being someone’s “boss”
- Limit direct reports to six people, as generally most people can only effectively manage six direct reports
- Define the team's mission clearly, and realistically
- Relate the team to the important functions of the company or division
- Conduct effective communications with and amongst the team based on a principle of “what will help them do their job better basis” not on a “need to know basis”
- Develop and utilize personal relationships with team members
- Clearly define expectations; duties; and measure objectively whether these are getting done
- Shared mission for the team
- Fairness to all team members is needed:
- no favoritism
- equal access
- hold each person accountable equally
 Related Best Practices
- Building a High Performance Team
- Building an Effective Management Team
- Action plan to build a winning team
 Other Resources
- “6 Ways Successful Teams are Built to Last” Forbes, Oct, 2012; Glenn Llopis discusses leadership techniques that build a team.
- wikipedia : Team building Wikipedia page discusses more generally team building in multiple settings.
- “Guide to Managing Human Resources, Chapter 14: Team Building”University of California, San Francisco – review steps to building and effective team and organizational benefits
- “Build a Tower Build a Team”, TED talk by Tom Wujec – lessons learned from teams building a tower from simple materials.
The author of this article is John Sund.
John Sund has a wide variety of leadership and management experiences in private firms, public office and non-profits.
John has worked for five years in private law practice. He has seven years in the legislative arena: three years in a senior staff position and four years as an elected Representative in the Alaska legislature. He served as President and CEO of Waterfall Group; a company that managed a 60 room hotel, restaurant and bar, commercial retail property, air taxi and built and managed a large remote salt water fishing resort in southeast Alaska. For sixteen years he was a founding partner of Silver Lining Seafoods, officer, Board member and Vice President of NorQuest Seafoods, a seafood processing business that grew from a start up to sales over $100 million. He has also served on many public boards, commissions and non-profit organizations.
For the last decade, John has worked as President of Stellar North LLC, with small and medium size companies and non-profit organizations to develop solid strategic plans to build profitable and sustainable organizations.
- Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark College: Juris Doctor LLB
- Western Washington University: B.A. History; B.A. Political Science; Education Certificate